I'd really like to hear thoughts from "children's books OMG!" apologists that have actually read past the first chapter of book one, and who don't have the reading comprehension skills of a pre-teen. I don't mind children's stories, I've been geeking over Star Wars for fifteen years, but the political aspects and the increasing creepy-creepy elements seen as specifically aimed for children? Okay. Because cannibal-pedophiles and armies of the watery dead are exactly what I'd read about to my future nephews and nieces.
The debate ought to be between popular entertainment and high literature, if you must, and not between 'children's literature' and 'adult literature'. The juxtaposition between Harry Potter and Dostoevsky that keeps coming up in these arguments is the most ridiculous thing ever. They're not exactly in the same ballpark, how ever you twist it. Compare it to Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Star Wars. While Tolkien might have been acclaimed for his mythos, Lewis for the quality of writing, and Lucas for his... I don't know what - making them popular entertainment that adults can also enjoy - even put together they're not half as downright creepy as the Harry Potter books.
Certainly there's the level of adventure I'm sure kids enjoy immensely, but there are other things I'm willing to bet fly right over their heads. The first chapter was pure politics, two ministers conversing, which doesn't seem like that captivating an opening chapter if you were writing purely for children. The main character doesn't even make an appearance until chapter three. There's a moral ambiguity even in minor supporting characters that some people who will remain nameless can't manage in six fucking movies. And then there's the stuff like --
Fenrir Greyback grinned, showing pointed teeth. Blood trickled down his chin and he licked his lips slowly, obscenely.
'But you know how much I like kids, Dumbledore.'
'Am I to take it that you are attacking even without the full moon now? This is most unusual... you have developed a taste for human flesh that cannot be satisfied once a month?'
'That's right,' said Greyback. 'Shocks you, that, does it, Dumbledore? Frightens you?'
'Well, I cannot pretend it does not disgust me a little,' said Dumbledore. 'And, yes, I am a little shocked that Draco here invited you, of all people, into the school where his friends live...'
'I didn't,' breathed Malfoy. He was not looking at Greyback; he did not seem to want to even glance at him. 'I didn't know he was going to come--'
'I wouldn't want to miss a trip to Hogwarts, Dumbledore,' rasped Greyback. 'Not when there are throats to be ripped out... delicious, delicious...'
And he raised a yellow fingernail and picked at his front teeth, leering at Dumbledore.
'I could do you for afters, Dumbledore...'
Find that in your goddamn Dostoevsky.
There's nothing infantile about liking interesting and entertaining stories. Isn't that right, dear asshats, whom I saw squeeing over the pop movie du jour right before moving in on the Potter-trollery? Hellblazer, Fantastic Four, Revenge of the Sith, Hellboy, B a t m a n -- I like them too, but seriously, are you for real?