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Harry Potter's World: Multidisciplinary Critical Perspectives.

Elizabeth E. Heilman (Ed.). New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003. 308 pp. $24.95. "Pottermania" is a worldwide phenomenon. The text (to date, 5 books) and the images (movies, Web sites, toys) have become a part of the global culture. As such, they deserve the critical attention this collection of essays provides. Essays from cultural studies, reader response, interpretive, literary, and critical/social perspectives will leave readers with a new (or renewed) appreciation of the meanings that literature holds for both the individual reader and the culture.

Cultural studies perspectives encourage readers to consider how the books and the whole Harry Potter phenomenon both derive from and influence popular culture. Reader response and interpretive perspectives explore how readers supply context for Harry Potter and other narratives by projecting themselves into the story. The essays in this collection invite the reader to consider genre, as well as the concepts of myth and hero, as they apply to Harry Potter. The critical and sociological perspectives consider gender identity, schooling and learning, civic leadership, and insider/outsider roles in Harry Potter. The multidisciplinary perspectives foster critical insights into the text and the images, and, by doing so, offer insights into popular culture and childhood at the beginning of the 21st century. Reviewed by Marcia Nash, University of Maine at Farmington
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Author:Nash, Marcia
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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