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Silly adults, Harry Potter is for everyone!

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The British "adult" version of the Harry Potter series.

Bloomsbury Publishing, the British publishing company for the Harry Potter series, released special "adult versions" of the books. The only differences between the "adult version" and the "children's version" are the books' covers.

Today I was looking over a list of the Columbia Public Library’s recent popular reads. Not surprisingly, Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” and Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” were among the most sought-after books this week in “teen fiction.”

What I was surprised by was that J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” made an appearance under “children’s books.”

I’m not surprised that the book is still being checked-out like it’s going out of style nearly a year after it’s initial release. It’s a great book, the last in the best-selling Harry Potter franchise. With the premier of the sixth movie coming up Wednesday, interest in the series has been renewed.

What I was surprised by was its description — “children’s book.”

Don’t get me wrong. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in the septology, was written for children. (It’s about an 11-year-old orphan who finds out he’s an extraordinary wizard, for those of you who have lived under a rock for the past 10 years.) And although the series began with prepubescent heroes who battle trolls and giant snakes (scary, but not too scary for the youngsters), over the course of the seven-book arc, the books become, well, much less childlike.

By the end of the series, Harry and his best friends Ron and Hermione have faced corrupt politicians, muckraking journalists, genocide, a governmental coup and multiple deaths of family and friends.

I think those are some pretty adult themes.

It’s not that this series isn’t for children — it’s that it’s for everyone. Despite the adult content, the series manages to keep its original core intact: it’s a coming-of-age tale that children (and adults) will find entertaining. Rowling’s engaging writing, likable and relatable characters and universal themes are what make these seven books “fun for all ages.”

If you’re interested in more “children’s books” that can be enjoyed by adults as well, check out these series.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
Although the stories of three orphaned children are silly and easy-to read, the dark, dry and sarcastic humor of author Lemony Snicket will have children riveted to the plot and adults “snickering” at the writing. There’s also a mediocre movie starring Jim Carey based on the first three books in the series.

His Dark Materials
The highly controversial trilogy by Philip Pullman seems like your run-of-the-mill fantasy series filled with exploration and exciting lands until the underlying allegory of a corrupt church and a dying god comes into light. A movie based on the first book in the series, “The Golden Compass,” debuted in December 2007.

The Chronicles of Narnia
The polar opposite of “His Dark Materials,” C.S. Lewis’s beloved fantasy series asks the question, “What would the story of Christ look in a different world?” while sending readers on exciting adventures and crusades through time and space in Narnia. The series was made into a TV miniseries in the late 1980s, and the first two books, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Prince Caspian,” have been recently remade into blockbuster movie hits.


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