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Re: [mythsoc] HP V target audience

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  • Catherine Boyle
    Hi, I have a 13 year old daughter who finished the newest HP yesterday morning (I had stayed up all night Saturday to finish it, and my husband has my copy
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 27, 2003
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      Hi,

      I have a 13 year old daughter who finished the newest HP yesterday morning
      (I had stayed up all night Saturday to finish it, and my husband has my copy
      now.)On the surface, I would say you are correct. My daughter reports to me
      that the kids at school all say HP is grammar school stuff, and they all
      want to go see LotR (note I said "see", not "read"). On the other hand, many
      of them are actually reading HP, even if they aren't mentioning it outloud.
      My daughter read HP IV for her May book report, and several other kids she
      knew were also reading it. Encouragement was coming, it turned out, from
      *teachers* who were also reading it, and lending their copies to the kids to
      read during study hall.

      What I think is starting to happen is that HP is offering an opportunity for
      inter-generational dialogue between parents and kids, and that the dialogue
      is actually getting more interesting as the kids get older and the books get
      darker. I've had some unusual conversations with my daughter about choice
      and the nature of evil. In fact, it gave me an opportunity to plug E.
      Nesbitt's amulet book (I can't remember the title.)

      What I find ironic is that while various book clubs, civic organizations,
      etc. are trying to plug the notion of having everyone in a single community
      read the same book, Rowling has actually made it happen. I was at a hospital
      with my daughter for a medical appointment yesterday, where she got into a
      conversation with her geneticist about the book, and I saw other kids her
      age reading their copies in the waiting room.

      Cathy

      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 11
      > Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 21:57:55 -0400
      > From: "Ginger L. Hysell" <glzabel@...>
      > Subject: Re: HP V opine (Target Audience?)
      >
      > I read HPV the night it came out. I stood in a line of 200 people at
      > midnight to get it, and truly enjoyed watching kids and families get
      > excited over reading a book together.
      > I want to see what opinions other have as they read it, however. I
      > disagree that it's "age appropriate." I teach 12 year olds, most of whom
      > think Harry Potter is below them. They come to my English class with the
      > notion that since their younger siblings are reading the Harry Potter
      books
      > it's kid's stuff. Does anyone know the age group Rowlings says she's
      > writing for? My husband things it's turning more to adult readers. While
      > 3rd and 4th graders are the ones reading Harry Potter like there is no
      > tomorrow, I have to agree with him when it comes to content and
      vocabulary.
      > There was a notable lack of teens at the Harry Potter opening bash. Most
      > people were either eight or nine, a parent, or an adult on their own to
      > pick it up at midnight. I'd like to ask Rowling what she gains in her
      book
      > by "effing" and the real social issues of kids cutting themselves that
      come
      > up.
      > Having said that, I think this is her best book yet. She ties up lots
      > of loose ends and develops some characters who were previously flat. It's
      > just not a "kids" story anymore.
      > I'd be curious what others think of the "age appropriateness" issue
      > though. I'll certainly encourage my students to read it if they have any
      > interest in the books at all, but I'm curious about who Rowlings is really
      > writing for.
      >
      > -Ginger
      >
      > --On Wednesday, June 25, 2003, 1:14 PM -0400 Edward Carmien
      > <ecarmien@...> wrote:
      >
      > >> Message: 5
      > >> Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 10:49:57 EDT
      > >> From: Stolzi@...
      > >> Subject: A Harry Potter Sunburn
      > >>
      > >> http://www.comics.com/comics/bignate/archive/bignate-20030625.html
      > >>
      > >> Finished HPV myself last night. Much too long, dull, at least one
      scene
      > >> apparently crafted while looking over one's shoulder to the movie (not
      > >> that I think the movies will get to Vol 5), and the character who dies
      > >> will be missed greatly - by me at least.
      > >>
      > >> Diamond Proudbrook gives it two thumbs down.
      > >
      > > Finished it myself just yesterday morning. 870 pages. Did have some slow
      > > parts (anyone else notice that the more a writer gets paid the less
      > > editing they receive?), but I thought it was a better novel than IV.
      > >
      > > I give it a B. Rowling continues to be spot on with age-appropriate
      > > character development; language and attitude are very 15 years old like
      > > (tweaked to the young side--I'm sure most 15 year olds feel themselves
      to
      > > be more mature than the central characters in HP, and many of them are
      > > probably right). Good homage to a Very British Boarding School theme,
      > > another wrinkle of which is presented here (can't say more without
      > > spoiling). I would hope for but do not expect to see Rowling break a
      > > significant element of the formula in a future novel.
      > >
      > > Many scenes struck me as having a film in mind, and since HP will be
      > > making money for decades to come, I'm sure there will eventually be a
      > > film (or some kind of screen adaptation--IV and V are so long I'd think
      a
      > > mini-series would work better than a film).
      > >
      > > As with much series fiction, many unsatisfying elements relate to the
      > > author "saving" key resolutions for later. So we get the set-up in V and
      > > have to wait for VI for the obvious resolution (OR, as per the general
      > > rule of series fiction, certain characters and character relationships
      > > must remain static, which means there will never be the "obvious
      > > resolution." See * below for spoiler type comment). I feel the same way
      > > about Matrix Reloaded--too much of the narrative was taken out of the
      > > film and put into alternate formats, such as the Animatrix (curious to
      > > know who that kid is that Neo meets in Zion? Its in the Animatrix), the
      > > computer game, and of course the coming-out-later-this-year end of the
      > > Matrix trilogy. Rowling seems to be keeping her younger audience in mind
      > > as well, which is another kind of strait jacket. Her concept spans two
      > > different age brackets (if not three), which means as ole' Harry gets
      > > older she's writing about more young-adult themes but must keep an eye
      on
      > > the children's market sensibility and expectations.
      > >
      > > Just my two cents
      > >
      > > ejc
      > > --
      > > Edward Carmien, Ph.D.
      > > Assistant Professor of English
      > > Westminster Choir College of Rider University
      > > 101 Walnut Lane
      > > Princeton, NJ 08540-3899
      > > V: 609-921-7100, ext. 8235
      > > F: 609-921-8829
      > > ecarmien@...
      > > enigma.rider.edu/~ecarmien
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > * SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
      > > Take Harry's interaction with Snape in HPV for example. He learns why
      > > Snape hated James Potter. Harry learns his dear old Dad (at least in the
      > > context of Snape's recollection: who knows how accurate this memory is?)
      > > was an arrogant prick, at least before he "grew up" toward the end of
      his
      > > Hogwarts career. Everything Harry learns screams out for at least an
      > > attempt at reconciliation, but Harry doesn't even appear to consider
      such
      > > a thing and then reject it in a fit of teen angst. Why not? Snape has to
      > > remain an antagonistic figure to Harry, OR Rowling is saving the
      > > Snape/Potter reconciliation (or at least "mutual understanding") for a
      > > later story, in which it will play the part of hinge in some crucial or
      > > at least semi-crucial role in the plot.
      > >
      > > Oh, and in other news, can we get this kid a new eyeglasses
      prescription?
      > > Rowling's foreshadowing of the news Harry needs new glasses is so thick
      I
      > > thought she'd be naming HP VI "Harry Potter and his New Glasses." :)
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > _____________________________________
      > Ginger L.Hysell
      > Mill Creek Middle School
      > Dexter MI
      > 7th grade English, Newspaper, and Drama
      > Website: www.umich.edu/~glzabel
      >
      > "To be ignorant is not such a shame as to be unwilling to learn." - G. W.
      > Hoss
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
    • Croft, Janet B
      I ve noticed this too -- my daughter is volunteering at a museum this summer, and the other teenagers, the college students, the museum workers, and the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 27, 2003
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        I've noticed this too -- my daughter is volunteering at a museum this
        summer, and the other teenagers, the college students, the museum workers,
        and the retiree volunteers all seem to be reading it. It's an icebreaker
        between these diverse groups.

        Janet

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Catherine Boyle [mailto:ccampboyle@...]
        Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 1:06 PM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] HP V target audience



        What I find ironic is that while various book clubs, civic organizations,
        etc. are trying to plug the notion of having everyone in a single community
        read the same book, Rowling has actually made it happen. I was at a hospital
        with my daughter for a medical appointment yesterday, where she got into a
        conversation with her geneticist about the book, and I saw other kids her
        age reading their copies in the waiting room.

        Cathy





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jack
        ... Let s not overdo this idea of everyone reading Potter. My survey show only about one of ten folks I know who s a heavy reader is reading this book! And
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 27, 2003
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          >What I find ironic is that while various book clubs, civic organizations,
          >etc. are trying to plug the notion of having everyone in a single community
          >read the same book, Rowling has actually made it happen. I was at a hospital
          >with my daughter for a medical appointment yesterday, where she got into a
          >conversation with her geneticist about the book, and I saw other kids her
          >age reading their copies in the waiting room.

          Let's not overdo this idea of everyone reading Potter. My survey show only
          about one of ten folks
          I know who's a heavy reader is reading this book! And even local bookshop
          owners that I've talkled
          to, while grateful for HP V sales, know very well that the bulk of their
          sales this summer will not be
          HP V.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Bill
          Well, I know the Borders I work at sold 2100 copies in 3 days in a area where HP was being sold at all sorts of venues. We made sales plan for the whole month
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 27, 2003
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            Well, I know the Borders I work at sold 2100 copies in 3 days
            in a area where
            HP was being sold at all sorts of venues. We made sales plan
            for the whole
            month based on the first days sales.
            From my conversations with other booksellers, HPV was eagerly
            awaited to
            help boost sales in a bad year (so far) for booksales.
            Bill

            Jack wrote:

            > Let's not overdo this idea of everyone reading Potter. My survey show
            > only
            > about one of ten folks
            > I know who's a heavy reader is reading this book! And even local
            > bookshop
            > owners that I've talkled
            > to, while grateful for HP V sales, know very well that the bulk of
            > their
            > sales this summer will not be
            > HP V.
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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