Harry Potter the Dropout

I don’t want to give away the plot of the latest Harry Potter adventure to those who have not yet read it. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is in many ways the most adult story so far. And it doesn’t suffer from the usual first few chapters of exposition on the history of what came before in the series. Author J. K. Rowling just jumps right into the adventure without so much as a “by-yout-leave”. She seems to basically be telling the reader that if you want to know what’s going on better go read the other books. But as a story it is just fill-in-the-blanks and do a little character development.

Harry has never been the sharpest tool in the shed, and this story is no different. But as a parent I am concerned about Harry’s attitude and his decision to drop out of Hogwart’s. I certainly hope that my children and other muggles reading the book will be able to discern the fact that Harry doesn’t really know enough about magic to do something so foolhardy. The story is full of examples of older wizards doing things that Harry can’t comprehend, or using skills that Harry didn’t even know existed. His own skills fail him throughout. So what makes him think he should strike out on his own?

I have no problem with the nobility of Harry, but I question the message the author may be inadvertently sending. It’s not OK for Harry to dropout. Of course by the next book he could change his mind.

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