Harry May Not Cast Spell on Young Readers

Series' impact on number of kids who read for pleasure is negligible
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2007 9:55 AM CDT
Seven-year-old Japanese Potter-mania Moka Suzuki smiles at a preview of the "Harry Potter's World" exhibition at a Tokyo department store Tuesday, July 10, 2007. The six-day event will start Wednesday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Part of the "Harry Potter" series' claim to fame has been the way it reintroduced kids to reading for pleasure, but some educators are skeptical. The percentage of children who read for fun decreases every year as they age, with no measurable impact from Harry. Still, teachers and parents swear that for individual kids, the boy wizard made reading cool.

Part of the problem may be that kids who read Harry Potter books don't necessarily read anything else. Another may be that the longer and longer books turn off some kids who got hooked on the 300-page first volume. And a Stanford professor say reading novels isn't that important anyway—"we’ve overemphasized it."