Recently there was a new book promoted to children’s ministry leaders. Anyone could get the book for free if they paid a nominal shipping fee. The book was plugged as “finally a Christian book series that targets the Harry Potter crowd”. Knowing the controversies that surround Harry Potter and wanting to stay up on what is promoted to children, I paid the nominal shipping fee and received my copy of “The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon, Wand – Paper – Scissors”.
I am not an avid reader, but I was able to read this book in couple days and I was quickly confused as to why this was being promoted as a Christian book series.
I need to emphasize that I do not know the author. the information I have to base this on is the two Harry Moon books I read (one completely, one partially) and what I see from their website about the author and publisher.
What concerns me about the promotion of the book as a Christian book series is that there is little to no reference to the One True God. The family does go to church and the mother seems to be “in tune” with god (lower case intentional), but there is no Biblical lesson shared, that I see, in the book. Let me explain….
From the book itself…
On page 54, the owner of the magic store asks Harry, What is the greatest gift? Harry answers life, but he is then asked what the greatest gift is beyond that, then Harry answers the ability to choose. There is no mention that the greatest gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ. I would expect some reference to salvation, or God’s love, from a “Christian” book as the greatest gift.
There is then discussion about the type of magic wand to purchase. One made of yew wood (dark magic) or almond wood (good magic). You see, Moses used an almond staff as he parted the Red Sea and other things God directed Moses to do. They say that “good magic” comes from the Great Magician (p. 52). Many will see the Great Magician as the One True God, but if that is the case in the book, then the author is not attributing Omnipotence (all powerful) to God, but rather God is an illusionist, a magician, one who deceives others through slight of hand. That is not the God I serve.
Near the end of the book, during the annual magic show, Harry has an amazing performance but is disqualified because Harry did not perform the magic (the illusion), the rabbit was controlling everything. The only “good” Harry does is to save an “enemy” from sure demise, rescuing him from a fire and harm that others were doing to him. There is nothing that talks about Harry doing that because of God’s Love in Him, he’s “just a guy with some magic”.
I see no “Christian” aspect to the story.
From the author page it reads,
Years ago, Mark came up with the idea of a story about young man with a special connection to a world of deep magic, all revealed through a remarkable rabbit friend.
In 2014, Mark began a twenty-one book series project intended to launch The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon into the youth marketplace as a hero defined by a love for a deep magic where love and ‘DO NO EVIL’ lives.
I see nothing on the author page about his desire to teach children Biblical principles, nothing about a life surrendered to God. If I were writing a book series with a Christian perspective, I may not have a statement of faith, but I would share my desire to teach children about Jesus, a hero defined by their love for God, not a love for magic.
The idea of his story is “a young man with a special connection to the world of “deep magic”, not a special connection to God, or Jesus.
From the publisher….
At Rabbit Publishers, our aim is to help the young reader dwell in the world of possibility. In a culture filled with so many disparate voices, Rabbit Publishers is committed to the ideal of the wholesome child. This is a child who is present and active in all aspects of his or her self: mind, heart, body and spirit. These are imaginative, responsible kids. Good kids. Smart kids. Kids who will grow into good citizens.
An atheist can grow into a good citizen, and many do. Reading the book, it could be written from an atheist perspective, or even from another belief system’s perspective
I asked a friend who reviews many Christian fiction books for teens if they had heard of the series and what their thoughts were to get another person’s perspective. They had not heard of the book series until I mentioned it. They visited the website and Facebook page and sent me the following response,
I just looked it up and read the website and a bunch of reviews on amazon and am intrigued. It doesn’t claim to be Christian. In fact, it almost reminds me of the claims of Wicca with the whole “Do No Evil” and “Be Spiritual” and “Have Affection For The Natural World” stuff.
I found their response interesting. Not having anything to go off of except for the information from the book’s own website and reviews on Amazon, they came to a conclusion that it probably was not a Christian series, rather something else. The same sense that I received from reading the book, without looking at their website.
Even the many reviews from parents and children on the Harry Moon website have no mention of the book having a Christian emphasis. Most of the comments are about how enchanted it is, the Halloween theme, and magic.
What I see is another book series that has as its theme, good evil and bad evil, with good evil being good (not necessarily Christian). After I read the book, and a portion of the e-book offered on the site, I began to think that if this was a “Christian series”, then it would be like the church recorded in Corinth where Paul rebuked them for straying from the Truth. Just because a book has a family going to “church” and there is a reference to Moses, it does not make it a “Christian series”.
My concern is that many respected children’s ministry leaders are promoting the book as a Christian series. I do not see it that way, maybe I am missing something. If so, I am open to discussion as to what I missed, but with the information, as I have noted, and the words that the author and publisher use to describe the series, I see it as something that will mislead children and lead them away from the One True God, not a Christian series.
Have you read the book? Do you see it as a Christian series? Why or why not?