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How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania for J. K. Rowling's Bestselling Books Paperback – August 18, 2008

25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414321880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414321882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Granger is an author, speaker, and professor. A graduate of the University of Chicago, where he studied classical languages and literature, he uses Harry Potter to teach English literature online at HogwartsProfessor.com. He is a frequent speaker at academic and fan conferences and has been interviewed as a "Harry Potter expert" in the "Wall Street Journal," the "New York Times," CNN, and the DVD of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." He and his wife, Mary, have seven children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Pollard on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have read many of John Granger's books and am completely enamored with The Deathly Hallows Lectures. I did not think that I would that this book supplant it as my favorite of Granger's writing, but it might be. Where the Lectures are a strong academic analysis after the completion of series, this book is written in a more straight forward manner and is the book that I will recommend to my friends and family who are more casual fans of the series. It should be noted that this is the third edition of the book previously titled Looking for God in Harry Potter, so if you think Christians are trying to force their world view into the Harry Potter series, then this isn't the book for you. Although you don't have to be a Christian to enjoy this book. J.K. Rowling has called the Christian symbolism in the books, "obvious," and she's writing in a tradition of British literature that is very Christian. Rowling is writing about her faith and you don't have to be religious to see how the final book in the series is a story to symbolize her personal faith and the struggle that ensues to even have faith. John Granger successfully synthesizes this and much more into this book to show how "a children's story" has become the most popular epic book in the last hundred years. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the mechanics of why the Harry Potter series entralls millions of people worldwide.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By RebelReader on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Harry Potter has captured the imaginations of millions of children and adults from every walk of life. The series has possibly experienced more popularity than any other book of the last fifty years having sold millions of copies around the world. With this in mind many have asked "Why is Harry Potter is so insanely popular?" As a fan of the Harry Potter series I already knew the answer, but this book has wrought to light many of the Christian aspects of series which I over looked. How Harry Potter casts his spells is an interesting look in to the Christian aspects of the Harry Potter Book series.

Below is the Table of Contents taken from the book. I like the way the Author wrote an explanation of each chapter in such a informative and humorous way. Through this book the Author adds a touch of humor to his writing.

Acknowledgments Publisher's Preface Introduction

1: Magic, Fantasy, and Transcendence
The magic in Harry Potter is traditional literary spellwork that acts as a counterspell to the materialism of our times.

2: Cosmic White Hats and Black Hats
The Harry Potter Novels revolve around the central conflict of good and evil

3: The Hero's Journey
Harry's adventures take him through life, death and resurrection

4: The Alchemy of Spiritual Growth
The story of cycles are built on the stages of transformation

5: One Person, Two Natures
Doppelgangers point to the struggle of dual natures- and their resolution in the God-Man.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Granger is an excellent writer, and a pleasure to read. All of his books on Harry Potter enable one to find new levels of meaning in the series. How Harry Cast His Spell is the newest edition of his books emphasizing the series' spiritual content. Unlocking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Lectures are more aimed at discussing the series' literary aspects. Do not feel that this is just a rehash of Looking for God in Harry Potter, its previous edition. Although there are many of the same chapter titles, and some material is from the earlier edition, there is ample new coverage of The Deathly Hallows' spiritual aspects. There are some of the same helpful charts found in Looking for God in Harry Potter, but there are more, and fresh insights that allow you to say "Hey, I didn't notice that" the first (or second) time you read the series. For example, note the light ball of the Deluminator entering Ron's chest (near his heart) illuminating his spirit on Christmas morning, before he went back to his friends in the Forest of Dean. John Granger has a talent for discussing very weighty topics in an easy, enjoyable manner. There is a world of difference between Granger, and Kern's The Wisdom of Harry Potter (valuable reading, but a hard slog in comparison). Reading John Granger will enrich your experience of the Harry Potter series and your view of the world.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stacey VINE VOICE on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
"How Harry Cast His Spell" by John Granger (Any relation to Hermione?) initially captures the reader's attention with the lovely cover. Inside, the beautiful font, wonderful graphics and page header designs tickle the eyes. This is a humorously written look at why the Harry Potter franchise is such a phenomenon. The author points out the Christian concepts that are prominent in the immensely popular boy wizard stories, which only seems to prove that you can find the good in something if you go looking for it. Sadly, I find that the same is true if you go looking for the bad.

I don't consider this a must read unless you're severely anti-Harry Potter, in which case, you probably wouldn't read the book anyway. However, I must applaud the author for the amount of thought he put into this book. His research and the conclusions he's drawn are fascinating. This takes Harry Potter to a whole new level of enjoyment for me, personally.
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