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Back when I was teaching third grade in a not too great neighborhood, I had a bunch of kids with subpar reading skills. They didn't want to read, they had never been exposed to anyone who read, no one had bothered to read to them, as far as they knew reading was boring. Just to get them to read, I brought in a stack of second hand comic books, Archies and Batmans and Supermans and Hulks, stuff they'd like to read (no X-Men, though, couldn't get them at a decent price and it was coming out of my pocket). At first the kids thought I had cracked. Comic books? You've got to be kidding! But they liked it. At first they were just looking at the pictures (these are eight-year-olds, keep in mind), then they started reading the stories. Every now and then they'd come to a word they could not understand, "luminous" and "metamorphosis" and "ecstatic," so I taught them to use the dictionary. From comic books they graduated to very young readers, from very young readers to just young readers. By the end of the year most of the children, several of whom were functionally illiterate when they got into my class, were at grade level.

I am all for anything that encourages reading, and that includes Harry Potter.

Uhura :o)
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