Harry Potter, Meh, by PZ Myers

August 15, 2007

A Pharyngula post taking Rowlings to account for utterly lacking imagination, and also providing a list of children’s authors who imagine circles around her. I bought the first Harry Potter book in Santiago when I was about to fly back to the states stopping in Lima, San Jose, and San Salvador. I read about the first third or so and spent the remainder of the flight reading the in flight catalogs rather than finish it.

I added the links below.

I know it’s a children’s book. Good children’s literature, though, is not baby-talk versions of trite stories with happy endings — it is not teletubbies on paper. If you’re avoiding L’Engle, Wynne Jones, Pinkwater, Alexander [wikipedia], LeGuin, Pullman, de Saint-Exupéry [wikipedia again], White [wikipedia yet again], Rowling [meh, right PZ? What’s your point?], even Lewis [wikipedia quatrafecta with many external links] because they wrote for children and young adults, then you are missing some excellent literature. It’s a huge mistake to regard children as stupid versions of adults who need an inferior literature….

I can’t believe he forgot Lewis Carroll.

[edit a few hours later: Susan Cooper]



  1. I haven’t read many of the suggested children’s authors, although I discovered L’Engle as an adult and loved it. Pullman’s on my “to read” list already, perhaps there are some more I should read?

  2. I have very fond memories of Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer series, and Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series, but L’Engle, Lewis Carroll, and CS Lewis are the only ones I’ve revisited as an adult. Obviously L’Engle and Carroll are bulletproof (as authors, I certainly wouldn’t leave LC alone with my daughters), but the Narnia books were not so much fun. Not because of the transparent Christian proslytizing, because of the black and white, John Wayne level treatment of war, and the involvement of kids in war.

  3. My boy love this Joshua Children Books

    [edit by Steve- link removed, text untouched]

  4. Joshua, you can expect to encounter alot of ire using the comments in people’s blogs to advertise your comercial enterprises. I’m going to kill the link in your comment, but you are more than welcome to comment again if you have any specific recommendations or opinions that are informed by the spirit of the post.

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