What can I say that hasn’t already been said? This is a good middle grade book that hits a lot of topics that are important for children and resonant to adults: fitting in, feeling different, when courage and bravery serve one well and when it can get one in trouble, adults are flawed but most of them are trying their best, and, finally, admitting that the world can be a dangerous place. I think one of the hardest things about being a parent is finding the balance of hope and realism to impart to your child as he or she gets older. Too much of either sets the child up for an unhealthy view of the world.
As I mentioned in one of my updates, I also think it’s important that Harry is a realistic protagonist. I think once kids get past somewhere around 2nd or 3rd grade, perfect heroes no longer resonate with them. They need kids that are like them – who face all the same temptations, but still make the right choices most of the time. It’s great that we see Harry struggle with making the right choice here and there.
I look forward to book #2!