Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on harry potter for children and adults. But is it meant solely for children? May not an adult derive the same pleasure from the book, perhaps on an even more profound level owing to her greater experiences of life? To define it as strictly “for children” would be discrediting the author and his work.

The reasons I include the above elements in distinguishing between literature meant for children and adults are several. The use of fantasy depends on a child’s ability to suspend disbelief more easily than an adult. If the reader makes to herself statements like, “But there’s no such thing as a Bread-and-Butterfly”, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass is stripped of almost all its charm. The child’s willingness, even eagerness, to believe in the magical, the unreal is what makes fantasy devices so very effective in children’s literature.

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High-spirited adventure, usually associated with books aimed at boy readers, again need a lot of active participation from the reader. The child, looking for an escape from the humdrum routine of school, the rules of the home, will gladly join in with the band of merry boys sailing away to unknown lands or girls who drop through rabbit-holes for hours at an end. Running away to foreign lands, living behind waterfalls or in ditches, getting kidnapped: may all be ideas that no longer appeal to the realist adult. But to a child, they are what make life worth looking forward to.

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