by Rikki Mrozek

Parents, beware of Harry Potter.

       J.K. Rowling has been compared to Tolkein and C.S. Lewis. In my opinion she doesn't have the moral or ethical backbone these two outstanding authors had.

       In The Sorcerer's Stone (the first Harry Potter book) Rowling introduces magical characters similar to those found in The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, her style has numerous differences which Christians will want to consider before allowing their children to read the Harry Potter series.

       All the muggles (non-witches) that are involved with Harry's life treat him very poorly his family is extremely dysfunctional, even abusive. There is no mention of love other than in regard to his dead parents. Harry's life seems very hopeless until he receives a letter from a witch/warlock boarding school named Hogwarts, inviting him to attend. This is when the adventure begins.

       Traveling to Hogwarts he visits a witch-town, a guardian/friend helps him to claim witches money left in a vault at a witches bank, guarded by demons. Shortly after his arrival at school Harry finds out that his parents where murdered the same day his forehead was scarred and he was left with his aunt and uncle. Somehow Harry was given a great power to protect himself when an evil warlock tried to kill him also.

       Although disempowered this evil warlock "who is the one not to be named" is NOT destroyed but has been in hiding near the school trying to regain his power, by using dark magic and vile rituals involving drinking blood from a freshly killed victim and stealing a enchanted stone called the Sorcerer's Stone.

       Harry is victorious once again defeating but not destroying his enemy.

       Harry doesn't trust most people only one or two of his peers, so in order to over come a need to face his enemy he breaks a lot of rules. Rarely is he held accountable for his actions and when punished, it is unfairly. Harry never confides in an adult only in his friends. The adults in his life send Harry back to his abusive relatives during summer break.

       Even though the school has a "Christmas break" there is no mention of Christ or God. Unlike Tolkein and Lewis, humans are not superior to the other magical characters, in this book the witches have control and power to influence and change people and their lives, even to have the power of eternal life through the Sorcerer's Stone.

       Also there is not a clear separation of good and evil, the hero 'Harry' is clearly not as evil as his enemy but he lies, cheats, steals, and does not submit to any authority, but is commended because he defeated this most dreaded warlock.

       I will not allow my 9 and 10 year old daughters to read this book, even though it is being promoted to encourage young readers to read novel type books. The mixed signals that this book sends are not to be taken lightly. It says in Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." NIV. I believe reading is one of the most important skills to develop in our children, if they can read and comprehend what they read, they have the power to do, and become whatever they desire to do or be. Just as there is life and death in the power of the tongue, I believe 'the pen is mightier than the sword'. My husband and I will continue to monitor the books our children are reading...perhaps you will too!