Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Back and the Great Harry Potter Controversy

HEY GUYS!! It's me, Iron Guy Carl, and I'm back on the blog beat. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in almost a month but, as I said Saturday, summer is the busiest time of year for the library. I've been busier than a centipede at a tap dancing competition! I'm sure you've wondered where I was. Our good friend Sammer came to the library one day said he's been reading the blog regularly and waiting for a post. So sorry, Sammer! Also, let me give an apology to the guy who sent in a review of The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones. It accidentally got sent to my spam file and was deleted before I could publish it. Would you send it again, my friend, and write it in a "comment" section under any post. I'll be sure to post it. Anyway, being busy is good--that means a lot of you are out there checking out books. So come on and keep me busy!

It's quiet today, though, so I thought I'd take this time to write about the Great Harry Potter Controversy. "Wait a minute," you say, "what Great Harry Potter Controversy??" Well, the one I'm about to start. I know that Harry Potter is one of the favorite book series for guys, if not the most favorite. Many, many guys have written and told us how much they like those books. So what I'm about to say may shock and startle you. Some of you might want to stop reading now because what I'm about to say could give you such a shock that you go into a babbling stupor. OK--are you sure you want to keep going? Very well, then, here it is:

I'm not a Harry Potter fan.

All right, you can all get up off the ground. I told you the shock would knock you flat!! But that's the whole truth. I'm not a big-time Harry Potter fan and never have been. Not when Harry made the cover of a major magazine. Not when all my fellow librarians were going nuts over him. Not even when kids (and librarians) lined up to get copies of the latest books at midnight. Not even when a blogger I respect and regularly read (her name is Elizabeth Bird) said she became a kid's librarian after reading the second HP book. ("I should tell you that this is a very personal book for me. It’s the book that turned me into a children’s librarian in the first place. In fact, if I were to be completely honest with you, I’d have to say that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets changed my life.") A Harry Potter fan? No, no, no, it ain't me, boys.

Now don't get me wrong--I'm not saying that I dislike these books. I read the first three and liked them. I liked the second book a lot. They're fun, fast-moving, and funny. (Except for that fourth one. I tried to read it and it was like swimming upstream) Anyway, I did enjoy those books but just wasn't blown away by them like everyone else. Maybe that's the most controversial opinion to have. Rather than going gaga-nuts over them like the rest of the world, I think they're---OK. I MUCH prefer the Percy Jackson books. For that matter, I like the Erec Rex books a whole lot more. SO HERE'S THE CONTROVERSY--I want YOU to tell me why I'm either right or wrong. Is Harry Potter the greatest thing since hot pizza?? Then make me believe it! Or do you agree with me? Do you have books that you like better? Tell us what they are and why you like them more.

All right, men, we're all waiting to hear from you! Who will be the first to weigh in on the Great Harry Potter Controversy?
PS--if you want to see what I and your fellow reader guys have said about HP, Percy Jackson and Erec Rex, go to the "Labels" section on the left-hand side of the page. I must warn you--there's a lot!


cool dude said...

You are right I like Percy Jackson way more than Harry Potter but I still like them.
P.S I am on the second book.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I've been a Harry Potter fan since book 3. It's not so much the story line, which is classic hero's journey, but how she incorporated so many things into the writing. How when I go back to read them, after reading the whole series, I can see so many connections. Things she would mention and would come to mean more later. Her willingness to take some chances - I mean she killed a major character! I think any aspiring YA/MG writer could learn a lot from Rowling.

That said, I'm also a Rick Riordan fan. Have read all PJ plus Kane Chronicles and Lost Hero. I've actually read the KC twice. I think Rick displays more versatility in this series than in PJ.

Sammer said...

Harry Potter is one of my favorites but not my favorite.The 39 clues is a really great book seires.Dan and Amy have a grandmother Who is one of the Cahills Eurikta,Jaunus,Tomas and Luician.Dan and Amy travel around the world with their babysiter Nellie.It's a big Adventure.

Ms. Yingling said...

I'm not a fan of HP. Are they fine books? Yes. Did I read them all when they first came out? Yes. Will I ever reread them? No. Riordan's stuff is much more interesting and amusing to me. My daughter, however, is offended by anyone who doesn't think HP is brilliant. I liked Order of the Phoenix the best, but still it's not something I would go back to.

Iron Guy Carl said...

Well said, Ms. Yingling! Especially when you told us Mr. R's books are more appealing.

KateCoombs said...

I think people who like old school fantasy of the witches-and-wizards variety are more likely to get into Harry Potter, while action/adventure fans are more happy with series like Percy Jackson. I like them both! But for those who are wondering about the particular appeal of HP, it's creative details such as quidditch, the Marauder's Map, and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans that grab me. Not to mention Hagrid on a flying motorcycle or Hagrid with his dear little pets.

Anonymous said...

I like the Harry Potter books a lot. They're wonderful, enthralling, complex books that are rich with detail and feature real characters with their own personalities, flaws and all. As Stephen King recently said, "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity." What a wonderful message for a book series!

I've not yet read the Riordian books, but I'm quite willing to read and enjoy them as well. Other books I like include the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, the Earthsea Cycle by Urusla K LeGuin, the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, and His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. All these series are quite different from one another, yet all enthrall me just as much on re-reads as they did the first time. I like them all for unique reasons. That's the great thing about books - it's possible to like more than one thing at the same time without having to tout one as better than the other. There's not much room in literary tastes for right and wrong. You aren't wrong for disliking Harry Potter, just as you aren't right about it. It's all a matter of personal taste.

It's okay to not like things! Just don't be a jerk about it. :)

Anonymous said...

While I also enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, Rowling's writing, especially in the first two books, is far superior to Riordan's. The story is tighter, funnier and better researched. There are layers upon layers to Rowling's Harry Potter and her dialog is, in my opinion, better. Does it really matter, though. Kids are reading!

OG said...

I'm definitely a Harry Potter fan and have read the books a few times. There's a comfort found in them that is rare in a lot of books. Percy Jackson is great, but it never quite reaches that comfort level that Harry Potter does. When I read Harry Potter, I feel like I'm exploring a world that I would like to visit. When I read Percy Jackson, I just feel like it's an exciting story, but I never fell in love with it. Yet, as a children's librarian, when it comes to recommending books to boys, I do find myself steering them more to Percy than Harry. But I think that's only because I don't feel like I have to steer anyone to Harry Potter, people know about it and always will.
As far as my real go to books for boys, however, Percy Jackson is one, but I also like the Alex Rider series, Artemis Fowl, and Cirque Du Freak, all of which are huge hits with boys. Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan is another one I've had a lot of luck with. It's a high charging steam-punk adventure that has Percy Jackson licked any day, in my humble opinion. And has anyone else read Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi? It's for older readers, sure, but I think it might be a great one for high school age boys.