Fantasy Diversion

aa-harryMy fourth grader is putting me to shame and whizzing through Harry Potter, leaving me in the dust.  I had good intentions of keeping up with her.  She was halfway through book four as I finished book two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The problem with her being ahead of me is that she doesn’t know about spoiler alerts. So I have already learned a few things about books three and four, even though I’m still stuck at the conclusion of book two.  But I don’t want to say anything because she is so cute when it comes to her infatuation with the Harry Potter characters and plot twists.  I enjoy our conversations.

This second book in the series further develops the world of Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School. Harry is a great character, never pompous because of his special abilities, smart, responsible, good-hearted, and likable. The two books I’ve read so far clip along at an interesting pace.  My one complaint is that this second book is pretty similar to the first book: a poor unloved orphan escapes to another world and saves the day.  I was hoping for a little more deviation from the first book.  [It’s also been a while since I read the first book, so it’s true that I could have forgotten some of the differences.]

We are watching the Harry Potter movies together, after reading the books, too, which is always fun.

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A mom-friend told me that the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series is “the next Harry Potter” when it comes to modern kids’ literary cult followings.  I don’t know about that, but I decided to aaa-miss ppick up the first book in the series because I was looking for some fiction to mix in with all the non-fiction I’ve been reading.

Don’t tell my daughter (ha!) but I found the opening chapters of Miss Peregrine’s Home to be much more intriguing than Harry Potter.  Maybe it was the reference to a mysterious immigrant grandfather escaping the holocaust that piqued my interest.  Maybe it was the violent killing of a relative by some unknown, otherworldly creature, that hooked me.  I’m not sure.  I will say that the hero of this story is at times an unsympathetic, spoiled-rich-boy character.  A friend described him as “whiny” and I would have to agree with that.

I thought this book was a fun little diversion, however, and was well-written and interesting enough to keep me engaged.  I also liked that this fantasy book had enough elements of realism to make it seem almost, not quite, but almost plausible that this kind of thing could happen.  The book kept me guessing.  I just might have to pick up the second one sometime.

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