While I have never had the specific, ill informed, vituperative convictions of the parent group in Americus expressed to me while working as a bookseller, I have had plenty of parents, while having me help them find a book for their reader, tell me that they do not allow their children to read books with witches or magic. Silently fuming, I have kept my mouth shut despite the fact that I so want to ask them if their kids have read any of the books by that canonical Christian author, CS Lewis, a few of which include magic and witches? And, do they encourage their children to believe in Santa Claus, a fellow who clearly couldn't get his job done without a bit of magic? Have they actually read any of the Harry Potter books or other books in the fantasy genre to determine if they truly are a threat to their children? Do they realize how the experience and expression of imagination and creativity benefits children in their adult lives and how reading fantasy develops imagination? And, finally, have they taken the time to get to know their children and their interests and their capacity for sorting out reality and fiction? The thing that saddens me the most is the parental unwillingness or inability to have faith in the intelligence and imagination of their own children, to be able to trust that reading Harry Potter, while it might inspire some robe wearing and wand waving, will not lead (most) readers to want to actually practice magic.
MK Reed is currently working on a new graphic novel, About a Bull, with art by Caroline Kelsey.