Too cool or not too cool, that is the question.
The Harry Potter books are a phenomenon all over the world, but do only younger kids read them and go to the movies? (Today's high school juniors were in fourth grade when the first book came out!) NeXt correspondents talked to teens about whether they've outgrown Harry Potter. Interestingly enough, many teens were supportive of the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry.
Plus, as the books advance, they get darker, so teens are the ones who can read them without getting scared. J.K. Rowling has gotten rid of the thought that if a book is in the kids section, no one over 12 would dare read it, and that just because a movie is rated G or PG doesn't mean it's too stupid and childish for teens to see.
At one sold-out show on opening night Friday, at least half the people in the theater were teens who came without younger siblings. If that doesn't answer whether teens are too cool for Harry Potter, what else will?
On to our "survey":
"How can you be too old for magic and cute boys?"
-- Caitlin Kelsey, ninth grade, City Honors
"I have all the books, and I've read most of them more than once, but I'm not obsessed or anything. They came out when we were at the perfect age, and now I'm hooked."
-- Caitlin Size, freshman, Park School
"I LOVE HARRY POTTER, and I'm seeing it on opening night at 10:10 p.m., and I've read the books billions of times, I have the soundtrack, a board game, no, a whole Harry Potter shrine in a corner of my room, posters on my door, a billion different Web sites in my favorites, pencils, and more, and plus I even entered the VIP contest but didn't win."
-- Jessie Lewis, 14, Williamsville East
"Well, I'm still going to be reading the next one, when -- if -- it comes out, but I'm far less interested in it than I was a couple years ago. It's still going to sell like mad, but the sooner she (J.K. Rowling) gets it out, the better."
-- Max Criden, freshman, City Honors
"I know it's kind of meant for little kids, but still, i get fascinated with the story and J.K Rowling is a great writer. I think no one is too old for stories like Harry Potter."
-- Jia Choi, freshman, Park
"We are entirely too young to be worried about whether we're too old."
-- Allyce Canaday, freshman, East Aurora High School
"I think that you can never be too old for Harry. Magic should be an ageless thing that people should be able to enjoy at any age."
-- Liz Schreiber, freshman, Park
"I don't think we're too old for it. Most high schoolers are just closet fans."
-- Jen Vona, freshman, East Aurora High School
"So I'm going to see it on Friday when it comes out, but it is kind of nerdy, and I wouldn't be caught dead reading the book in public."
-- Marie Schiappa, 14, Mount St. Mary's
"I don't feel that I am too old for Harry Potter because I believe that my imagination is still the same as it was when I was a little kid! I'm a little kid trapped in a big kid's body. Age is not a factor."
-- Hargun K. Singh, 15, Williamsville South
"Teens are never too old for Harry Potter. Harry grows up in the stories. Why can't his readers grow up along with him?"
-- Kristin Kullander, junior, Park
"Personally I don't really like Harry Potter. In the beginning I liked it a lot, but then when the fourth book came out I was like 'Um, I think I'll wait for the movie.'"
-- Bridget Steele, 12, St. Mary's in Swormville
"I think that these books and movies are great for people of all ages and that they are only too 'childish' for you if you yourself think that they are."
-- Katy Kober, 14, Mount St. Mary's
"Yes, I am planning on seeing the movie and, yes I like the books, but it is kind of childish. It just is."
-- Victoria Gajewski, 12, St. Mary's in Swormville
"I don't think Harry Potter is too childish. I do think it's sort of weird the way some people really get into it, you know dressing up and all that."
-- Deandra Modica, 14, Sacred Heart
"Harry Potter isn't too childish! It's a book about a bunch of wizards running around and having fun being teens! That's what we're supposed to read, unless they want us to read books about 60-year-olds."
-- Samantha Attard, 14, Nardin
"If teens read anything, they should read this. 1. It's fantasy, 2. It's about teens growing up, and 3. It has themes of death, danger, and darkness -- that's totally directed to teens!"
-- Cara Cotter, 14, Nardin
"I never read the books, but they sound really good for all ages!"
-- Alex Roach, 14, Nardin
"It's a classic good vs. evil book. Besides, everyone has a kid inside of them, and we all need a place to escape. These books are a great place to just get lost in and forget about reality!"
-- Mairghread Ryan, 14, Nardin
"I think Harry Potter is for any age. For all sorts of ages, it creates the same effect, constantly surprising you."
-- Natalie Ianni, 17, Grand Island
"Harry Potter is funny, exciting, and all the characters are great. Plus, I love the soundtrack!"
-- Katie Figliotti, 15, Grand Island
"Every kid wishes he/she had magical powers when they were little. Harry Potter lets you see how it might be if you had powers. It's like you have entered a new world where anything is possible."
-- Victoria McCraith, 15, Grand Island
"Harry Potter rocks!"
-- Kate Capicotto, 14, Nardin
"And he's hot!"
-- Chrissy Hunt, 13, Nardin