Over the past few months, I've been reading my son Harry Potter. That's a little surprising to some who know he's only six years old. My partner and I have considered it carefully as there are some very dark themes (for example, Cedric Diggory's death at the end of The Goblet of Fire). But, so far, he's loving it, understanding much more than I thought, and retains an amazing memory of events in the earlier books.
A child who likes Harry Potter....not much of a revelation, is it? I've been quite dismissive of J.K. Rowling's creations in the past. Some years ago, courtesy of Daniel's cousins, I read the first three books. Well, I gave up part way through the third book. They seemed to be the same and included a few unnecessary subplots. (Norbert the Dragon in the first book comes to mind.)
However, I'm now forced to re-read those books and for the first time read more. And there are some things I find quite grating.
But one thing I do like, which I hadn't noticed before, is that Harry has faults. He behaves as one might expect a child to behave. He puts up with an awful lot (like years of child abuse at the hands of the Dursleys). He gets angry when we think he's not entitled to. He holds grudges. He makes bad decisions... and some good ones too.
I can appreciate these books much more now.