Monday, June 4, 2007


The Gwinnett County woman's modern-day Crusade to have the Harry Potter series stripped from the bookshelves at her children's school once again has fallen flat on its face.
By now if you don't know who Harry Potter is, then it's quite certain you may have been living under a rock for the last decade. The wildly popular series of books has swept the globe and instilled again a want to read in many children.
Laura Malloy of Loganville has unsuccessfully argued since 2005 that the books promote witchcraft and the occult, yet, according to reports, she has never even read one book.
Malloy first took her case to her children's school administrators, then the school's appeal committee, to the county board of education and the state board of education. Her most recent battle took her to Superior Court, where a judge on Tuesday rejected her plea.
The mother of three school-age children has embarked on a fool's errand to say the least - one of which is reminiscent of Tipper Gore's crusade to ban vulgarities in music. Although Gore won her battle to have warnings placed on music that contains lyrics that may offend some people, it is not likely Malloy will have the same luck.
If she would have bothered to pick up any one of the six books that have been published - the seventh, and final, book is due out in July - Malloy would know the book deals with much deeper issues than just the fantastical wizarding world.
Love. Honor. Courage. Good vs. evil. Prejudice. These themes are interwoven throughout the series as life lessons the characters must learn, accept and deal with, all while facing the pangs of adolescence and teen angst.
I have read all six books twice and own every movie that has been released to date. I'm a big fan of the series. And although I've always loved to read, for children who don't or who have trouble reading, the books encourage not only literacy, but also creativity and imagination.
Many authors have also tried to mimic the fantasy world that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling created, including the Lemony Snicket series.
Kudos to the school officials and the judge for having the sense to rule on the side of literacy. To rule for taking the books out of the school's libraries not only would deprive students of a truly magnificent experience but also would show them that censorship is OK.
As Professor Albus Dumbledore says in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."