Antidotes for kids in 'Harry' withdrawal

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News Media Commentary
Title: Antidotes for kids in 'Harry' withdrawal
Commentator: Jacqueline Mroz
Date(s): 10 June 2003
Venue: North Jersey Media Group
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: original link is sadly defunct
Antidotes for kids in 'Harry' withdrawal [Dead link] ; "A Bit About FictionAlley: Press clippings". Retrieved 30 March 2012.  [Dead link] (accessed Jan 14, 2020) archive link (Highbeam.com)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Antidotes for kids in 'Harry' withdrawal is an article about Harry Potter. It was published in "The Record," a Hackensack, NJ newspaper on June 10, 2003, and for a long time was also online.

sample first page from "The Record"

Some Topics Discussed

  • "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was to be released shortly
  • how the Harry Potter books get kids reading
  • some suggestions from librarians about other books children might enjoy, including "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents,""Half Magic," "Magic by the Lake," "The Time Garden," "Tangerine"
  • a short description of fanfiction and why it is beneficial
  • mention of FictionAlley.org and Nimbus 2003
  • the good work of librarians

Excerpt

...once your kid has torn through the latest in the Harry Potter series, how do you keep his or her nose in a book? Finding books that will capture kids' imaginations is a tall order, but there are plenty of other stories out there that are worth a try. Carlisle Kraft, young adult library at the Kinnelon Public Library, is a huge Potter fan who uses her knowledge of fantasy novels and other books to help kids through "Harry" withdrawal."

Kraft, 26, says she became a Harry Potter fan while working as a student teacher at a junior high school in 1999. She notices that kids were all crazy about the books... Soon she became interested in Potter "fanfiction," stories that involve Harry Potter characters, but are written by fans of the books.

"People create entire original worlds about Harry Potter, his parents, and others in the books," she explains.

She started writing her own Potter fanfiction, making up stories mostly about the boy's parents. Two of Kraft's fanfiction stories focus on Peter Pettigrew... who poses as a rat, and his betrayal of James and Lily Potter. She is also working on a story about Percy Weasley, and how he could be swayed to join the dark side.

Most fanfiction stories, which run anywhere from short fiction to novel length, are posted online on sites such as fictionalley.org, and are written by teenagers and young adults. The authors generally don't make any money off their work; they just do it for fun. (Most of the sites are restricted to those ages 13 and up.)

Fanfiction can be a great way of encouraging Harry Potter fans to do more reading, or even try their hand at writing. Kraft began writing for the Fiction Alley Web site, and her work caught the eye of the organizers of a symposium on the Harry Potter novels, Nimbus 2003, planned for Orlando, Fla. this summer. She was asked to serve on some of the panels in her capacity as a fan and as a librarian.

References