Wizard bits

By SHARON STEEL  |  July 18, 2007

Was Harry Potter mania good or bad?
1) Simon Lipskar, literary agent for Christopher Paolini (Eragon), Writer’s House: “All I can tell you is that . . . what I’ve seen is the absolute flowering of excitement and energy within the children’s publishing business with a tremendous feeling that there are opportunities to sell books of all kinds to all kinds of readers, and that there is going to be an enthusiasm and an opportunity for them that never existed previously. I think that the frank fact of the matter is that we think we are selling more copies of our books, which means that someone’s got to be reading them. All you can do is accept the fact that that’s happened.”

2) Amanda Darling, marketing manager, Harvard Book Store: “I think that people are book lovers or not book lovers. Sometimes you need that one book that gets you to be a book lover but stays with you for your entire life. For many people [Harry Potter] is the book that made them love reading . . . or taught them where books can bring you.”

3) Professor Robert Thompson, professor of pop-culture, Syracuse University: “When one is looking back at the various cultural experiences of the last part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century . . . I think Harry Potter is going to be one of things that we will really remember as having gripped the population.”

Do you prefer a bit of the old magic with your YA novels? Here are a few tried-and-true classics (besides The Lord of the Rings, obvs) that weave the supernatural into their narratives:

1) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
2) The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
3) Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
4) The Giver by Lois Lowry
5) The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl

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Related: Bunny girl, Comics for Christ, Breaking the spell, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Young Adult Books, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Hermione Granger,  More more >
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