For years, there's been a school of thought that maintains that the Harry Potter series has reinvigorated a love of reading in children.
But recently a story in The New York Times
, referring to federal statistics, says that there hasn't been a "Harry Potter effect" -- that reading for pleasure among children continues declining.
If that's the case, says Wil Ennis, he hasn't noticed.
Ennis, the community relations manager at this Atlanta Barnes & Noble, says that tables of summer reading now have to be restocked weekly -- a big difference from a few years ago. And the amount of space devoted to certain genres of children's and young adult books has expanded greatly.
Bonnie Brochstein, a teacher at a nearby public school, agrees. She says Potter has a huge following among her sixth-graders -- and so do other books.
Ennis' and Brochstein's experiences are anecdotal, of course. But they give me hope that perhaps the federal statistics are missing something.