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The Appeal of Harry Potter


reviewed by Peter Gottesman - 2004

coverTitle: The Appeal of Harry Potter
Author(s): J.K Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic Inc., New York
ISBN: 0590353403, Pages: 309, Year: 1998
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What accounts for the powerful emotional bond formed between children 7-12 years old and the characters and story of Harry Potter? In fact, the basic psychological components of this incredible appeal can be isolated and described. These include a child’s yearning for 1) Fantasy, 2) Relevance, 3) Subversion, 4) Good Conquering Evil, and 5) Heart. I contend that these five vital needs in children’s psyches coalesce in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to account for the book’s astonishing appeal.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 267-270
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11168, Date Accessed: 9/18/2019 2:21:25 PM

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About the Author
  • Peter Gottesman
    Mythix Productions
    E-mail Author
    Peter Gottesman is founder and CEO of Mythix Productions, Inc., which creates high quality children's entertainment based on world mythologies for various media. Previously, Mr. Gottesman directed child and teen research, as well as youth advertising sales, at BrandAid Marketing Corporation, where his clients included Nickelodeon, The Cartoon Network, Disney Theatrical, General Mills, and others. Mr. Gottesman is an authority on ancient mythology, and has donated four ancient Egyptian sculptures of rare animal deities of semi-precious stone and gold to the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Mr. Gottesman founded the Columbia East Harlem Tutorial Program in 1989, which continues to send hundreds of Columbia University graduate and undergraduate students to East Harlem each year to tutor children 7-14 years old one-to-one in reading, writing, science, history, and math. Mr. Gottesman received his MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing from Babson in 1999, and his BA in history from Columbia in 1993.
 
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