Georgia – A Genre-Friendly Location

The state of Georgia (U.S.) just won my admiration. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported, the Georgia Board of Education voted to uphold a local school board’s decision to leave Harry Potter books on library shelves, despite a mother’s objections that they promoted witchcraft.

Laura Mallory, mother of three children who attend elementary school in Gwinnett County, had worked more than a year to ban the Harry Potter books from the schools. She claimed that the series tried to train children in witchcraft.

School officials fought back, saying that these books were good tools to encourage children to read and that banning all books with references to witchcraft would have to include such classics as Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the fairytale Cinderella.

It seems to me that a book of obvious fantasy couldn’t instruct anyone in witchcraft. If Ms. Mallory truly believes that the witchcraft portrayed in the Harry Potter books is real, then I’ve very sad for her and anyone who agrees with her. Is the state of education today so bad that people can not tell the difference between fantasy and reality?

Anyway, since 2000, the popular Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling have been challenged 115 times. According to the American Library Association, this makes them the most challenged texts of the 21st century. In addition, they’ve become one of the most popular books to be embraced by youth, causing many children who might not have discovered the joys of reading or the delight of genre fiction to become avid readers. In my book (forgive the pun), this makes them a boon to society, not a bane.

Some Gwinnet County Genre-Friendly Attractions

Six Flags Over Georgia
Home of Gotham City Crime Wave, Superman Ultimate Flight, Batman the Ride, Monster Plantation, Santa Maria (a pirate-themed ride) and more.

Atlanta Horror Fest
The first one was held this year. I wonder what 2007 will be like?

America’s largest, multi-media, popular arts convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film.

Mythic Journeys
A conference and performance festival focused on the mythic imagination.

Sci Fi Summer Con
A big con focused on science fiction.

Share your travels!

About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.