The other day I talked to my 10-year-old, fifth-grade grandson, Grey, on the phone. I told him that the  New York Times crossword puzzle had the following clue: "Head of Slytherin House"---he immediately said, "That would be Snape." Which, of course, it was.

I gave him, for his 9th Christmas, a little over a year ago, the complete set of Harry Potter books---hardcover, in a special trunk with a latch. Nifty gift, I thought. So did he, because it impressed his friends, but he never opened a single book. He said he preferred non-fiction. So the HP trunk became a piece of furniture in his bedroom.


Then---who knows why?---recently, he started in on the first one....and never looked back. Right now he is middway through Book Four so we had a lengthy phone conversation about HP (which I have never read, so he has to fill me in plot-wise)

Then he turned the telephone over to his younger brother, Rhys, age newly 8, second grade. I asked Rhys what HE is reading.

Goosebumps," he said.