(taken from Brian Kenney’s editorial in School Library Journal, November 2007)
At the risk of posting a dated entry, I’ll base my reasoning on a rumor that I heard not too long ago, being that there will not be a Harry Potter movie for each of the seven books written! And, the latest movie has been postponed until 2009! Oh, no! Or, OK, then I’ll read something from the library while I’m waiting. Yes!
“We all remember in our own lives a time when a book has become for us a signpost, a continuing presence in our lives.” (Coles, Robert. The Call of the Stories, Houghton-Mifflin, 1989) For me, books became my friends at an early age, friends that I wouldn’t part with for any reason.
The gist of the School Library Journal editorial is that now that the Harry Potter series has ended, it’s feared that kids will never read again! To quote the editorial's author, “Librarians know this is nonsense. Connecting kids and books doesn’t often have the advantage of a huge media frenzy; it’s more often a one-on-one affair that involves both knowing books and knowing readers.”
I’m reminded of titles I first read in elementary and junior high school: Little Women, Bright Island, and Anne of Green Gables…I could fill pages with titles, I’m sure. Books I’ve read and loved since becoming an adult are A Wrinkle in Time, Mandy, The Orphan Train, Matilda Bone, The Midwife’s Apprentice…again, the list could go on and on!
Many of the above books are considered classics by youth librarians and other book lovers. Some are by contemporary authors and a few are by foreign authors. A classic title is often defined as “a book everyone has heard of but no one has read!” A contemporary title would be one written relatively recently, or one that has a more modern story line, or a multicultural cast of characters.
Librarians talk with kids about interests and experiences and then recommend or suggest books that will be enjoyed by yet another generation. It is hoped that today’s kids and those of the future will continue to be exposed to such characters as Meg and Charles Wallace, Mandy, the March girls, Thankful Curtis, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger as well as those not yet thought of who will live on in their lives for years.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows