For the Modern Classics Challenge 2018 category of A Banned Book I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling. This was not my first time reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but it was my first time reading it with my kids! I love all of the Harry Potter books! I do not understand why so many people have tried to ban them. All I can figure is that it is because it is a work of fantasy, but there are tons of other stories out there that are fantasy as well that don’t take the heat the Harry Potter books have taken. I believe they are well written, have multiple layers, reference many different works of art, science, and historical events, and to top it off they also delve pretty deeply into psychology and the human condition. I was particularly struck this go around by how the Boggart is an excellent analogy for anxiety. Anxiety is our fearful and paralyzing reaction to what we are afraid of, and the only way to vanquish that fear is to recognize just how that fear is ridiculous. For example, you might be afraid that something might happen to your children (I think that is every mother’s greatest fear). You can recognize that fear as being ridiculous on several levels: 1) Odds are it will never happen. 2) You say “your children” as if they belong to you, but do they? 3) Is the purpose of life really to avoid pain? There are probably many others, and maybe you thought of an even better example.
Do I think Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a classic? Absolutely! I see these books being around for a very long time thanks to the reasons I listed above!