Over at GeekMom, we’re still celebrating our week-long tribute to the geeky wizarding phenomenon of Harry Potter. And while most of us raise our wands high in appreciation of Rowling and her contributions to the genre, we’re not all in agreement. Kate Miller has a great take on what books come after Harry Potter, and what just might, in her opinion, be a better choice to begin with:
Readers, I’ve got something explosive to say. OK, here goes (nervous throat-clearing sound):
I just don’t like Harry Potter.
I don’t loathe Harry Potter, I just don’t see the magnificence and originality that others do. The first book left me cold, and even my boys lost interest at around book three.
There, I’ve said it. Please don’t yell at me or arrest me. I’m just speaking out for a tiny, overwhelmed minority in America. We Potterphobes cower in our closets.
So why am I posting on our Harry Potter week? Just to be a downer? To be the critic everyone hates? No! My job here is to recommend an alternative series, good for Potterphobes as well as Potterphiles who are ready for fresh material.
And my recommendation is — drumroll, please — the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. My older son and I picked up the first book a couple of years ago when I was still reading aloud to him. We buzzed through the next four books with the urgency of addicts. Like Harry Potter, the protagonist of this series is a boy with a mysterious destiny who moves between the real world and an equally real alternate world. But the resemblance ends there.