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April 10, 2000

Bristol under Harry Potter's spell

By Katie Jordan

Harry Potter and his friends have practically invaded Bristol -
- children, teens, and adults all over the city are reading
about them.

Everybody has heard of the famous Harry Potter, the young
wizard who plays the main role in a popular series of books.

One reason that some of these people started reading the
Harry Potter books is because of teachers like Jodi
Ceglarski, an English teacher at Chippens Hill Middle

Ceglarski said she assigned Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone to her classes, "because I thought the kids would really
like it. I've read all the Harry Potter books. I liked them too."

She thinks that author J.K. Rowling is "very imaginative and
can tell a good story."

By providing them with a good story, she hopes to get her
students to enjoy reading.

Ceglarski's plan may have worked.

Many of the children who have been assigned to read the
book loved it.  Danny Nadeau said, "I think it's a great

Amber Carey said she read the book because the teacher assigned
it to her class, but said that it's good and she likes the way
it's written.

Jessica Letourneau also thinks the author writes very good
stories, and wants more books. So does Garrett Lavertu, who
said, "I thought it was great, and I want to read the next

However, teachers can't take all the credit.

A lot of people read the books on their own or because their
friends recommended them.

Joe Keo, a seventh grade student at Chippens Hill Middle
School, explains that he started reading one of the books,
"Because lots of people were reading it and said it's like the
best book."

Corinna Kalisz, another student, said, "I read it because a
friend said it was a good book."

Amy Grenier said she was confused at first, but "Once I got
into it, it was really good."

But, as with any book, there are some people who just don't
like Harry Potter.

One is Samantha Gunther, a seventh grader assigned to read

The only reason she read the book, Gunther said, was
because it was assigned. She said she thinks the book is
inappropriate for her age level, and doesn't like it because it
is "imaginary stuff that can't happen." 

Gunther also disliked the characters. She said the students say
stupid things and wear stupid clothes, and that the teachers
are mean. Her opinion of the author is also negative.

"I think she just wrote it to make money," said Gunther. But
there's hope for better books, she said, "maybe some that
aren't so imaginary."

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