Actor Says Educators who Praise Children for Reading Harry Potter are “Idiots”

114

Sep 25, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

In a recent interview, a character actor from Scotland who portrays the popular Inspector Rebus has launched an odd attack of sorts on those in the education field who favor children reading the Harry Potter novels. The Scotsman reports that actor Ken Stott (who also appeared in “The Girl in the Cafe” directed by David Yates) said the following during an interview with Radio Times:

“If we’re going to make a fuss about children reading books, do it with Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books, not JK Rowling.

“I can’t believe idiot educationalists are praising children for turning up at school and reading Harry Potter.”

In a small bit of irony, the Rebus series are based on works by author Ian Rankin, a longtime friend and neighbor of J.K. Rowling in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Stott continued on in his interview about his future, noting “I’ll remain a grumpy old man.” We wish him continued success with his grumpiness!





238 Responses to Actor Says Educators who Praise Children for Reading Harry Potter are “Idiots”

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he should have not said that! Every is entitled to read what he wants. I love harry Potter and I love His Dark Material. We can have both!

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What a fool! His Dark Materials is an excellent trilogy, but Harry Potter is also an excellent septology (think I got that right?!!) – I don’t see any reason for this ridiculous attack on perfectly good books!!

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I would think, given this man’s apparent intelligence, that he would catch on. It’s not WHAT they’re reading. It’s the fact that they ARE reading! Children have to start, somewhere and ‘His Dark Materials’ would not be my first choice for a 7-year-old! That would be more inappropriate for their age group, I think.

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I’ve seen it only too much—an elitist pleasure derived from branding the HP series as not-good-literature.

Snobs.

(And I’m a fan of both series as well!)

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What a total MORON – I’m a teacher and I know how literacy skills are sadly dropping – anything, and I mean ANYTHING that children will read should be praised and encouraged, especially something that is of the quality of J.K.’s books.

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Nitwit.

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It’s stupid when you don’t consider reasons behind it. I agree with Gail Callicott; kids should read things that are easy and fun to read. oh well, that’s only one moronic opinion after another. HP pwns all!

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God I hope that was taken out of context; because if he meant what he said, he is a complete jerk. You can not dictate to kids what they will like and wont and to try and do so is just going to turn them off to reading. If I had something like Harry Potter to read when I was a kid I might have started to like reading a decade earlier. It is not like there were not tons of entertaining books to read when I was young, there was, but this series got an entire generation, maybe two, reading at the same time and that makes it fun for kids, instead of a chore which would be flat out stupid.

John B.

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Curse this guy. How dare he insult JK Rowling’s books

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yeah what a stupid thing to say it is a good series they both are but like everyone else said whatever gets kids and people in general to read is fine by me reading is supposed to be fine and take to you magical imaginative places in your mind.so that guy is a real arse.i love Emma Watson if you can’t tell and i can’t wait to see her in Ballet Shoes.I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee Emmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Watsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

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Good grief!! Any educator who DOESN’T praise kids for reading JKR or anything else is an idiot. The earlier you start reading (or having someone read to you) and the more you read, the better. If you can’t read or don’t read, you’re missing a huge chunk of life.

Avatar Image says:

Except that the themes of Rowling’s work & Pullman’s work are totally opposite. Pullman’s dark materials is designed to lead people towards atheisim, in opposition to CS Lewis’ Narnia works. Rowling’s works, while not purporting to be an explicit Christian message, stand more in the same camp as Lewis & Lengle.

That being said, everyone’s free to read whatever they want. And everyone, including Mr. Stott, is free to criticize whatever they want. Even if he is being a bit of an idiot…

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He’s entitled to his opinion! Well, so am I and I think he should stick to acting instead of spouting off about something he obviously knows nothing about!

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I think we know who the real “idiot” is in that article.

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Shouldn’t children be praised for reading, no matter the book? What is this guy’s problem?

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I love you, Sue, for wishing him continued success with his grumpiness!!!!

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laaame!

I mean, I read books before Harry Potter and I started the series when I was ten. So an arrogent part of me agrees with him, but still—not the best phrasing and definitely not the best public statement to be making when HP HAS made such an impact on reading.

haven’t started HDM yet, plan on it.

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Kids should be praised for reading anything now, teens are claiming books are ‘boring’ but they haven’t even picked one up! What a nitwit.

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Yeah this has to do more with ideology than anything else. I don’t particularly care if he’s entitled to his opinion. Being entitled to an opinion is not the same as being entitled to using his position to broadcast his beliefs. He wants to believe what he believes, then let him believe, nobody is stopping him. But he should not attack others for their beliefs. Bloody fool.

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Oh, what ridiculousness! I have a Master’s Degree in Literature, so perhaps Mr. Scott will consider me a more qualified person to assess whether someone is an “idiot” for praising such a book? Perhaps not. Nonetheless, there are three clear flaws in his argument:

1) The question is, as Gail Callicott said earlier, “not WHAT they’re reading… but the fact that they ARE reading!” We should commend a child in second or third grade who starts reading Harry Potter. He or she is attempting to read something quite complex linguistically at an early age. Clearly, Mr. Scott does not have a firm grasp on literacy education. Of course, he’s an actor. So, are we really surprised?

2) It is very arbitrary to say that Pullman’s work is on a higher literary level than Rowling. More specifically, it is a sign of an inexperienced amateur who praises the darker, bitterer text over the lighter, more positive text simply because it is so. If we want to speak of a children’s text that is clearly “literature,” then we must look to “Alice in Wonderland,” the work of Poe, and other such books for our aim. If we look to contemporary literature (as I think we should), then choosing Pullman over Rowling is, quite frankly, ridiculous, and speaks more to Scott’s lack of experience as much as anything.

3) Even if we except, for the moment, that Pullman is a higher literary work than Rowling, the truth is that they are two authors working within the same genre. In this case, it is very difficult to find fault in the one without finding fault in the other. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is much the same as saying that Emerson is high prose, but Thoreau is not worth our time. In fact, critics made such a claim when the works first came out, but now the literary community rejects such criticism. Either we must reject all Transcendentalist literature or not. Do we say that Shakespeare is literature and Christopher Marlowe is trash? Do people who encourage us to read “Faust” deserve to be called “idiots”? I certainly hope not.

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I think the quote may have been taken slightly out of context, but let me say something. Mr. Stott doesn’t seem to truely understand the problem with children illiteracy. As a high school student and a teacher’s assistant at the 3rd grade level, it’s very hard to get kids reading. So far, in my reading group, Harry Potter is the only book that has sparked intrest.

Avatar Image says:

Who does this man think he is to call other people idiots out in the open? I am sorry, but this is another example of broad minded becoming the new closed minded…Stick to acting you Ken Stott, cuz a diplomat you ain’t.

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gosh! why do people think that just because we read Harry Potter, we read nothing else? whatever, I couldn’t care less about his opinion. but HDM is pretty awesome, I have to say.

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What a complete #jerk!!! It shouldn’t matter what the children are reading, the fact is that reading has finally become another favorite past time in this generation of children!! J.K. Rowling is awesome author and I think that he books are good for children, because of the underlying messages that she is trying to teach us. Keep on reading!!

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And (after reading said article) I would like to add that not because he can act he can criticize people that HAVE STUDIED children psychology and therefore understand more on the subject. Me thinks he fancies himself as an all knowing cultural gurú.

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...........

To quote the great Hermione Granger, “What. An. Idiot.”

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what a maroon!

He needs to get a life, or get “some” or something…

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I guess I was wondering what makes this guy such a great critic of fine literature. Just because he can act doesn’t make him an expert on modern works. College courses have been developed to discuss these books. I bet he cannot say that about anything he has been apart of.

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maybe he wanted a part in the HP films and they wouldnt hire him? .... this is me trying to rationalize his hateful comments.

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A grumpy old man should not use his grumpiness as an excuse for blurting out statements he has not thought through very well. A grumpy old man should have lived long enough to know where to direct his grumpiness to effect the best outcome. Else his grumpiness can descend to the level of pedestrian irritability.

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This guy is such a miserable git in interviews and he only plays miserable characters so I don’t give a toss what he thinks. Like many have already said, it’s that kids are reading again rather than what they’re reading.

And I really don’t enjoy His Dark Materials as much as Potter, I think that trilogy is very overrated.

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This is ridiculous. You can really see that this guy is not familiar with the series. There is no man who read the books and says things like that. Maybe he should read them first before talking such **!

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Oooh! Aren’t we the touchy one. That’s silly what he’s said. These books have actually helped people to learn the English language.

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Well, I dont much like Ken Stott either, but I dont go round telling everyone…..

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“I’ll remain a grumpy old man.”

Add to that STUPID MUGGLE.

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Kyle Davis

You’re making some excellent points in that furious tirade aginst Stott. Personally, I think that he spoke rashly and probably hasn’t even read so much as a leaf from the Harry Potter series,but please don’t make scathing, sweeping judgements about actors in your hastiness!

Most actors adore literature in all forms, it is the basis of their profession after all.I feel just at home reading Shakespeare and Twain as I do reading Harry Potter and I don’t feel like I am condescending to read Rowling when I open a book.

Also, if you have seen any of Stott’s work, you’ll understanding his leaning towards the darker side, he is well-known for his grumpy, bitter portrayal of a detective with questionable morals.

As Dumbledore would say:

“In your admirable haste to uphold the law you seemed to have overlooked a few laws yourself.”

Avatar Image says:

“maybe he wanted a part in the HP films and they wouldnt hire him? .... this is me trying to rationalize his hateful comments.”

heheee!! my thoughts exactly!! maybe he thought yates would give him a role in the movie. n it probably didn’t happen!

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I’m in total agreement. Anything that gets children reading is a good thing. Statements like the one Ken Stott made are born of ignorance.

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I dont care what that snob says. The HP books are the most brilliantly written books iv ever read. What does he know. Ill bet he hasnt even read them!

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Just another stupid snob who wants to show off. I feel sorry for this sort of people. XD

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Well, he’s right: Pullman’s books are superior to Rowling’s in every way. But if the latter gets kids to actually crack open books, you can’t really complain; hopefully, it leads to reading Pullman and other truly outstanding literature.

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This guy is such an idiot! I have the Dark Materials trilogy and all the Harry Potters, and I have read the Harry Potters way more than the Dark Materials. As someone said before me, ‘I think that trilogy is very overrated.’

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Ahhh, just sour grapes. He probably wanted the role of Slughorn.

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Well, he says this out of sheer jealousy ….And he’s incredibly idiotic …..

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My 3rd grade daughter wanted to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone for the first time over the summer. I love the series and was thrilled, but not as much as I was when I found out that reading it made her FINALLY love to read. She got so into reading and read all summer long. When school started her reading level had jumped a grade level and a half in 3 months! Anything that gets my kids excited about reading like that is wonderful!

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If I see that Ken Stott has a large part in a play/series I make a point of NOT seeing it. I find his characters unpleasant or bad-tempered, or both, so why bother?

I have read His Dark Materials twice, but I don’t get as much pleasure from that trilogy as I do from Harry Potter. In my opinion, J.K.’s work is a far greater stimulus to children’s minds, especially when many of them can, under supervision, seek out interesting areas to research on the web, because they soon learn that there is more “under the surface” information to be gleaned in her writing. In this way the books can grow as the child grows and understands more of the outside world. This, to my mind, is the first principle of teaching, “stimulate imagination and curiousity.” How can any educator decry that? The gilt on the gingerbread, of course, is that they are all gripping reads.

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Personally, I think some of the philosophies in His Dark Materials are WAY too heavy for young children. Harry Potter may be dark, but it’s not nearly as dark as His Dark Materials (I find HP more positive). I know that’s an entirely subjective observation, but I think many would agree. A well written book doesn’t mean that it will have a positive influence on a child’s phyche, just on his or her reading ability. Though I’d be very hesitant to even hand a 10 year old the final HP book, I’d rather do that than give the child a book by Philip Pullman.

Certain concepts in the Pullman books are not appropriate for young children (in my opinion). Of course, I know that’s entirely subjective. ;) I’m merely commenting on age appropriateness.

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Also, while the writing of the Pullman series may be superior I don’t consider the morals superior in any way. Harry Potter has a less convoluted message and HP is more optimistic. (Naturally, that’s just my opinion. I’m not looking for an aguement.)

Avatar Image says:

What exactly is his problem with the Harry Potter books? He can’t just say they should read something else instead. Personally I think this is some sort of odd publicity stunt, or just an example of someone saying something stupid for no particular reason. I love His Dark Materials, but those books are even darker than HP, and I find it odd that parents aren’t in an uproar over the religious under/over tones in HDM, like they were over the “witchcraft” in Harry Potter. Either way, kids are reading, so he just needs to get a life.

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i totally agree i mean you can’t say one author is highly superior over the other i mean they are both imaginative magical series HP and His Dark Materials but does that mean one is higher over the other because it is more darker then light hearted i mean reading is fantastic and if it makes a person read more to them and it should be an exciting wonderful imaginative read something that is captivating and you should never pick one author over another.it would also be like picking Tolkien over Lewis or like someone said Shakespeare over Marlowe or Robert Jordan over Terry Brooks or Roald Dahl over Lewis Carrol you can’t just do that cause every author is talented in their own way.BTW I Loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Emmaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Watsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnn so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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Grey Lady:

Hmmm. Tirade is a bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it? As to my “scathing, sweeping judgments about actors,” I believe you may have misunderstood me. Quite understandable, as I’m sure I wasn’t completely clear. What I said was:

“Clearly, Mr. Scott does not have a firm grasp on literacy education. Of course, he’s an actor. So, are we really surprised?”

My point (and I think it a valid one) was a) that Mr. Scott does not have a firm grasp on literacy education and b) that we shouldn’t expect him to, given that he is an actor, not a teacher. My comment about his being an actor had nothing to do with his ability, or lack thereof, to speak as an expert on literature. It is his views on literature that show his inexpertness, not his being an actor. Many actors and directors are quite good at interpreting literature. It is, in many cases, a required part of the job.

The point is that an actor should not presume to tell experts in the education field that he/she knows more than they do about teaching literacy. I would not presume to tell an actor the best way to portray a character. If I could do that, I would be an actor. As Jason said, “Just because he can act doesn’t make him an expert on modern works.” However, it does mean that he is a reader, as we all are. Trained literary experts are simply trained to read better. It doesn’t mean that the word of a literary expert is law. To quote Sirius in the film version of CoS: “Brilliant, Snape. Once again you’ve put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion.” That is often true of literary professionals. Any literary expert with a “keen and penetrating mind” can come to the “wrong conclusion” about a literary work. Some are too vain admit it. I’m not. However, those who have not been trained as literary professionals can also be just as vain. To make as baseless a claim as Scott made in an attempt to establish his own artistic values as sacrosanct is nothing more than blind arrogance.

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as a british person in britain who watches british tv (and has a mum who is very into inspector series’) I can honestly say I have NO IDEA WHO HE IS. so therefore what he says is unimportant- possibly he’s trying to use high profile potter to boost his own profile?

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to prove my point, I said the quote was CoS, and it was PoA. Ironic and unintentional. ;)

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Well, I certainly won’t be reading His Dark Materials now. That man has always been a miserable git and he’s not that great an actor either.

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If I had a child or grandchild who literally did not read anything for pleasure, I would praise them for reading an entire cereal box.

At least then they would know what kind of nutrition they were getting. And it could, with encouragement, lead to reading books.

It isn’t what they read, it’s that they read at all! ;)

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It’s fine that Stott prefers Philip Pullman to JKR. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. But why use “idiot” to describe JKR fans???

Grumpy Old Man INDEED!!!!!

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Do people really think Pullman’s writing style is better than JKR’s? I’ve only read the first two books of the His Dark Materials series, but I can’t stand his lack of character and plot development. It’s driving me crazy in fact. I just started reading the Amber Spyglass last night, so I hope it gets better. But to say a series is better written because the plot is more violent and their is a direct discussion regarding spirituality, is just stupid.

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Julie: Don’t not read His Dark Materials now just because of what someone completely unconnected with the books said. They’re good and well worth a read and many people do find them superior to Potter, while still acknowledging Rowling’s greatness. I personally prefer Potter and feel HDM is overrated, but many would disagree with me. The trilogy is definitely worth a read.

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I think he’s just jealous coz more people have heard of Harry Potter than of him.

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Mollywobbles I agree. That’s why I’m not a huge fan of them. I just didn’t care about the characters in HDM. I cared about Harry from the the first few pages of Philosiphers Stone.

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They obviously haven’t read them-I help with reading with younger kids at school and they struggle with reading even at 9/10 years old,so anything that gets kids reading is worth it! HP and his dark materials are my favourite series of books and kids should be left to read whatever they want and enjoy,no matter if its “stupid” literature.

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If we’re going to make a fuss about what critics say, let it be about the opinions of literary and educational experts, not about the opinions of B grade television actors!

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Don’t be so harsh on him. It’s obvious, no matter how much older people like the books, that the first books in the HP series are written for a younger age. They are also, no matter HOW enjoyable, not the paragon of literary quality. I maintain JK is a master storyteller but not quite a master writer. Pullman, however, has both. This can largely be attributed to his experience, of which JK was lacking. Put together I WOULD say there is more to praise in someone reading and understanding Pullman over JK. There’s far more subtext and literary allusion in HDM. It’s a heavier read. Children should be praised for reading period, but they should not be coddled.

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Kyle

I took you up wrong. I understand what you are saying completely, and I agree with your comments about Stott. I interpreted what you said as:

"Actors are obviously too stupid to know anything about literature"

I thought you were making one of those clichèd statements that so irks me.Your thoughts are clearer to me now.:-)

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Oh, and attacking someone’s job or ‘credentials’ for what is essentially HIS OPINION, is bad form. He’s allowed to think whatever he likes. This may be taken out of context or it may be a snippet of his reasoning. Not liking Harry Potter doesn’t mean you’re an idiot or unqualified. Since when do you have to be a literary critic to NOT like a book? Critics do people’s thinking FOR them, that’s their job. I personally can’t stand books 5-7 because of what I see as a degenerating writing style. Too many loose ends and not enough editing. My credentials? English major and avid reader BEFORE Harry Potter, not to mention I’m a writer myself. Someone else may not like them all and have a SCIENCE background. It doesn’t make someone an idiot to not like what you do.

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Dunderhead.

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I’m a bit disappointed Ken Stott has said this. I think he’s a great actor, and I’m a fan of the Rebus books. I hope maybe that he was mis-quoted or something, but, he might not, I know he is a bit of a miserable bugger.

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half-brained muggle…lolz…i bet hes never read the HP books himself… i guess we know who actually d “idiot” here, right?!! i mean…cummon..i LUV Phillip Pullman, but I jo n HP need 2 be credited 4 getting kids 2 actually READ…dunno wats his problem??

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“It doesn’t make someone an idiot to not like what you do.”

Somone liking something you do not doesn’t make them an idiot either.

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hehe..bet he wanted sum part in HBP n didn’t get it! ;)

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I can’t believe someone can be so closed minded.

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Wow thats funny coming from someone that made good money from these “DUMB” books!!!

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I would like someone to show me WHY Pullman is a better writer than JKR. I’ve seen just as many mistakes and poor decisions in his series as JKR’s.

Reena, I have to disagree with you. I do not think Pullman is as strong as a storyteller as Jo is. Like I said previously, I have not read the last book, but so far I cannot relate to any of the characters. If I can’t sympathize with Lyra or Will, I can’t get into the plot. And let’s be honest, the plot isn’t very well defined either.

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To down pro-Potter people and a fellow Scot and a unique author who’s saga has practically enthralled the whole world(JK Rowling) makes him the real idiot and one of the highest order. Stott and his comments make a troll look like a brain surgeon and Uncle Vernon a genius to put it in Potterish.Great Scot? Not!

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To down pro-Potter people, a fellow Scot and a unique author(Jo Rowling) who’s saga has practically enthralled the whole world makes him the real idiot and one of the highest order. Stott and his comments make a troll look like a brain surgeon and Uncle Vernon a genius to put it in Potterish.Great Scot? Not!

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oops! that should be whose of course

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Well that was a rather rude thing to say. I’ve read His Dark Materials and sure they’re great books but they’re also fairly complicated for children to get into. With Harry Potter children find it a bit easier to get into reading. This may be a bad comparisson but the HP books are the gateway drug to reading. They build up in plot and story with each book allowing children to grow. With these books children will find it easier to get into books like His Dark Materials and even Lord of the Rings.

I just find it funny that he would mention His Dark Materials cause usually you hear the argument that children should be reading Lord of the Rings! LOL! Oh, well. Maybe he’s just mad he hasn’t been cast in an HP film and they’re almost done with the series. ;)

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Personally, I see this whole “children can read _ but never _” as a huge problem. If a child wants to read any book, so long as it does not have inappropriate content for their age, I see no reason why they should not be allowed to read it. If a seven-year-old picks up the fifth Harry Potter book, encourage it! It will probably be tough reading for someone that age, but it won’t hurt them. It can only help them learn, because if you read a book you enjoy, you are 100% more likely to pick up another, and another after that. Basically, I think, if a kid likes Harry Potter, they’re much more likely to like Shakespeare.

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wow…. if anyone’s an idiot…. it’s that stupid actor!

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that is so funny, so what he really objects to is that kids aren’t reading the books that he wishes that they would read… bizarre you can’t argue with the fact that the HP book have influenced thousands upon thousands of kids to read books when they normally wouldn’t… most kids wouldn’t even know who Philip Pullman is if it wasn’t for Harry Potter, and his books wouldn’t be being made into major motion pictures if it wasn’t for the success of the HP movies. and as far as content is concerned the dark materials series is significantly different from HP as well, and nowhere near as deep or insightful… but I digress

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Pullman’s Dark Materials are quite good, but I cannot believe anyone would prefer children reading that to Harry Potter. I mean, story line, writing sophistication, characters… JK Rowling is supreme in every way.

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Sounds like someone is upset he hasn’t been cast in the films … :P

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Hypocritical elitist snob. His Dark Materials is good, but it’s no more noteworthy than Harry Potter. I’m betting he has not read the books because he can’t see the words with his nose so high in the air.

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I fail to see why this is a news piece relevant to fans. It would be different if David Yates himself were saying it, or an actor like Gambon. <_<

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Ugh.

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What an idiot. He probably doesn’t even know that David Yates directs the movies, even though he was in a Yates film himself. Yeah I’m stupid. I mean, I’m just busting my butt in medical school, but that makes me an idiot. I guess the billion other people who read Potter are idiots also. But he’s not. How arrogant can you get?

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Oh yeah, and also I guess all these sites, Leaky HPANA, Veritaserum, not to mention all the conferences and debates and theories and papers are idiots, according to this no-namer. He didn’t offer any points to support his statement and that is because he hasn’t cracked open a HP book himself. He just wants to make some noise by saying absolutely nothing. It’s not like I value his opinion over mine, but it seems like he expects me to.

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What if Harry Potter becomes a “trampoline” for kids to enjoy reading and eventually they move on to read things like His dark material? Would that be idiotic too?

If the books had poor grammar and spelling mistakes like say, the internet, then fine. This is typical of a man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

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Git. In my opinion, I think the HP books are far superior to HDM in key ways. I’ve read both series as a 30-something adult, and HDM is full of character and plot inconsistencies between the books, complicated vocabulary, and boring passages. I couldn’t even finish HDM’s last book out of disgust, and I’m part of the academic world—how is a young reader supposed to put up with it? Who is this Stott guy, anyway? Britain’s version of Tom Cruise (in the idiot/fanatic sense)? Well done to all the teachers out there who encourage kids to read, and thanks to JKR for sharing her wonderful imagination with us.

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Oh well! He probably jealous that JKR is more popular than him.

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It’s not so much that they’re reading Harry Potter, but that Harry Potter is leading them to other books. He’s missed the point completely. Harry Potter isn’t hard to read; we know that. It’s a completely accessible series. It’s the books that the kids read after reading Harry that people are excited about. Harry Potter has led me to Pride and Prejudice as well as some other excellent novels.

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What a jerk! It’s very hard to get kids to read at all these days. They would rather watch TV or play video or computer games. Reading is a great pastime for children to pick up, so this idiot shouldn’t be criticizing. Especially since Rowling is one of the greatest authors of all time.

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As a parent of a 10 year old HP fan (and one myself), I respectfully disagree that “it doesn’t matter what kids are reading as long as they read something”. There are plenty of things I won’t let my child fill her mind with – R.L. Stine books come to mind. But we think the Harry Potter books are terrifically well-written, exciting, deeply imaginative and a positive influence on a child’s developing moral sense. What else could you want in youth fiction?

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ha i went to see how this dumb arse looks on imdb and they don’t even have a pic of him lol shows however knows him not lol yeah you should never say a book series is bad cause Harry Potter isnt and i read HDM and the Golden Compass was exciting but then the subtle knife got boring after awhile and it won’t compare to HP but it is still a good series of books and yes HP does lead people to read other books and series of books,which i am grateful for instead of kids wanting to play games all the time they are enjoying the fun and imagination and wonders a book can provide.I LOVE EMMA WATSON ALL THE WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

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Second rate actor who wants attention by trying to hate on the Potter series and J.K. Rowling. What a loser!

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What an arrogant statement to make. Certainly, His Dark Materials are exceptional books and I’m inclined to view them as being of slightly more originality and literary caliber than Harry Potter. Still, to say such things about J.K. Rowling’s works is utterly foolish. I strongly doubt he has even opened the books.

Besides, considering the influence of television and the internet on children these days, ought we not to express gratitude that they are opening any book at all? Just because it isn’t the best out there doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t read it anyways. I’d rather my child read a book considered mediocre by a few rabid critics than watch the mindless programmes on television any day.

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I can’t believe anyone would say Joe’s books are not superior literature or just are not up to the standards Pullman’s works. I agree with those who say that a sign of good literature is that you can relate with the characters- feel for them. Not that I don’t embrace all literature styles and genres, because I do, but never in my life have I read anything like Harry Potter. What Joe was able to do is so very rare. I’m not saying she is perfect, becuase obviously that is impossible. But I can say honestly that she is just about as close to it as one can come. Acting like her books are below you or saying (as if it is a fact) that they below other “adult” books is just literary snobbery.

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Yeah, Harry Potter is reall awful, seeing as how it got millions of children to start reading (including me)...

His Dark Materials, in my opinion, are rather dull and dry

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Alas, what an idiot. You can stay grumpy all your life you pathetic muggle. His Dark Materials is a terrific series but Harry Potter is simply amazing. Nothing can beat it!!!

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Do you think he’s the male version of Laura Mallory? I think so. Why do people like him have problems with Harry Potter. does impression of Hermione in DH lol. What a jerk though.

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There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. He’s just being difficult, unfortunately for him, we outnumber him immensely. I love Harry Potter and I love His Dark Materials(almost finished with The Amber Spyglass), but you can’t really compare the two. They’re both wonderful classics in their own rights and both very different series. Please, people, let’s have more class then this man and not sink to his level.

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Let him say what he wants, he’s entitled to have an opinion, but it seems like an incredibly closed-minded and uneducated thing to say.

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Alas, he’s too well educated for the likes of Harry Potter. We can only aspire to his reading level. If only he said something sooner, we would all have been saved from this horrible fate, woe is us!

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Phil Pullman denigrates religion while Rowling comes out deeply in favor of the most important aspects of Christian faith. The seventh book makes this incredibly clear. So, I guess, only an idiot would be into that, right? :-S What a poor, narrow-minded man.

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Interestingly enough Harry Potter has lead children to love reading and helps pull them into the world of literature. I happened to be one of those children that is now an adult and grew up with Mrs. Rowlings characters. It has lead me to other great literature such as Philip Pullman Dark Materials series. It only takes one really great peice of literature to capture the mind and imagination of a child. Once this happens they can continue an adventure through other amazing stories.

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“Alas, he’s too well educated for the likes of Harry Potter. We can only aspire to his reading level. If only he said something sooner, we would all have been saved from this horrible fate, woe is us! Posted by ScottMan on September 25, 2007 @ 04:06 PM”

LOL “We must not sink beneath our despair, but struggle on…”

What a complete Muggle. I agree with the consensus here, he must have been passed over for a part in HBP.

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i cannot belive that someone has critisiced such amzaing books..these are not just childrens book the first 2 maybe slightly but from then on they are much darker and complex.. only a fool would criticise the most worldwide known books!

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So, I know a million people have said already…sorry.

As one of those idiot educationalists “teachers,” I think I speak for all of us when I say we are more then delighted when our students are reading anything. Yes, I am proud of my students who read Harry Potter, it is difficult material and many many pages. Clearly, Mr. Stott, has never tried to teach anyone to read.

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Aah, he’s just mad about not being cast in the Harry Potter movies! =)

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OK, I think it’s worth noting that Northern Lights/The Golden Compass is a fantastic book, (and the movie should be great too) but as a trilogy His Dark Materials is a MESS, particularly the last book ‘The Amber Spyglass’ where Philip Pullman seemingly decided that all he would do is hammer his points across in often random and bordering on nonsensical ways instead of concentrating on crafting a great story. The only good part is Lyra and Will being seperated at the end.

Harry Potter is a much better series that is definitely more suitable for kids to read. NOT because it is written with a ‘Christian’ flavour, that has nothing to do with it, but because it’s just…better! At least you can make sense of it, and the characters are written well. Anyone who thinks the books are bad hasn’t read them, they just take the hype into consideration.

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“We wish him continued success with his grumpiness!”

I heart you, Sue!!! :D

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Oh no he didn’t. waves finger

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Oh my God, what an idiot. The His Dark Mateirals series is such badly written rubbish. I only managed to force myself to read the first book and it was so lame, it reads like a transcript for an RPG game.

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I SAY KILL THE STUPID MUGGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pullman’s work starts out interestingly enough but turns into an anti-religious screed. His hatred of religion practically jumps from the page. His deliberate confusion of good and evil made the books very difficult for me to get through. Pullman’s books are not great literature, they do not speak to the human spirit, and I very much doubt they will stand the test of time.

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It’s hard to take a comment as ridiculous as Mr. Stott’s seriously. How ignorant can someone be?

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Speaking as a teacher I am delighted when children read ANY age appropriate book. When it is something as imaginative, engrossing and emotional as Harry Potter then even better. I am not a fan of the Philip Pullman books, I found the trilogy rather boring and only read it as many of my class had, but if one of my students was reading them I would encourage them. What a totally ignorant comment from Mr Stott.

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Any one who says that people who praise Harry Potter in education, are idiots themselves. This guys is a total idiot and is stupid for saying that the other people are idiots.

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Merlin’s pants!!!How rude! He’s a total git

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git

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Fights the urge to curse

Mr. Stott can step into my 8th grade English class anyday and at the end tell me that he wouldn’t be happy to see a kid reading anything at all. Until that day, he should just shut his mouth because he has no idea what he’s talking about. A kid may get started on HP and then move on to something else. But, we’re all different and we all like to read different things. Some people don’t read novels; they read only nonfiction books or trade magazines. The point of getting kids reading something that will interest them like HP is to build up their comprehension and deduction skills, not test them on who won the Quidditch Cup in third year. God, I’m so angry! I wish I could rant and rave some more, but I have papers to grade, because unlike Mr. Stott, my job doesn’t end when I get home and I don’t get paid heaps of money for it either.

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Well, I agree that His Dark Materials is a good series, but that doesn’t mean it’s better that kids are reading it than Harry Potter.

Let’s not forget we live in a world of instant entertainment, video games, IM, texting, downloading whatever TV and movies one wants, and that the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series has been a major factor in making reading old-fashioned books still very popular.

I daresay many readers of Potter got more interested in reading because of the series, and as a consequence picked up another fantasy series, such as Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

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Actually, I hated His Dark Materials because they’re anti-Church.

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I’d have to agree. “His Dark Materials” are wonderful. I kind of think Harry Potter is a great introductory into the reading world. JK Rowling did a wonderful job creating a new world for children to escape into. Once they’ve read that, as long as they enjoyed it, they’ll want to escape into different novels…

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OK, I’ll jump onto the dogpile: it’s a good thing Ken Stott’s an actor, and not a teacher. :-)

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I am a sixth grade teacher and when I see my students reading anything, I am overjoyed. If Harry Potter sparks their intrest in reading other things, then great. If not, at least they read one book.

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I have no words for ignorance like this. :(

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I liked His Dark Materials, but they are much more openly preachy (though he probably wouldn’t like that word), than Harry Potter. Actually, even Chronicles of Narnia doesn’t bash kids over the head with Lewis’ perspective as much as Pullman does at times. I enjoyed the story, the characters and the plot, but was bored when the obvious bashing of the Christianity was going on, like I was when I read the Last Battle, which is the most preachy of the Narnia books, in my opinion.

I don’t think that I would recommend His Dark Materials to one of my fifth grade students, because I don’t think they’re prepared for the critical kind of reading it requires, whether you agree with Pullman or not.

Then again, when kids come to my class, they have often tried to read the HP books when they were younger. Either they read them and they enjoy while really only having a shallow understanding, or they found them really boring, because they were too difficult. Really its fourth or fifth grade when kids should start to read them on their own, or they cannot really manage the text. Frustrating yourself with a too difficult book is almost as bad as not reading at all.

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What an ass…

JK Rowling is the best thing to happen to literature since JRR Tolkien.

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The man is entitled to his opinion.

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What an Idiot!

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You know, I wonder if anyone’s career has been ruined by insulting both those bleow him who effectively pay him, and those who are far above him. Boycott everything to do with him!

only sort of joking

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Grumpy old man indeed. Harry Potter brought me from a kid who never finished a piece of work in her life to a straight A student – how can he not want teachers to read it?

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This guy sucks.

He doesnt have to like the books, but he also doesnt have to insult J.K. Rowling and her work. stuck up prick.

i love harry potter.

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And I am the same as Moss: “Harry Potter brought me from a kid who never finished a piece of work in her life to a straight A student – how can he not want teachers to read it?”

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That’s just so simple. People like that haven’t read the hp books and won’t ever read the hp books. That’s the only explanation for the unfortunate comment. And he didn’t even had to embarass himself with his own stupidity, I’d pity him anyway. He, poor baby, will never read Jo Rowling. Won’t ever know what he’s missing.

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Oh, so he’d rather have kids read the definitely anti-religiously-biased His Dark Material, than to read the more accessible, and with religious overtoned Harry Potter, huh? Pardon me, sir, your atheism is showing.

In my opinion, having read both series, His Dark Material is definitely NOT for children. Harry Potter is.

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Dingbat.

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HARRY RULES.

YOU CAN SUCK IT, MR SCOTT.

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I just ignore this stuff these days, what I think is it’s their loss, and since HP is so popular we don’t really need to worry what these pompous prats think. It is kinda sad thought that some people can’t appreciate just how beautiful the Harry Potter story is.

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I was planning to just read through the comments and laugh and I did exactly that, for the most part, mostly because of the extent of the over reaction of most people commenting here.

But then I saw a couple of things that I had to just reply to:

first, to perfomingmonkey – Good to see the respect you hold towards other people on this board to spoil them about the HDM books. If I hadn’t already read them, I would be outraged.

The next thing I would like to say concerns the appearance of comments relating to the “religious” themes in the HDM trilogy. I don’t think religion needs to be pulled into this comments area at all, particularly because the trilogy is NOT NECESSARILY ANTI-RELIGION. The books, if you really think about carefully, have an anti-authoritarian message. The could apply to several different scenarios. The message, no matter how it was presented, is extremely relevant today and should not be dismissed.

“Oh, so he’d rather have kids read the definitely anti-religiously-biased His Dark Material, than to read the more accessible, and with religious overtoned Harry Potter, huh? Pardon me, sir, your atheism is showing.”

Comments like these are extremely irrelevant and actually a little prejudiced, implying that religion is good and atheism is bad. What does a person’s personal belief have to do with anything? I would have actually thought that a child would have more to gain with different ideas and viewpoints, which ultimately leads to tolerance of people different than themselves, confidence in their own beliefs and increases the ability towards critical thought.

My position is and always will be that children willingly picking up books to read is amazing and good for their development. If a ten year old (or younger!) wants to read HDM then so be it. If its HP then that’s fine too, or LotR… or even something completely different that might surprise their parents and teachers. That kind of attitude should always be encouraged.

So please, everyone, just calm down a little!

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Ass…. I hate this guy. What makes His Dark Materials so much better? Alright, I’ll admit it, I’ve never gotten through it, only because I saw the writing was a little colloquial and simple. I like the fact that it’s anti-Church though. Maybe I will check it out… nevertheless Harry Poter insipires MUCH more imagination, and has a wider audience. So got to hell, you… hole.

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Oh no! I love both Phillip Pullman and JK Rowling! Please old guy, don’t make either of them look bad! It’s all about how people interpret these books, not how just you see it. Don’t criticise teachers too. Most of them don’t get paid much, but they are one of the closest people you can bond with. Harry potter books appeal to everyone because it’s one of the more realistic ones emotion-wise, especially how Harry reacts to things. It’s more imaginative too, seeing that the world could exist, only wizards keep modifying our memories so we don’t know anything.

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Harry potter books appeal to everyone because it’s one of the more realistic ones emotion-wise, especially how Harry reacts to things. It’s more imaginative too, seeing that the world could exist, only wizards keep modifying our memories so we don’t know anything.

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You know some of you are getting a bit out of hand with your remarks. Just because you have never heard of Ken Stott before this piece of news, doesn’t give you the right to judge his career and call him a nobody etc etc. You’ve just stooped as low as Ken Stott did with his remarks on HP. Though I really disagree with his comments, I still think he is entitled to his opinion.

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I hope someone sends this guy a hornett’s nest. I read the first of Phillip Pullman’s books when i was in my last year of highschool and that’s as far as i got, i couldnt even be bothered reading the second two (to be honest, i stuggled to finished the first and was sooo let down by the ending). HP, however, i’ve read about 10 times each. You know why? Because it’s a better series!!!

I’d be interested to know whether this retard has actually read any of the HP books. Doubtful…

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Shut up and die you stupid old man.

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He has bats in his belfrey, Jo has gotten SO many people—young and older—reading again it could only be sour grapes as his motavation for a stupid comment like that. Jelousy ,spite and stupidity take all forms.lol!

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die you old idiot die!

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OMG … he should be the idiot i cannot believe he said that! .... harry potter is a good read and if i do say so myself its what got me really reading… u should be ashamed .. there books .. words on paper… there not stupid

i bet peope as we speak are egging his house! .. tah .. well thats his opinion i love the harry potter books and i cant belive its over
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Oh, that’s bull.

I wish news weren’t so slow, otherwise we’d have better things to talk about than nonchalant actors’ and directors’ comments that can twitch a nerve in the fans’ eyes, and people trying to tell everyone else what to read and not to read. Read what you want, think what you want, it’s “to each his own” on the opinions of good literature (in my opinion)!

Obviously, this is a HP fansite. Obviously most of the people on here have read the books and liked them. We all know that HP is great in our eyes, but hey, maybe it’s not in his. We cannot persuade everyone to like things that may just not appeal to them. Yes, addressing the general public of children is a slightly foolish remark, considering HP has encouraged thousands of children (including myself at age 8, 8 years ago) to read and write. I believe without it I would not be even slightly literate as I am now, or be taking four English courses a day in high school. :)

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That’s ridiculous. Harry Potter is the best series I’ve ever read. Kids can read whatever they want. What. An. Idiot.

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I love to think of my aunt as a jerk…

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Does anyone really give a damn what this guy thinks? He’s some random character actor from Scotland, who is obviously looking for his little 15 minutes of fame. Who really cares about this guys opinion?

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Obviously, this guy is a tool. Nuff said.

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A couple of things: one, I’ve never heard of His Dark Materials, and I’m not exactly ignorant of a lot of books. I’m sure someone will inform me as to what I’m missing out on. Two, just because he thinks one series is better than another, so what!? Most people consider me out of my mind for some of the books I read (mainly because of their length) but thats just because they’ve never tried to really read any of them. Finally, did he actually explain WHY the HP books do not deserve the attention they’re getting? You could almost say the publisher for the other books paid him to promote them.

How many more idiots want to talk?

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Well, Ken Stott (whoever the f&$x%x%%$@ he is!) has gotten his 30 seconds of fame for being a misanthropic twit. And of course, none of this is about his being one of the few character actors left in Britain who has not even done extra work on the HP films. What a waste of internet and print space.

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Oh no you didn’t! Don’t mess with JK1 We are angry fans!

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...why does it matter what kids read as long as they’re READING???

seriously ppl.

<3padfootrocksmysocks

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he’s just another old guy who thinks childrens books are stupid. i bet he hasn’t even read them, so i really don’t give a damn what opinion he has on the books.

to second what Gail said, as a man of intelligence, he should have been satisfied that people were reading at all, rather than what they are reading.

p.s. maybe he’s jealous of Jo : )

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Who The H-E-L-L does he think he is

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Why is anyone concerned about what this actor says? He’s just one person with his own opinion; we are all free to agree or disagree with it.

Perhaps he’s trying to get some free publicity. I know I’ve never heard of him, so he may really need the attention. Or maybe he’s getting a kickback from the other series.

I say let’s ignore him (and maybe he’ll go away!!).

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Hahaha 162 Comments already! Let him feel the rasps of the entire Harry Potter Fandom Community!! Muhahaha… What a loser…

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Merlin’s Pants! I have a few wise words that my mother always told me “Darling, pick your fights.” Isnt there better things to do than to complain about what children are reading? At least they’re reading…

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OK. His Dark Materials is a seems (because I am not done reading it yet.) to have a lot more tougher themes than Harry Potter and I agree that it wouldn’t be my first choice for a child at all. But what does that matter if they are reading? It is a Triumph for education, that Harry Potter was a spring board for other great books and possibly the classics. Maybe he is more mad at the media(movies, games, etc)than perhaps the books themselves? To that point His Dark Materials is getting the same treatment soon.

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Mmmm…I say we should stop the bashing, because we are giving him what he wants: atention. Now, with the time we would have spent bashing him we can …dunno…think of how lucky we are to have read Harry Potter. BTW, I read the first one of His Dark Materials just because an HP fan said in an HP-forum that she/he thought they were good. Were they? To me they weren’t, but I read them BECAUSE of Harry Potter.

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Jeez, what an idiot! He has no right to criticize children for reading Harry Potter. Just the fact that they are reading instead of playing on the computer or watching tv should prove what a total moron he is!

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People like Ken Stott make Snape look like an absolute gentleman.

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I’m proud to be an idiot! :) (bite me, Mr. Stott)

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Oh it’s always great to see so many Harry Potter fans rise up and so quickly!

I am in absolute agreement with everyone that getting children to read ANYTHING for fun is something close to a miracle now. I am only 18 years old (and I think partially because of how I was raised and how much technology is taking ahold of everything) but there are those considered to be my peers only 3 or 4 years younger than me who do not pick up a book even when it is required! It really saddens me and that when someone my age actually says they don’t watch that much TV or movies and I actually read instead I either get shocked looks or am laughed at (don’t worry it doesn’t hurt my feelings or anything ;))But I can only imagine now with much younger children that it is even more difficult. Even in schools everything is interactive which is really upsetting because it stunts imaginations. It’s just so sickening! Honestly, who is he to insult anything that a child is picking up to read? Gah! I feel an essay/editorial brewing. Haha.

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Someone needs a hug…

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It has been sooo funny reading all these comments – interspersed, as they are, with HP quotes, and political and religious arguments!

I am most squeeful that the Potter fandom is not dead. My friends and relatives keep asking, “Now what?”, thinking, I suppose, that now that the final book is out, it’s all over and we potterheads will go into a deep slumber. But it seems you only have to prick us gently to get us wide awake and ready to duel!

In the words of the incomparable (that means ‘without comparison’, Mr Stott) Jo Rowling: “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus!”

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it sounds personal. hehe. and if i wanna sound really “affected”, i’d say that he must’ve wanted some share from the HP popularity, by making a rare harsh comment about the books… knowing we will pick up on it. ;>

why can’t we ALL just be happy that kids are reading again?

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This article needs to clarify more specifically why he does not think educators should praise children reading Harry Potter.

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I think what Stott said was quite rash. The comparison of two books all depends on the person’s preferences; I’d say it’s not really possible to say ‘this book is better than that one’ if you don’t have a basis of comparison. While Jo’s books may not display literary complexity (which is probably why many people lable them as children’s books), they are excellent in terms of plot and characterisation. I mean, try naming me a book whose plot can rival the HP books’. (Inkheart by Cornelia Funke might be an option. Highly recommended if you haven’t read it! My favourite after HP.) I think HDM is also good, but I personally feel that it is lacking in consistency, especially in the Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass. I loved the Golden Compass! It was a perfect combination of plot twists, characterisation, heart-wrenching emotion and style, and I fell in love with the characters (<3 Pan!). But I think the intensity of the plot started to get diluted towards the end, and I finished the last book feeling that I would have been much happier if I hadn’t read books 2 and 3. On the other hand, Jo’s books kept me hanging on to every word til the very end, with my love for the characters growing with every single book. That, I think, is remarkable – to maintain the same brilliant standard throughout 7 books, and to manage to keep the connection with the readers. The Trio are like my best friends, and I feel as though I know the characters inside-out. Anyway, this is just my personal opinion. Someone else who favours more stylish language and more controversial themes would probably like Pullman’s books more. And to say that the HP series hasn’t contributed to child literacy is such rubbish. I’m not an expert on this topic, and I wouldn’t know the statistics or anything, but all I can say is that HP certainly influenced my own reading journey, though my case may be a bit different from others. I was one of the rare bookworms when I was a small kid. I use to go to the library every single week and borrow a stack of 10 books to devour at home. Then I had to move to another country where libraries weren’t that accessible, and my love of reading sort of died down. It was only after my mum got me CoS for Christmas that I realised how much I missed reading, and how much comfort a book could bring (sounds cliched, I know, but it’s true). After that, I moved on to other books, even the classics like Jane Austen. I had to persuade my mum to buy me a copy of LOTR at a book fair! Now I’m still reading voraciously. I really wonder whether I’d be reading this much now if Harry Potter hadn’t come along. I might have not even read HDM! And if some people think that more ‘simple’ books like HP aren’t worth getting a child to read, well, kids have got to start somewhere, haven’t they?

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People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Meaning: Idiots shouldn’t toss that word around, when there a million HP fans out here waiting to toss it right back into his glass house.

“His Dark Materials” is fine, but it’s not for everyone. I found those books very negative and sad compared to the more hopeful HP series. Let me put it this way – I’ll never go back and read those again, but I still read my Harry Potter books every day.

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I don’t understand why people feel the need to bash hp.. I think it’s because its popular and to some people, popular equals poor.

I don’t agree that HDM is a better set of books. I liked Northern Lights, but the rest were dull and filled with forgettable characters and situations. Philip Pullman doesn’t like fantasy fiction and it shows in his writing. He openly admits that he was trying to write the anti-narnia books. He’s not writing because he wants to tell a good tale, he’s writing to an agenda and it shows. Northern Lights captured my attention, but subtle knife and amber spyglass lost it, because I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. He ignored writing a coherent plot so he could hammer home his views. I’m sorry but pleasing the Independent literary critics by bashing Christianity doesn’t mean you’ve created a masterpiece.

JK has written an absorbing tale with only the occasional niggling misstep. Philip Pullman’s last two books were a constant misstep, they didn’t flow, chars faded into the background and other chars were introduced purely so he could preach.

I don’t think any child would want to continue reading if introduced to Philip Pullman.

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I am so sick of people trashing these books just because they are marketed as “children’s books” – and mostly by people who have never bothered to pick up one of the books and read it through themselves or only managed to get through a couple of pages.

I read SO many books but none have ever caught my attention like the harry potter series, and you know what, if kids are reading these – we are lucky. While these books are entertaining; they also have a much deeper message than just a boy who happens to be a wizard. We are SO lucky kids read these books. And just because he doesn’t care for them (if he’s even read them, which I’m doubtful about) – that doesn’t make them bad books. It makes them not his taste. Just because I don’t care for a certain band doesn’t automatically make them crap.

It seems to me that because the harry potter series is so huge and everyone seems to be so enthralled it’s now the cool thing to trash it and act as if it’s junk to go against the tide. He knows it will get his name in the press if he trashes them. I’m so sick of this elitist garbage when rarely, if anything, I’ve read by authors today surpasses these books in imagination and meaning. These books mean the world to me and a lot of other people. And I think that’s a brilliant thing.

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Sounds like Mr. Scott didn’t get a certain “Harry Potter” role he really wanted. Sour grapes.

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Sorry, Mr. Stott, not Scott. Guess I’d better get my glasses checked.

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You see how famous he is here. I don’t even know his name.

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dw wrote “what a maroon!” A maroon? I doubt that Ken Stott is an alumnus of the University of Chicago (maroon is the school color, the name of the main school newspaper and a nickname for students). We’re usually smart enough not to make such stupid remarks or at least not in public.

I agree with the person that said that Mr. Stott is likely treating the darker story as the superior one because it is darker. What’s wrong with lighter fiction? I consider P G Wodehouse as worthy of respect as a writer as are Virginia Woolf or Somerset Maugham.

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Good gracious! His Dark Materials are fantastic, but Harry will have the most special place in my heart always and forever; both series are wonderful, and personally, I think that any child who reads in their spare time should be praised – after all, Harry is only the starting point for their reading. What really gets me is that Harry Potter is a wonderfully narrated series with an intricate and ingeniously woven plot. How can Mr. Stott possibly complain about people “making a fuss” about it?? Hm. For those outrageous comments, I propose a marathon of Harry reading for him this weekend! (:

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Ugh. Rubbish.

The fact is that hardly any books, let alone His Dark Materials, although utterly brilliant, have not sparked the same interest and imagination in children as the Harry Potter books have. Therefore we can’t make as much of a fuss about His Dark Materials than Harry Potter, which has made a lot of children want to read, and I think it is ridiculous to call educators “idiots” because they praise children for reading. So what if it’s Harry Potter?

Would he prefer it if children didn't read Harry Potter at all? The Potter series is often an introduction to reading, which then gives kids the interest to go on and read other, more complicated, difficult books such as (arguably) His Dark Materials.

And if a kid did read His Dark Materials, than good for him/her, but to bash teachers just because they praise kids for reading Harry Potter is idiotic in itself.

Dude, just be happy kids read at all.

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Rather funny, really. I did not like the Pullman series – found it too preachy, and I have not recommended it to my daughter (age 10). We are both big Rowling fans. HP is much more clever and a LOT funnier. Pullman’s Dark Materials had some interesting inventions, but the writing reminded me too much of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. The storyline had inappropriate sexualisation of kids, too.

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I’M a grouchy, grumpy old man, and I LOVE the HP series! I’m also a lifelong reader; I’d read in my sleep, but I haven’t figured out how to keep my eyes open and still get any sleep! I’m not sure who this … person … is, but he obviously has a serious problem with either JKR or HP, one of the two. I suggest we give him all the regard he deserves, along with any work HE has performed. That’s what is known in the ancient Vulcan as ‘Sauce for the Goose.”

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I prefer John Hannah’s Rebus to Ken Stott’s but my opinion is not that important since I am not a TV critic. Stott’s opinion of children’s books really isn’t that important either since he is neither a child or a book critic.

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This grumpy old man just simply seeks attention because he is dissilusioned with life and discontent. He wants to be rmembered and what easier way is there than to condemn innocent children reading the most popular fiction. And then to promote books which encaurages aethism! Mind you, I love the His Dark Material Trilogy too. Lets recommend this poor old attention seeking man a very good pschologist so he when his time comes to depart this world (a long way in the future!) that he may do so with peace of mind.

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Such an idiot…

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Dear Everyone, Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, however, I think that a series that actually ENCOURAGES a child to read, ever to eagerly waiting for the next installment of it(like the HP novels, natch), should be praised, not condemned!! The Harry Potter novels are well-written, engaging, and deeply absorbing. The characters are lovable, inspiring kids who try their best to do right-another thing in their favor. The books also show how evil works, and how grief can be dealt with-both extremely good lessons, which Rowling does NOT sugarcoat. I am 55 years old. I love the HP novels. I find them great reading, and ‘revisit’ the books, like old friends, over and over. The man has a right to his opinions, as I said. But it’s sad to see someone speak as he has, especially if it brings a child to theworld of Books!(My capitals, because books are an important part of my life.) Peace, Tina

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Talked himself out of a role in the last 2 films hasn’t he!! And he would have made such a good death eater character too

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HAHAHA!! Wow, so much attention to a geezer who is an ACTOR and not a) a professional literary critic b) an author c) a publisher d) an English professor/teacher/instructor.

His opinion is as about as good as my husband saying those heels don’t go with that dress—when was the last time my hubby wore heels after all? LMAO

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Hah, when I first glanced at it I thought it said “The character that plays Rubeus Hagrid” xD Whoops!

I can’t believe he said that, for what reason is the Harry Potter series not good for children? It’s not like my 11 year old sister is going to be reading any of the classics other than those assigned to her in school, and she LOVES the series! I got more into reading with Harry Potter, and next year I’ll be going to university aiming to be an editor, and all for my love of reading and english. HE’S the idiot!

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this guy is stupid…he doesnt understand that it’s that kids ARE READING…jeez!!! I mean I’ve heard that His Dark Materials is a good series…and I’m sure it is…but…Harry Potter is awesome as well…He shouldnt be telling people Harry Potter is and idiotic thing to read!!!!...It’s a masterpeice!!!!

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Wimsy: “What a maroon!” is a quote from Bugs Bunny. lol When he makes fun of Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam.

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I think this man must not have children. I am a die hard fan of both series, but I won’t let my 8 year old start his dark materials until she’s a bit older. As an adult I read Phillip Pullman’s works as an extension of my love for the fantasy genre. (Received the recommendation from a friend who knew I loved Harry Potter)

To suggest that you cannot read all 10 books is absurd. Read everything you can get your hands on and decide for yourself what’s good or bad!!

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I dont agree with this guy, but i know what he is trying to say. While the harry potter books might be some of the best ever written, they arent the best from a literary viewpoint. But people who read harry potter should be encouraged, it does so much for literacy. It might sound like im critisising harry potter but im not, im an massive fan of both Harry Potter and His Dark Materials

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Hmm, well I kind of agree with him (just that teachers should favor Kids reading ANY books, not just HP-not that it isn’t fantastic), but I probably wouldn’t word it like that. But he’s entitled to his own opinion =]

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Wow, this dudes about to experience an attack of biblical proportion! Im currently reading Phillip Pullmans ‘His Dark Meterials’ and honestly, Im struggeling to stay with it. It’s a good book, but nothing in comparison to Harry Potter.

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That’s ridiculous. Harry Potter is full of literary references – each character’s name is significant and there are themes of redemption, guilt, love, death, prejudice, good vs. evil… the list goes on.

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Sounds to me like the guy has “hype”-phobia. Too many people get turned off by any hype especially when it comes to books and movies. It’s too bad because in some cases, such as the HP series, the hype is truly deserved. It built up over the years because of the fans, not necessarily the publishers or Warner Bros. If the books were no good then the hype would have died out years ago!

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This is starting to become a really long thread! Wow, we Potter fans are really passionate people! LOL Whatever this guy says, it’s his opinion, and frankly, I’m not bothered. I just don’t care. I am absolutely in love with the Potter series, and always will be. But unfortunately, not everyone will agree, and that’s fine. Teachers all over the globe will still be glad that their students have given reading a try and will continue to praise Harry Potter for that. No one will change their view of the series because of this one actor making such a comment. Reading all the comments is why I always love these articles, to see all the fans fired up! It’s great! hehehe

The reality is, we don’t really know in what circumstances he made those comments, maybe he was having a really bad day… or maybe he’s been spending a little too much time having tea with Laura Mallory! LOL

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I love Potter very much, but do you really think the writing is that great? There is a lot of bad grammar in there, and she tends to use the same words over and over again! And I don’t know anyone who can say “skulduggery” in a serious sentence and get away with it!!

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OK, teachers should encourage children to read, period. What they encourage them to read is a matter of their own consideration. To encourage anyone to read Harry Potter is, given its world-wide fame and enormous advertising campaigns, rather superfluous. Recommending something else than Harry Potter might help bring the children´s attention to more easily overlooked titles.

There are many people in the World who read and disliked HP, and they are quite free to state their opinion. Mr Stutt did so harshly, impolitely, and without any reasonable argumentation, which by itself demeans the validity of his statement.

The fact that he plays in a series based on a book by JKR´s friend is of no importance at all. It is better to say something which one believes is true than suck up to a famous author with a powerful fanbase.

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I wonder if he’s ever read hp! They’re so good! He has no right to say that!!

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I am a solid Harry Potter fan and I agree these books are not for children and I also agree that educationalists that push the series for anyone under 15 or 16 are absolutely without a doubt IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!

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Booo! Do not dis the name of Harry Potter! grumble

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Well, Mary does have a point. Some of that material is kinda inappropriate for younger readers, however, I myself read it in 1st grade and had no problem.

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I’m a teacher and I’m totally offended by this. I’m thrilled to the heavens that some of my students can read something as thick (literally and figuratively!) as a Harry Potter book. To see a kid go from struggling to read their own name to reading a book is the most rewarding thing ever. Harry Potter is written with children in mind. You typical child would find no interest in the literature suggested by this ignorant actor. Leave the educating to the educated, thank you very much.

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You always have to ask…has he actually read the books? Does he pull a Laura Malloy and say he gets “To disturbed”? It’s a free country. I can read what I want. And considering how many kids groan when they have to do a book report and spend hours glued to a tv, I think that educators have a right to praise any kid who brings any book to school. You could even argue that Harry deals with issues that are important today and talks about the good and evil side of us all. I mean, the ‘light and dark’ side of us all.

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Hi! We should tell him our opinions and write to him a letter. :)

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The man’s got a point. I love Harry Potter, but it’s not exactly upper level reading or poetic literature. It’s plain and simply written and one of the easiest fantasy series to read ever.

Just the other day, a friend of mine said she loved the Harry Potter books and movies, but it’s “just so hard to read them.” She’s 20. That’s sad. But our culture seems to accept a comment like that as “normal”.

I think what the man is getting at here is that we shouldn’t praise mediocrity. We should be glad that kids are reading something, but we should encourage them to read challenging and classic texts and not just the easiest of the easy, even if it is a wonderful world.

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His Dark Materials really is a superb series, but probably not appropriate for young children. This guy is just another cog in that stupid mentality that claims that anything loved by too many people must be superficial or overrated. But the size and intensity of the fandom is half the fun, isn’t it? We have something in common with millions of other people around the world, from different backgrounds, with different stories. It’s the coolest thing ever.

Way to be pretentious, bub.

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Umm…I started reading the books when I was six or seven (PS came out when I was three) and I loved the books from then on. I’m sure this guy hasn’t even read the books, because I 100% agree with DWLover; they are the one of the most brilliantly written books on the market, and even in this category it shines. I think we all know who the real idiot was here…

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Oh, and also, Harry Potter taught me so many new words that when I was reading PS I had to keep the dictionary with me. I think we should encourage kids to read it; it has a really big effect on their vocabulary and reading skills. And for those who say that the book is too adultish for kids – many people read it when they were very young and they had no problem. It is easy to understand and very addictive – one of my friends asked me what the first book was called after we had seen OotP together! JK Rowling has written a brilliant series, and it’s brought kids and adults alike to wait in line at midnight to anxiously await a new book, to see what happens to Harry and his friends.

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He’s absolutely right. There are far, far better books for children than Rowling’s. It was so obvious that she was refusing to be edited by the last few books, and they really suffered in comparison to the first four.

Sad.

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Shrugs Really, I can’t get all that beefed up about it. Yeah, it’s a tad irritating that he wants to dictate what kids should read – like others have said, the point is that he IS reading, and ad hominem in an interview is never right. But still – to each their own. When you have hype, you’ll also have huge criticism. I actually boggle more at the people who say they OMGLOVETHEBOOKS and then can’t even say who Ron is.

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I know I said I wouldn’t post here anymore but…

“I think what the man is getting at here is that we shouldn’t praise mediocrity. We should be glad that kids are reading something, but we should encourage them to read challenging and classic texts and not just the easiest of the easy, even if it is a wonderful world.”

Posted by Seifer on September 26, 2007 @ 10:37 PM

Sorry Seifer. Are you telling me that because a book is easy to read it has to be mediocre? I am afraid I might sound rude, I assure you that it is not my intention, but that was the same mentallity cleric and scholars had in the Middle Age. In my opinion, books have to be readable, they have to communicate something the best the author can. That is the idea behind language, isn’t it?

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the guys a flubberwom

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Why insult J.K Rowling? What has she done to him? Her books are great! There is absolutly nothing wrong with them! Go Harry Potter. Also kids should be able to read what the want

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I have this feeling that Ken Scott is either an agnostic or an atheist (my personal opinion!).

I say this because if you’ve read Phil Pullman’s “Dark Materials” trilogy, the tone of the novels is decidedly anti-Catholic and anti-Christian, which has turned off a number of readers. Indeed, when they did the movie version of “The Golden Compass,” they had to seriously tone down much of the plot in an effort to avoid offending Christians.

I’ve liked the Harry Potter books because despite the use of magic, the book still is strongly rooted in Christian ideas in many ways (after all, they do celebrate both Christmas and Easter).

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All this chat and not one of you has grasped the fact that he is right! Rowling is a cracking storyteller but no master of linguistics. Her books are entertaining. He could have picked any entertaining but lightweight book to make his point – which is that it is a sad, sad thing that our kids cannot read – that they still need help at the age of ten – that teachers even have to think about praising a child for reading something, anything. He has criticised the people at the top, the ones who plan our education system, the educationalists who have deprived a generation of reading pleasure and want us to be grateful they read at all! Yes, these days we are glad they read anything, but that doesn’t make it right.

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he probly hasn’t even read one of her books, what an idiot.

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Let’s face it, he’s probably pissed off because he auditioned for one of the HP movies and got rejected. shrug He’s the moron.

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And hey-to the poster styling him/herself “confused”-I really feel sorry for you that you fail to grasp the point.

The point is that Rowling’s books have encouraged kids to read. There isn’t a work of fiction out there that doesn’t take a few stylistic liberties with the English language, simply because that’s the way people TALK.

It’s up the the TEACHERS AT SCHOOL to teach kids proper grammar. Books of fiction are meant to entertain.

Get over it, Ken Stott.

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What a twisted old prat. I think Harry Potter is 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times better Dark Materials. What could be better Harry Potter? absolutely nothing.

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Sigh He is an “Idiot” of a muggle.

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This guy is not worth our time, but i have to say… what a loser!

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confused… i totally disagree. hp is not merely lightweight.

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In response to Again: I haven’t missed the point. I agree with your statement that HP books encourage kids to read. I agree they are not there to teach grammar. Mr Stott’s comment does not disagree with you either. The point he was making was not about HP at all, but about the state of our education system. You’ve all leaped upon the HP reference to defend the books, but they were never under attack.

Ken Stott’s point was that our education system has let our kids down. So, you are saying you disagree? You think kids are well served these days? Really?

He used HP in comparison to HDM because they are very different styles and, in the purely technical sense, HDM is a more challenging, and therefore perhaps a more educational, read. This does not demean HP in my view at all. There is room for all sorts in a varied reading ‘diet’. JKR has never tried to imply that her work is linguistically complex. She writes in an engaging and accessible way. There is no need to be so defensive of it.

Hundreds of you on here have launched vicious verbal attacks on this guy (there’s one threat to kill on here too). The thread has degenerated into a fatwa of hatred against someone trying to defend the right of kids to a decent education.

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as a highschool teacher i would not pas JKR work as highquality at all compared to more expierenced authors out there that doesn ot rely on plotholes and character assasination to make a book to work out at all. andi teach on the lower grades for the moment. the last too books where a litterary mistake, plotholes and character assaination as i have ever read it to even make itwork out atr all in the long run. i personly don´t recomend my pupils to read the last 2 books, the first 5 are good enough. the rest i recomend anything more “professional” written by more expiernced authors, they do a better work in the reading expiernce.

as long as they read “Quality writing” compared to jkr last 2 books that is so poorly written as i can be basicly in general, i am happy.

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C’mon! He wast just trying to say that children can read the Harry Potter books, but that adults shouldn’t make a fuss about it.

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He’s just jeolous he’s not in any of the movies.

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I don’t take issue with Mr. Stott’s ability to express his opinion, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with him. And it doesn’t mean that he is right. He doesn’t strike me as anyone who has ever taught children, so what does he really know? If you ask me, parents nowadays are not as involved in their child’s education as they should be; at least the vast majority are not. I can teach a kid about grammar, syntax, semantics, spelling, and expressing themselves clearly in their writing until the cows come home, but unless education is valued at home and the parents show an interest, my hands are tied. I think the biggest problem with education is that parents seem to think that we need to teach their kids manners too, because honestly the attitude I get from students is unbelievable and hinders my ability to teach and for them to learn. One parent said that she’s just accepted that her child hates school. I have to be on him all the time to get anything done. I did really well in school because I knew what my parents’ expectations were and they were high.

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What a load of tosh. I’m an English teacher, and have units on both series for my students. This dolt is hardly an authority on education. How about this? I don’t tell you how to act, you don’t tell me how to teach. I hardly see you with a degree in education, you ignorant thespian.

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Kids are going to read what they want, period. While it’s alright to encourage them to read books that are considered classy, it is an exercise in futility to sit around waiting for them to actually do it. I happen to think that every American should read Alex Haley’s “Roots” but that doesn’t mean that it will happen. Okay, HP isn’t “War and Peace”. So what?

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Many of those idiot educationalists post on here, evidently. Such inability to make a reasoned argument and control their venom makes it sadly understandable that the kids can’t either. You all just proved the guy’s point by refuting it so badly.

Avatar Image says: Hi Everybody, I just became a part of this forum here and I (am excited to be a part of it. Just love the atmosphere here. Good work by the admin and mods and every member around. Just to start off, I'd like to ask first if you're into those dressup doll games. Bec if you do, then imma have to ask you which one is better---Barbie or Bratz games? Barbie games inspired a lot of other games. Bratz may deny it but the concept of many if not all Bratz games originated from Barbie. Take for example the many dress up games that Bratz fans are so addicted to right now. The ideas of these games all came from Barbie. Who invented changeable clothes, customizable accessories and colourful nail polishes and hair? Barbie did. Who incorporated real like perks like cars, hotels and hot cribs? Barbie did. On the other hand, Bratz are so popular. There is no question about that. They are loved by kids and adults alike. This is the reason Bratz games are so popular. Whenever there is a new Bratz game, expect the millions of Bratz fans to play it. There is even a war going on between Bratz and Barbie fans. Who’s better? Who’ sexier? Who’s classier?

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