07/20/07 — Reading secret? Harry Potter could be key to bringing back the book

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Reading secret? Harry Potter could be key to bringing back the book

The story of Hogwarts and the junior wizard Harry Potter is compelling — a young orphan with few prospects whose life changes when an owl arrives at his door and he finds his true destiny.

Inspiring message, huh?

But what really makes the Harry Potter series and other children’s literature like it such a positive addition to bookstores and libraries is the motivation it brings.

Perhaps it is in this new form of literature that the secret can be found to turn around the nation’s slumping interest in reading.

The idea is to find something, anything, to turn children away from television and video games and back to books.

Series involving stories like Harry Potter just might be a key piece in making that happen.

Times change and so, too, do public tastes. So, there might be some who wonder why we should be concerned about getting more children back to reading.

The reality is that many of the problems students are having in school and beyond can be traced back to the attention they pay when they are being taught how to read.

A young person who does not have a good grasp on basic reading skills might find it hard to handle many other subjects that require the ability to process information and then communicate it in the form of a paper or test.

Getting more children to read should be one of this nation’s top goals. And if Harry Potter or other children’s literature can help make that happen, then that would be a welcome piece of magic.

Published in Editorials on July 20, 2007 11:16 AM