I heard on the news that the Gwinnett County Board of Education unanimously ruled to keep the Harry Potter books on the school library shelves. A local mother who reportedly had not even read the books had started a movement to have the books banned because she claimed they encouraged witchcraft.
As a citizen who lives in this county, a suburb of Atlanta with the largest school system in the state of Georgia, I am pleased to see the Board’s ruling on this matter. The Harry Potter books are an unparalleled phenomenon in encouraging kids to actually READ. I could understand if the mother thought that the extraordinary narrator Jim Dale had cast a spell on her kids when they heard his captivating voice create over 100 memorable characters in the audio versions of those books. I think every book was nominated for a Grammy, and I know Dale’s enchanting performance won at least one of those coveted awards. If you haven’t heard him, you can download all the books on iTunes.
I wonder if this same mother is as vigilant in monitoring the video games that her children play. As a voice actor who has had roles in 2 games and hopes to work in many more, I certainly am not opposed to the video game industry. However, I do think that many games glorify violence and are not suitable for children. I don’t have children, but I believe that parents should select games and other materials that improve their children’s minds.
The Harry Potter books do improve childrens’ minds. As the kids read, they are using their imaginations. Once you start to use your imagination, you learn how to solve problems, and you realize that anything is possible.