Monday, May 16, 2011

An Early Foray into Hogwarts

(Spoilers for Harry Potter and Star Wars, if you haven’t lived on the planet in the last ten years.)

The boys have learned about Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean largely from Lego games, storybooks, and other tie-ins, not the actual movies, because most of the films are meant for an older age group. They know that Anakin turns to the Dark Side and that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. These things are just part of American culture and there’s no way to avoid knowing.

We’d been holding off on getting the Harry Potter Lego game though, because I felt that it was one story worth discovering the proper way – reading the books. The Pirates stories are so tangled that it’s no loss to get spoilers, but Harry Potter! We could wait for that.

However, it was not destined to be. A couple of weeks ago, Q-ster asked me, “Who becomes the teacher of Hogwarts after Dumbledore dies?”

What? How did he know that?

He couldn’t really remember. From reading the back of a DVD cover? From talking to friends with older siblings? I guess it’s just a much more spoiler-filled world these days.

Anyhow, I got home from work on Friday and the little dude started talking about reading Harry Potter and how he saw the series on my bookshelf.

“Well, there are a lot of scary parts, but we can talk about it. Maybe we can read it together,” I replied. He’s only six, after all, and as JK Rowling likes to point out, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” starts with a double murder.

We kept on talking, and it became apparent that he’d started reading it himself that day and had a fairly high level of retention, even if he needed some help pronouncing names like Gryffindor, Hermione, and Hagrid. He started asking me which parts I thought were scary.

“The part where the letters come flying in the house?” Oh, so he’s gotten to the chapter where Harry’s been invited to Hogwarts.

Then, he commented, “Harry thought he might become a Hufflepuff,” he said. Ok, he already made it to the part with the Sorting Hat. A few more comments, and I got so curious that I went upstairs to find the book and bookmark to see exactly how much he’d read. 134 pages in an afternoon. Dude.

He finished the book the next day, minus the final chapter, which we read out loud together. And then he ran to the shelf to pick up Chamber of Secrets.

I am so loving this. Fortunately, Jedi robes double as wizard’s robes pretty well, which will tie us over until I figure out how to fulfill the request for a Quidditch costume.


Bob said...

What a treasure trove of discovery to be found in Harry Potter.
And the fact that he does not have to wait for J.K.R to finish writing each book.
I can see him ploughing through all seven books this summer.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Go, Q-ster go.

mayberry said...

My kids already know that particular huge spoiler too. I'm sad they don't get to read the series without that knowledge.