Now that the last Harry Potter movie follows the last Harry Potter book, tomorrow's children will not know the excitement that greeted the release of a new Harry Potter book or movie. But it is a tiny miracle that so many children in a generation weaned on TV, the Internet and video games one day decided to pick up a book and engage in the solitary pursuit of reading.
Although products and amusement rides followed, the Potter plot wasn't constructed around merchandising. Rowling invented a complex world, with layered individuals and rough consequences. She wrote with a robust vocabulary -- Latin included -- and children ate it up. There has to be a lesson in here somewhere.
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