Go get a Vanilla Bean Frappachino from Starbucks, Voldemort. Anne is on the scene. And she doesn't need a damn wand and a bunch of Star Wars-quality henchmen. Yo, Potter's goin down, dawg.
Let me preface this much-needed rational assessment of Harry Potter by saying that I have enjoyed all of the books (now reading Vol. 7) and I have adored putting money into the pocket of J.K. Rowling, whose struggling artist story really touched my heart. I'm glad Ms. Rowling is richer than the Queen of England, okay? This is not jealousy.
Stop reading HERE if you think Harry Potter is destined to be the "next Huckleberry Finn."
I heard Harry labeled thus by a dewey-eyed Meredith Viera in a segment shown on Countdown with Keith Friday night.
Hey, Meredith! Go clean my basement, you moron!
Anne Presents: Ten Children's Classic Characters Who So Completely Beat Harry That He Should Really Be Dead
Arranged in importance from least to greatest:
10. Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Okay, I picked Laura mostly because she too has a set of seven volumes. Don't think you know her if you watched that sappy T.V. show. Laura's true adventures with her pioneer family are better written than Potter, far, far better illustrated than Potter, and present a plucky character whose parents enable her by ... duhhhhhhh ... teaching her everything she needs to know in a plain, straightforward way. No American girl should rise to adulthood without reading the "Little House" series.
9. Tiny Tim.
Oooooooooohhhhh, a character with one dimension! No facets to that sweet little personality! Spare me. Tim will be shivering by the scant Cratchet fire for centuries to come. Show me where Ron and Hermione have more dimension!
When enjoyment of quality fantasy literature shifts back to an older teen audience, Frodo will outlast Harry. Better story, and at three long volumes much more approachable for the bookish kid of the future. Also, frankly, a far more compelling examination of magic, wizards, etc. etc. etc.
(I told you to stop reading if you weren't prepared for my sermon!)
7. The Little Mermaid.
Did you not love this rebellious darling in the Disney movie? Pretty songs, great brave lil' gal, right? You'll like her even better if you seek out the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, written in ... oh dearie me ... 1836. Find the link yourself, cuz as you might have detected, I'm past pissed today.
6. Peter Pan.
An author with a firm grasp of childhood and a deep respect for faeries. Case closed.
If ever oh ever a character there was, Dorothy of Oz is one because .... Let me count the ways. OHHHHHH! I'm melting, I'm melting, oh what a world, what a world! To the ten readers who are still with me: Did you know this immense and immortal children's classic was written as a political tract? No matter. Dorothy v. Harry? Shoes crush wand.
4. Tom Sawyer.
Krikey, Harry, your competition is getting tougher all the time! You might blunder past Laura Ingalls, but get real. Try scooping humor and magic by the fistfuls from a dirty little Missouri town. Tom don't need no stinkin wand. He's got a fertile brain! In a superstitious backwater community! Who needs an Invisibility Cloak when they've got a nice, stiff dead cat?
3. Alice in Wonderland.
Try though I might, I just cannot imagine a doctoral candidate at Yale penning a thesis about Death Eaters. Alice works on every level, and subtly at that. I'm being tempted to quit writing and go spend the afternoon with her! Alice is what happens when a genius decides to entertain the cute little neighbor girl. She will not be moved. Ever.
2. Huckleberry Finn.
Sorry, Meredith. Harry Potter is not now, nor will he ever be, Huckleberry Finn. You are not now, nor will you ever be, Edward R. Murrow. Do you get the analogy?
And yes, fans! Even Huck doesn't win ANNE'S AWESOME POLL OF BEST EVER CLASSIC CHILDREN'S CHARACTER!
Are you ready for this?
1. King Arthur.
He starts out as a boy, remember? On your knees, Harry, and don't expect a place at the Round Table until you've been rockin' on for ... oh ... 1000 years minimum?
Those of you kind readers who aren't wishing to fix me with some hex or curse might have a few favorite classic characters of your own that I've missed. I just go a little bit George Carlin when dewey-eyed witless reporters start comparing second-rate Charlies (or, in this case, Harries) to really, truly, eternally, classically great literature.
Come on, Toto. It's time to go back to Kansas.