[DWJ] Dumbledore vs. Snape

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Mon May 14 17:37:11 EDT 2007

Mark Allums <mark at allums.com> wrote:>I can't really recommend the book in terms of being literally* worth 
>the time, but it is mostly well done, and, taken as a whole, a lot of 
>fun.  (Don't ever forget, though, it's a children's book.)  All 
>"implementations" of archtypes e.g., Gandalf, or the myths about them 
>are going to be imperfect.  It's no reason to avoid the story 

Am I misunderstanding the context, or is Mark arguing that children's books don't need to be as intelligent, well-written, or non-stereotypical as adult books need be?  I would argue with that, regardless of the Harry Potter debate.  In my mind, children's books are usually legitimately simpler (in terms of plot, character development, and writing) than books aimed at an adult audience, but an audience of children doesn't excuse bad writing, plot holes, undeveloped characters, or -- my greatest horror -- rampant use of stereotypes.  I'm reminded of E. Nesbit and Edward Eager and C. S. Lewis and DWJ and many other authors who took/take their child audiences seriously and seem to believe that children will not only demand a good, well-executed story, but will spot mistakes and inaccuracies quicker than adults.

I feel compelled to add that as far as the Harry Potter debates goes, I fall into the "I read some of them and don't care two figs what happens or whether people love them or hate them" category.  But I would like to say thank you to Mark for turning this into a discussion, because it's making for fascinating reading during my study breaks.  I also like that so far everyone is being very polite about what I'm sure are extremely hot issues.

EGH, delurking from taking grueling final exams

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