A University of Northern Iowa professor says you can use the Harry Potter books to help children learn how to deal with their own struggles — without magic. A mother herself, UNI Professor Gina Burkart is the author of a new book, “A Parents’ Guide to Harry Potter.” Burkart says Harry Potter struggles with a lot of issues other kids do — fear, anger, bullies. She’s found that when kids can talk about another character, they open up about themselves. “It opened up opportunities to find out what was going on in their daily life,” she explains, and gave her a chance to say “Y’know I went through that too, and this is what I did.” Burkart is the mother of three kids, age 8, ten and twelve. She says many people who don’t like the books are afraid of witchcraft — but she says they give a perfect opportunity to talk about it. She says it has parallels to the Christian faith. The strongest is how love saved Harry, she says, because his mother’s love saved him. “In the Christian faith, love is God,” she explains, saying it’s a good way to talk with kids about how Harry was saved and why God is love. Burkart is an Adjunct Professor of English Language and Literature at UNI.
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