Seeing as I am one of the last holdouts in the english-speaking world to not read any of the Harry Potter books, or see any of the movies, I won’t bother going into the details of the young wizard in training.
I read this book aloud to my daughters. I did this because I had heard about all the controversy regarding the series: “Those books are spiritually dangerous”, “The fantasy of Harry Potter is different from that of Narnia or Lord of the Rings”, “Oh, they’re fine, there’s nothing wrong with those books”, etc. As such, I wanted to see for myself what all the hullabaloo was all about.
So here’s my conclusion: The (1st) Harry Potter book is neither as dangerous or as spiritually benign as some have claimed.
There is much to delight the young (or old) reader (listener) in terms of fantasy, hijinks, and adventure. There is also the normalization of witchcraft and wizardry, ghosts, and the undead (Voldemort).
Since I read this book to my kids, I took advantage of the teaching opportunities given throughout the book to discuss these issues. As such, we were able pause and talk about Saul and the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28), what the Bible says about witchcraft and ghosts, and issues of good and evil, courage, and discernment.
Personally I enjoyed the story… but I enjoyed the time with my daughters more. They’ve all begged me to begin book #2 as soon as possible… Peering into my crystal ball, a return to Hogwarts seems to be in my future.