This week’s essays bring together children’s literature/media, its commodification by dominant publishing houses (Hade; Taxel), and the importance of storytelling (Thomas and Stornaiuolo). Hade writes, “In the late 1960s the children’s book publishing industry had hundreds of distinct, independent companies publishing children’s books with no one company or small group of companies dominating the market” (159). Today, most are published by the Big Five—Viacom, Pearson, News Corporation, Bertelsmann, and Scholastic (Hade 159-60). He remarks that “children today are viewed by the large corporations who make children’s books not as readers of books, but as consumers of ideas,” or brands (164). The Harry Potter brand is an excellent example of numerous parties commodifying and transforming stories for youth (Taxel 481). The books themselves have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide, and in at least 64 languages (Glovin qtd. in Taxel 481).
For your second Reading Response, use Hade, Taxel, and Thomas and Stornaiuolo as guides to think about the connection between the Harry Potter brand, publishing, and storytelling. You can choose to write about the books, the films, the musicals (including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), fan fiction, merchandizing, or something else entirely (GIFs, memes, etc.). Why does the brand, 20 years later, continue to enchant children, young adults, and adults alike? Where and how do you see others (filmmakers, fan writers, etc.) “bending” the story world? Why might they have done so?
For Week 02, please work on correctly quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing primary and secondary sources. I recommend that you use the following resource pages from the Purdue Owl website, which I have linked below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I am happy to help!