I'm desperately trying to remain "spoiler free" for the final Harry Potter book. Today, I didn't even open the pages of the section of the newspaper that contained the review -- I fear the headline might give something away.
That said, I have my own ideas what will happen in the final book and in the "future" for those characters. If you want to know what they are, I've written them here.
One thing I'd like to mention -- besides being sick of all the hype in general -- is this notion that Harry Potter books got kids reading again.
I'd like to point out that there have always been lots of kids who love to read. They read a lot, they read widely, they enjoy it. And there are plenty of wonderful books out there for them.
But every so often, a writer becomes popular and is crowned the Savior of Reading for Children. I remember when it was R.L. Stine and the Goosebumps books.
What I really think is going on here is that they don't mean "kids" as much as "boys." I think avid readers tend to be female. However, there have always been plenty of boys who liked to read, too. I was delighted to discover my husband-to-be had also read the Golden Book Encyclopedias in his childhood. (Anybody else remember the full page picture of the knight in armor on his armored horse? No doubt another reason I became a writer of medieval romances.)
And I'm sure most male writers today started out as avid readers.
So while I've enjoyed the Harry Potter books, and I'm sure many children are reading them who might otherwise not be reading any novels, I suspect such kids will not become life-long avid readers. This is, for them, the exception, not the rule, and once Harry Potter is finished, they'll find some other form of entertainment.
The kids who stay avid readers are the ones who would have been whether Harry Potter had come along or not.