A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels (Contemporary classics in children's literature)
By: Julia Eccleshare (author)Paperback
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JK Rowling now is half-way through a series which has taken the world by storm. Unusually, she has attracted success both in terms of massive sales figures and critical acclaim. This study will look at her books and consider some of the reasons for their phenomenal success. This will be done against a background of how Harry Potter relates to other contemporary children+as books so that students and teachers can place them in the context for which they were written.This book has not been authorized by JK Rowling, her agent, or Warner Bros.
Julia Eccleshare is children's books editor of the Guardian (one of the UK's top broadsheets). She has written on children's books for 25 years and regularly appears on BBC programmes and in "The Bookseller." One of her reviews provided blurb for the first paperback edition of "Harry Potter."
Part 1 Introduction: brief background to major success in children's books - Blyton, Just William, Tolkien, R.L. Stine, Roald Dahl - reflect different models that work; HP titles have something of all of these about them because of the different genres they straddle; Part 2 What is Harry Potter?: how it is written - the unlikely place of a boarding school story at the end of the 20th century, the construction of the stories with their emphasis on complex plotting, the concept of a group of characters who are growing up, the sense of place, the use of magic and its relationship to the powers of darkness; the imaginative genius and the moments of weakness; what it is saying about - racial tolerance/equality, the importance of family/friends/loyalty, the nature of power, the role of education; Part 3 Beyond the story, why is Harry Potter so much more successful than anything else?: the particular qualities of HP; the ability to speak directly to children as readers; psychological and sociological reasons centering around child-empowerment and a specific understanding of the child's view of the world; Part 4 How was the HP phenomenon achieved?: the dominant role of HP in the last three years and the role of marketing in achieving it; the self-fulfilling effect of over-popular authors in the context of how children choose what they read; the reversing of the norm in which adults rather than children themselves are the initial selectors; Part 5 The Harry Potter effect: how writing for children may be viewed differently after Harry Potter.
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- ID: 9780826453174
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