Younger, wiser: Childrens book should never die
Younger, wiser: Childrens book should never die
  • You Shin-hyeong
  • 승인 2013.03.30 15:46
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(International Studies, 4)
Until the age of 12, I used to wait for the Hogwarts acceptance letter. Although the magical school of witchcraft and wizardry from the famous children’s book series “Harry Potter” never became a reality for me, reading the seven book chronicle about a boy who becomes a legendary wizard is the one thing I most clearly remember from my childhood. When the final installment of the series was published in 2007, I felt a twinge of sadness at the fact that the adventures of my good-old-friend Harry, were over. In 2011, I was forced to go through the same experience again when the movie-version of the series opened and closed its last film. However, although the look into the life of Harry had ended, the seven books left me with an experience I will live by forever. Most of the original readers of the series of “Harry Potter” are now grown-ups, fully aware of the difference between fairy tales and reality. But I believe that as a fan of “Harry Potter,” I was silently preparing for my adulthood faster than others did. Throughout the years, J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, had been killing-off beloved characters, revealing heart-aching tragedies, and leaving unresolved questions unresolved. With every book, more emotional challenges were thrown to the readers. However, Rowling knew that the readers were slowly prepares to face the difficulties as the books progressed, ultimately preparing us for the real world. But she provided these life-teachings in a way that gave us a standard, a model to look up to and remind us of friendship, bravery, and all that is good. Although I have taken the example of “Harry Potter,” there were other wonderful children’s books that had kept me overnight, begging my mother to wait for just one more page until lights-out. Books like these talk of a world where good prevails and evil falls, where the righteous survives and the corrupt perishes, gave me a standard to live up to. They provide me with the most basic moralities I often forsake as an adult. Reading children’s books now as a grown-up, I understand the representation of the adult world and how the author provides solutions to problems with the simplest rule of doing what is “right.” Despite the thousands of books on self-development and success, I prefer and trust in the “books for ages 7 to 13” section, than on the books written by the likes of Steve Jobs. I find that since, as Walt Disney said, “Adults are only kids grown up,” the most fitting and life-changing books will always be targeted to our inner child. It seems ironic to endorse books, let alone children’s books, in an era where we prefer screens to pages. But a lot of books nowadays are sold in electronic versions, so I’m not exactly fighting for a lost cause- yet. Hopefully all those Harry Potter-era fans will find themselves reminded of the stories of their childhood and pick up a good kid’s book, rather than their Galaxy3, on the next subway ride home.

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