A book authored by an English professor at the University of Northern Iowa is already in its third printing in four months and is being translated into Chinese and Indonesian. “A Parent’s Guide to Harry Potter,” by Gina Burkart, focuses on the fantasy book series, the first of which was published in 1999.
Burkart says her book will help adults better grasp the popular books about the orphaned wizard — books which primarily target kids. She says the guide will allow people worldwide to discuss the Harry Potter books and talk about how it connects with their faith, and to allow parents and educators to talk with kids about what’s going on in their lives and bring them closer together. Burkart says since the books deal with witches, wizards and magic, some critics think they’re an evil influence on kids.
She says “Some people are actually burning the books. They think they’re the product of Satan himself and those who read them are going to go to hell.” Burkart says parents may wonder if the books are something they should be frightened or concerned about — and she says the answer is clearly “no.” She says the Harry Potter books have captured the hearts and imaginations of children all over the world, and her guide can help parents better discuss elements of the books — and the kids’ own lives. She says people who think the Harry Potter books are demonic simply haven’t read them.
Burkart says the books are not an “enticement” to get children into witchcraft, “It’s really an avenue to discuss the battle of good versus evil and what’s going on in their lives. The main focus is really on the characters, it’s not on the magic, and magic doesn’t solve any of the character’s problems. They have to struggle just like we do.” The Harry Potter books have sold more than 300-million copies worldwide. Burkart’s guide was first released on July 1st. In addition to being available in English, Chinese and Indonesian, it is also going to be sold as an English-language audio-book. This is Burkart’s first book.