children's series

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m WEIRD. I’m a weirdo. I don’t ‘fit in’, and i don’t WANT to fit in. Have you ever seen me without this stupid hair ribbon?”

“That’s weird!”

anonymous asked:

I just don't understand why Hufflepuff never won the house cup. Sure, they are not those kind of people who love competitions too much, but hard work is really important if you want to achieve something. Maybe they didn't care too much and didn't put enough effort in it? I just find it weird that it's all about Gryffindor vs Slytherin. Hufflepuff is the best house from many aspects (I'm a Gryffindor), they possess all the qualities to won that damn cup. :D

Because at its core Harry Potter is a childrens series, particularly the first few books, and so some things get simplified

I can guarantee that 80% of kids under 12 will say they’d want to be in gryffindor and 15% would say slytherin because they’re #rebels. It makes sense and I was exactly the same! Until Goblet of Fire, we hardly get to see the ravenclaws or hufflepuffs and as a kid you tend to root for the protagonists and want to emulate them. I wanted to be a gryffindor until I was about 12 because that’s where all my favourite characters were and the only house we really got to know 

So imagine you’ve got all these kids rooting for Harry and then at the end, hufflepuff wins the house cup and ravenclaw wins the quidditch cup. To all those children, who the books are aimed at, it would be incredibly anticlimactic and a bit of a let down

JK Rowling is an incredible story teller and knows her audience. Yeah it’s unrealistic that hufflepuff and ravenclaw didn’t win the house cup for at least 14 years, but it’s a story about a wizarding school I don’t think realism is the biggest priority here

People talk a lot about how Harry Potter taught them about friendship and bravery and love overcoming evil etc and of course I think that’s very important but like…

Harry Potter also taught an entire generation of kids that the news media can’t always be trusted to tell the truth, that the government can often be corrupt or incompetent, that the legal system isn’t always right, that the people in power don’t always have your best interests at heart. That bad things sometimes happen to good people, that your heroes aren’t always as perfect as you think they are, that even those with the best intentions can be wrong, that everyone can make mistakes and that often in order to make things right it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

…and I think in a way that’s every bit as important as the more positive messages.

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6 Reasons Why Series Books Are Great for Kids/Less Practiced Readers

1. They like them.

If you want someone to get  into reading, they need to like the material. If it gets someone to read, that’s the most important thing.

2. Series books mean recurring characters in a familiar setting. 

This allows readers to practice reading without having to learn a whole new cast of characters and a whole new universe to become familiar with.

It might not seem like a big deal to you or me, but to someone who’s still learning to read it takes off a huge part of the stress of picking up a new book, as it means they can focus on the reading and not on learning new info. 

3. They help readers learn how to pick up things like foreshadowing and clues.

Because series books tend to follow a certain formula (e.g. in Harry Potter Harry starts at the Dursley’s, goes to Hogwarts, has some subplots surrounding a mystery, then faces Voldemort or another villain) readers start becoming trained to pick up certain clues. 

If you ever read any Goosebumps as kid (or Nancy Drew, etc), go back and re-read a copy. I’ll bet you’ll be able to pick out the twists before they happen. That’s because now you know what to look for, even if subconsciously.

4. They build up a child’s confidence in their reading abilities.

Children like big numbers. 

Reading lots of short books in a small period of time feels really impressive and satisfying to them. Remember bragging  to your friends about how you read THREE WHOLE BOOKS over the weekend? Did the fact they were shorter books ever matter? 

5. Series books don’t  discourage kids from reading more complex material. They encourage them.

Less practiced readers tend to read in cycles – they’ll read a few series books then pick up something more challenging then read some easier books, and so on. 

Eventually the series books become too predictable and readers move on to the next level on their own. 

Series books are like taking breaks between climbing up a hill – if you go too fast you crash and decide it’s too hard to keep going. If you pace yourself you make it to the top.

6. Nearly all heavy readers and book lovers began with series books.

Literally. 

Research on reading repeatedly find that heavier readers began by practically inhaling any and all series books they could find, until they got to a point where they were too good at a certain reading level and moved on to the next one (all the while trying a harder book every now and then).

That’s certainly  how I learned.

The first books I read in English were Clifford and Biscuit. Then I moved on to Little Critter and Franklin the Turtle books. I soon moved to chapter books like Magic Tree HouseBailey School Kids, and Captain Underpants.

By Grade 6 (roughly a year after learning English) I scored “Grade 12 or higher” in the provincial reading ability test.

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sunny just can’t take aunt josephine’s shit

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“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket

Here’s a fun excerpt from Terry’s 2001 interview with Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket, the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books: 

TERRY GROSS: Have you run into any parents, teachers or librarians who object to either the tone or the content of your books?

DANIEL HANDLER: Not nearly as many as I thought I would. I really thought that there would just be an overwhelming wave of outrage. And instead, there’ve just been a few isolated complaints that I’ve heard. We were banned in one school district in Decatur, Ga. I’ll always have that. They can’t take that away from me.

GROSS: On what grounds were you banned?

HANDLER: Well, I hate to get too catty about Decatur, Ga., but they were very concerned in The Bad Beginning that Count Olaf wants to marry Violet, who is a distant relative. And this strikes me as something that, without being too stereotypical about the South – that perhaps Decatur, Ga., has heard of before, let’s just say.

And, also, I’m at a loss for how to construct a villain who isn’t doing villainous things. If Count Olaf were only doing things that no one would object to, then he really wouldn’t be much of a villain. So I’m somewhat nonplussed by that kind of criticism, that, ‘Boy, Count Olaf is sure a terrible person.’ And so I always have to write back and say, ‘Well, yes. Yes, he is. He sure is. Let’s catch him.’ 

And a woman once in in Oregon came up to me at a bookstore and said, ‘You know, in one of your books, you teach that it is sometimes necessary to lie. And that seems like a very disturbing lesson to me. Can you name one time when it would be absolutely necessary to lie?’ And I was so happy that the answer came to me right away, instead of, you know, as it usually does when people say something to you. And then you think three days later, that’s what I should’ve said. Instead, it came right away. And I was able just to turn to her and say, ‘Nice sweater.’ 

The TV series based on Snicket’s books is now streaming on Netflix. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. Here’s what our TV critic David Bianculli had to say about it.