I wish I had written this:
We see, indeed, that loyalty is only tested, and only rendered meaningful, by self-sacrifice, a negation of the self for others; indeed this is the absolute moral and the basis of salvation at the end. This is a very Judeo-Christian message, if not the Judeo-Christian message, and all the more a shame that poorly-ground religionists condemn the books.
Ron Coleman nails many of my own personal thoughts on the series, and all of those I think are important. Even the “over-nazification” of the Ministry of Magic following Voldemort’s rise to power.
The entire series deals with many large issues, but the final book pulls no punches. If all kids get out of it is a desire to be a bit more like Harry, Ron, or Hermione, it will have effected great good. There are so few worthy “role model”-type characters out there that are actually popular with kids, but I’ve got to think that the Harry Potter series provides a realistic look at some good ones in some tough, soul-testing situations.
(It’s weird to refer to these stories as ‘realistic’, but, in fact, I think that many of the situations are very realistic. No, most kids don’t face life-threatening conflicts or deal with institution or individuals that threaten the world as we know it…but it seems like it at the time.)
I have my quibbles with some of the writing and some of the stories, but I must admit that I’ve found the entire series to be thoroughly enjoyable.