Re: Ben Ehrenreich's “The Wizard of Simi” [November 19­25]. Here in South Africa, the Harry Potter series is really taking off. I love these Harry Potter books. They do not treat children like idiots with 10-second attention spans (as most TV does these days). For goodness' sake, do these parents who object to the book really credit their children with so little intelligence as not to recognize the difference between good and bad? If so, it certainly isn't going to be Harry Potter who converts them to “the Dark Side,” but sheer boredom and frustration with their parents.

–Samantha Hillary

Cape Town, South Africa



As a 14-year-old student, I was frankly surprised by the many objections to the Harry Potter series' “occult” references. What do these parents find so shocking? I was raised on Snow White, the Brothers Grimm and more recent fables like the Star Wars movies. All these contain references to some kind of magic. All of them discuss magic turned dark. I have not turned into a serial killer. I have not developed a taste for strange rituals involving animal blood. What I have developed is a taste for reading and the strange idea that good does overcome evil after all. What is wrong with that? Children are growing up surrounded by images of war and violence and fear. Why is this less objectionable than a fairy tale found in an honest-to-God book? Honestly!

–Claire McLendon

Asheville, North Carolina



Ben Ehrenreich's article about the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series would be a bit more credible if he had read the books himself. He refers to Harry Potter's parents as a witch and a warlock. The word

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