|4 out of 5 stars|
I love the names that she assigned to characters—of course someone named Lupin is going to be a werewolf! (The French for wolf being loup.) It’s these little treats that appeal to adults reading this series. Rowling nails the angst of school, too, with the dread of being mocked by one’s peers, the fixation on who wins what game, the anxiety about test scores, the rows with friends, and doubting one’s abilities. These are the worries of childhood which morph into our adult problems. Everyone can identify.
And the teachers! As Robertson Davies wrote in Fifth Business, “If a boy can't have a good teacher, give him a psychological cripple or an exotic failure to cope with; don't just give him a bad, dull teacher. This is where the private schools score over state-run schools; they can accommodate a few cultured madmen on the staff without having to offer explanations.” I personally sometimes learned interesting life lessons from the teachers who hated teaching or who were on the brink of a nervous breakdown. They may not have been the best at teaching chemistry or English or whatever, but I learned to cope with people who had power over my life and who were not having a good time.
Read as part of my Halloween Book Bingo 2016, to count towards the Witches square.