It is about witchcraft. It has to do with black magic. Therefore, Harry Potter is not appropriate for impressionable young minds. But I am a die-hard fan of Harry.

I have read not only all the six books written by J K Rowling but…

…also watched all the movies based on the first four books.

For the latest movie, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, I have watched it twice – once at the Gala Premiere and the other at the Rotary Club of Raffles City Charity Film Night. I have to thank my lightsaber-crazy former teacher and all time funny guy, Neil Humphreys; Warner Brothers’ Jana Sim; and my thoughtful Oral Communications teacher, Mrs Juliet McCully, for making it possible.

The movie was everything I expected. The special effects and computer-generated images were simply awesome. The story was generally quite faithful to the book although some details and incidents featured in the book were missing. This is understandable because of time constraints.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story of Harry, let me get you up to speed.

Lord Voldemort, an evil wizard, caused death and destruction wherever he went. He would not hesitate to put to death anyone who opposed him.

Harry’s parents stood up against him and were killed. However, they managed to save their son before dying. Voldemort cast a death curse on Harry. It backfired and finished him off leaving Harry with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.

Harry was later sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where most of his adventures were centred.

The story of Harry is not just about witchcraft, black magic and evil deeds. There are many valuable lessons that can be learned from the series.

One of which is the importance of love. In the latest movie, Lord Voldemort explained that Harry survived because of the love of Harry’s mother. She had sacrificed herself to protect her son. In the process, she had created a shield of love that made it impossible for Voldemort to get rid of him.

I can relate to that as I am the product of my mother’s love. Without her love I am nothing. She raises me up to be strong with her daily dose of love. Just like me, I am sure many people appreciate the power of love. Yes, love can conquer not only evil intentions but also jealousy and hate. More importantly, it is the glue that cements friendship. And this value is taught in Harry Potter books and movies.

I believe that the world will be a better place if there is a Harry in all of us. On many occasions, he put his life in constant peril to save the life of others. He placed others before himself without second thought.

Harry is a model of selflessness. This quality is certainly lacking in our fast-paced and materialistic society. If you need any examples, just read the daily newspaper. It is sad to find quite a number of selfish and inconsiderate people in the news.

Unfortunately, Harry Potter has its fair share of detractors who are of the view that the contents of the books are unsuitable for children because they delve deep into witchcraft and black magic. What’s more, they are not compatible with Christianity.

While I respect the opinion, I still think that you should not give the Harry Potter books or movies a complete miss. It will not be fair for you to pass judgment if you have not read the book or watch the movie. Moreover, it can be an eye opener for you.

If your children want to read the books, don’t stop them. What better way to cultivate the habit of reading than to allow them to read the books of their interest. They can expand their vocabulary and pick up some fundamental values from the books. They can also learn to appreciate the difference between good and evil.

If you are looking for a good movie, I recommend that you watch “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” now showing at numerous theatres. You will enjoy the action-packed movie filled with stunning visual effects, if not anything else.