How do you feel about magic in kids' books?
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How do you feel about magic in kids' books?
 6%  [ 2 ]
It's the best!  
 73%  [ 22 ]
Sometimes appropriate - explanation in the comments  
 20%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 30



Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 4:58 pm
Rappel, I really admire you for wanting to have a clean, kosher, Torahdik home. I also admire you for thinking ahead, and considering what you want for your kids when they're older. Please don't think that anyone should consider you a prude or anything. You have every right to do what you think is appropriate for your family and for your community. So it really doesn't matter what we do in our homes, with our own kids.

I know a wonderful Yeshivish family that was absolutely dead set against any kind of magic fiction. Absolutely, no two ways about it. All of their kids had learning disabilities, just like their dad, and they struggled terribly with reading. Homework always ended up in tears, tantrums, and torn up work sheets.

Then the oldest discovered Harry Potter through a friend, and she wanted to read it. Her parents fought about it for a long time. Finally they gave in, and for the first time in her teenage life, she had her nose stuck in a book! Pretty soon, the other kids wanted a turn reading, and next thing they knew, they had a house full of readers.

All of the kids' grades went up in English class, and their teachers were thrilled. The kids were happy, and overjoyed when their mom went to the library to select books for them that she pre-approved. Sitting around and reading on Shabbos afternoon replaced whining about how bored they were, or sibling wars.

They had to admit that as much as they hated the idea of letting "clean magic" in their house, the effect it had on getting their kids to read was amazing. If your kid is an avid reader, and you see no reason to bring magic books in, then there is nothing wrong with not letting them in.

IMHO, it's like saying "My toddler will never watch videos". For some families, this works out fine and the kids never miss it. For other families, it's the only way to preserve mom's sanity, or to motivate a kid to get homework done or to help out around the house. An hour of screen time can be worth more than gold to some kids.

The one thing I really learned about being a parent, is to "play it by ear." See what type of kid you have, watch what effect certain things have on your kid, and then use your best seichel. Be willing to throw some ideas out the window, and be flexible if something seems to be working better.
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Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 5:16 pm
Its make beleive. I also allow books with tAlking bears and pink ponies who live in houses with families.
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Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 5:42 pm
Golden compass has lots of hashkafic problems. Doesn't mean all fantasy books are like that.
You can always give your kids the Anthony Goldstein fan fic!
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Post Thu, Oct 22 2020, 5:51 pm
I grew up on fantasy books. I don’t remember ever having confusion about reality versus fiction.

Loads can be learned from fantasy books. There are still themes and messages (this you can check before buying the book), even if they’re told by faeries or dragons. Think of I as a mashal.
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Post Fri, Oct 23 2020, 9:01 am
As a major fantasy fan myself, I would say in some ways I would prefer fantasy over other genres. From what I can see most teen fiction revolves around relationships, pettiness etc. A lot of them seem so meaningless and pathetic.
Fantasy thinks big, you're dealing with classic dilemmas between good and evil, the scale and scope is so much bigger than your average book set in modern times. I feel the lessons of the books are often so much better-good usually wins over evil.
I wouldn't dismiss an entire genre, yet I would think carefully about the books given. I wouldn't give Pullman's dark materials series just because it deals with some rather tricky haskafas and not the whole fantasy world. There's also the concepts of unpopular children or the underdog coming out as the good guy and was really so much more amazing. Think Riordan's Percy Jackson series where dyslexia was because their brains were wired for ancient greek.
I think most children who have a healthy sense of self and a good home environment won't mix fiction and reality. I always read to escape from reality and the less realistic the better.
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