This terrific New York Magazine piece makes the case (along with research published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology) that kids who read the popular Harry Potter books series:
“exhibited fewer prejudiced feelings toward stigmatized groups, when compared to kids who didn’t read the books.”
In short, the Harry Potter books may help teach children empathy, a trait that seems to be in short supply amongst many school aged children these days.
There is much published research on this important issue and I would encourage any parent of young children to take a look at it.
But wouldn’t it be great if there really was something to this?
As any parent will tell you, we can use all of the help we can get.