Sunday, January 30, 2011

Comparative Literature: Harry Potter & The Secret of Platform 13

Moving on with our studies, E is burning her way through the books. It doesn't take much to get this girl to read - just a quiet space and some free time. I think she likes travel time nowadays because car time means PLENTY of time to read with little interruption. (And with two readers in the backseat, it means a bit of boredom for the driver who sits largely in silence so the music won't distract the readers from their realms.)

This weekend, E read The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson. I haven't had a chance to get to this one yet, but E said it was remarkably similar to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She was so excited to move on in her Harry Potter reading that she voluntarily wrote her comparison and summary today, Sunday.
Harry Potter and The Secret of Platform 13 seem very different, but the more you think about them, the more they seem alike. The Secret of Platform 13 is most like the first Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone than any of the others in the Harry Potter series.

Raymond in The Secret of Platform 13 is a lot like Dudley Dursley, a fat pig of a boy. Ben is a lot like Harry: nice and hard working. Other than that no one comes to mind.

The places that those stories take place are completely different, except that they both involve England. Harry Potter is set in a wizards' school, and The Secret of Platform 13 is set on a secret island. Neither story focuses on one place, though.

The story lines have some similarities which you don't even notice unless you really look for them. They are both good-versus-evil themed. They both also have a fairly common story line: good is treated badly by bad; bad prospers; good rises and wins.

Basically, they have differences and similarities. I liked Harry Potter better. Harry Potter is for older readers, and The Secret of Platform 13 is for younger readers.   

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