Harry Potter -- blood and religion?

HalfBloodThe snail mail is extra, extra late today here in West Palm Beach. So late that it may end up being delayed into the regularly scheduled evening summer thunderstorm. You think the mailperson is carrying any extra weight today? A few copies, perhaps, of the Book That Need Not Be Named? The Mattingly family will hold off on reading it until Monday, as -- it's time to move -- we start the long drive to the Baltimore-Washington area. We'll have the amazing Jim Dale on CD in one car and the family librarian reading in the other car.

No word yet on the religious content of the book from my good (Russian Orthodox homeschooler conservative) friend John Granger, he of Hogwartsprofessor.com and the Barnes & Noble online Harry Potter seminar. No, I have not looked and listened ahead to find out who dies, and the reviewers -- who are raving, as a rule -- have not let the White Bumblebee out of the bag.

There is, however, a fascinating remark about the faith element at the end of Sandra Martin's review in the Globe and Mail. This is, you see, a "terror"- and "terrorism"-haunted book, and her lead is blunt: "Call out the grief counsellers." Concerning J.K. Rowling, Martin writes:

Since then she has remarried (an Edinburgh doctor) and had two more children. She has dedicated The Half Blood Prince to her daughter Mackenzie who was born in January, calling the book her baby's "ink and paper twin." That sentimental linkage between creating a book and a baby shines through much of the novel. For all its mayhem and gore, this novel is really about the importance of loving and protecting children and overcoming prejudices based on blood and religion -- themes that are both timeless and universal.

Please help us watch for the religion-angle stories and columns. They should hit in the next few days.

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