SparkNotes Blog

10 Reasons to Ban the Harry Potter Books

Some parents want to put Harry Potter into the Restricted Section of the public school system, and it’s not because the books are TOO good and TOO well-written and TOO life-changing. And those parents are absolutely correct. I mean, if we let The Boy Who Lived into our classrooms and libraries, what’s next? Kids enjoying what they’re studying? Kids becoming lifelong readers, givers of charity, and overall better people? NOT IN MY SCHOOL.

In honor of Banned Book Week, let’s take a look at some of the oft-cited reasons why the HP haters gonna hate.

1. Some people just aren’t down with witchcraft. Harry Potter has taught us how to point sticks at things and shout nonsense syllables, which is just one small step away from summoning the forces of evil and feeding on the blood of the innocent. You may have thought the books were about life, loss, and love, but they’re actually how-to guides for nefarious activities like DEVIL WORSHIP and BELIEVING IN THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP.

2. Violence. Okay, spoiler alert: lots of people die, including a unicorn, a beloved owl, and actual people. In fact, there’s a bunch of death before the story even starts. These are violent books. Probably no more or less violent than Catch-22 or Heart of Darkness, but Malfoy does get punched in the face by several people and one hippogriff.

3. People kiss in these books. And they kiss not just once—not just twice—but TEN TIMES, or at least six. I don’t actually know the final snogging tally, because all the romance is so secondary to the primary plot. But whatever, it’s there. Harry and Ginny kiss. Ron and Hermione kiss. Lupin and Tonks had sex to make Teddy, presumably, which is gross. Think of the kids, J.K. Rowling, you disgusting gutter person. Think of the kids.

4. J.K. Rowling made a deal with the devil. I’ve made no secret of this conspiracy theory; I firmly believe that J.K. Rowling is going to stay young forever because of our tears. And we’re playing right into her perfectly manicured, wrinkle-free hands. Wake up, America.

5. The books inspire unruly behavior. HP & Co. are the exact opposite of role models. They run around the castle unchecked causing hijinks galore. I defy you to show me one child who has flown a stolen magical car right into a magical tree and NOT read Harry Potter. Check and mate.

6. They’re too scary. All these werewolves, giant spiders, bullies, and issues of discrimination and prejudice are just fantasy nightmare fodder poisoning the minds of our youth.

7. J.K. Rowling is creating her own cult. Which she totally is. I cracked open Sorcerer’s Stone when I was six, and look at me now. I would kill for her, or at least drop Goblet of Fire on someone’s foot.

8. Harry and his friends promote anti-family values. They lie, cheat, and steal—and even worse, they get away with it. This is true. I grew up with Harry Potter, and I’m a better liar for it. Whenever somebody asks me why my copy of Advanced Potion-Making has the name “Roonil Wazlib” written inside the front cover, I say without missing a beat, “That’s my nickname,” and then I give myself a high-five because I’m pretty sure I nailed it.

9. It confuses the impressionable youth as to what’s real and what’s not. This is also true. I’m not 100% on this, but I’m pretty sure I can speak to snakes. Sometimes I tie letters to the legs of unsuspecting owls. There isn’t a broomstick I haven’t tried to ride.

10. Because Fred died. That’s right. I’m not happy about this, so I’m enacting a nationwide ban. BEGONE, HEARTBREAK BOOKS. INTO THE EVERLASTING GUBRAITHIAN FIRE WITH YOU.

We don’t REALLY think we even have to ask, but where do you fall on this debate? Should the HP books be banned?