I’m Single-Dadding it for a few days whilst Kathi is teaching down in L.A., and our seven-year-old son just made me so proud that I must share.
Post school, post Tae Kwon Do, post dinner (pizza, because Dad’s a little under the weather and doesn’t want to cook), I offered him the chance to finish watching the movie “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
His response, “can I read instead?”
I paused, then said — like it was a concession — “Oh… Okay.”
Here’s what he looks like right now, in the last 200 pages of the seventh book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”:
So I will forever be grateful to J. K. Rowling because her books transfigured my video-game-obsessed son into a reader. Like he had chugged a vial of Polyjuice Potion, only if I’m lucky in his case the transformation will be permanent.
Not to pat myself on the back too vigorously, but I did the right thing by withholding the movies until significant progress happened with the books. He has seen movies one to four and is DYING to see #5, but he’s invested in the written story in a way that he wouldn’t be if he’d galloped past the reading point and watched them all.
But what waits after Harry? What series can capture his imagination so deeply and for so long? For his sister, almost 12, the transforming books were Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series (the first five), and therein lies a tale for another time. For me it was comic books, then Edgar Rice Burroughs, then Star Trek and then Shakespeare.
For a post-Harry boy, what works?
I’ll be eager for suggestions, dear readers.