Fantasy Books: Reader's Opinion
According to Kotarba (2003:5) genre can be defined as grouping books with similar content. A genre provides learners and teachers with a range of books with ease. Fantasy is an imaginative story with unusual characters and settings. Generally, fantasy involves characters with supernatural powers in an impossible world, and the events in the story are not real (Lynch-Brown et al, 2011:128). This takes us to a term fantasy genre and its role in the intermediate phase. This essay will address whether to integrate fantasy books to intermediate phase learners. The first two paragraphs will support the statement while the third will act against it and lastly a conclusion.
Learners read fantasy books to improve their learning and reading. When learners read fiction, they browse through the story to activate their prior knowledge. For example, when learners identify the genre, unfamiliar terms, and when they try to get the setting, plot, and characters in the fantasy story. The ability of learners to read accurately and fluently may increase when they interact with the text. Therefore, I think the fantasy genre should be allowed in the intermediate phase as it improves their learning and reading skills.
Fantasy literature encourages learners to think beyond and become curious. It encourages their imagination when they are trying to find the possibilities in a fantasy book. For example, in Harry Potter’s novel, a tabby cat becomes a human known as Professor McGonagall. Intermediate learners may relate this to the fact that animals and humans think and behave in a certain way, thus giving them a sense of empathy for others. Fantasy can include elements such as love, defeat, betrayal and a hero. Learners need such stories as they grow up so that their emotions will be ready for a real-life when they face failures, betrayal and disappoint. Therefore, the fantasy genre will enable intermediate learners to cope and face reality.
Fantasy books are frightening and they can be twisting the imagination of the learners. Books like Harry Potter and game of thrones contains content which encourages bad behaviour. Such books, for instance, contain the darkness that parents would not want to expose their children to. The element about occult can lead children to the world of dark things whereas teachers and parents hope their learners grow in a positive way (Kimbra, 2000:267). Also in harry potter the book speaks of normal people as being of no interest and wizard people as entertain. Therefore, learners may become addicted to these books and end up wishing to practice such darkness or even exercise evil power.
In conclusion, I will say that modern fantasy is enjoyable and intermediate learners may relate to the truths about love, betrayal, loyalty and power rather than focusing on flying broomsticks and magic portions. Therefore it is very important for a teacher to know which fantasy is good and which fantasy is bad