Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
How we cite our quotes:
"No spell can reawaken the dead," said Dumbledore heavily. "All that would have happened is a kind of reverse echo. A shadow of the living Cedric would have emerged from the wand ... am I correct, Harry?" (36.48).
In a magical world, it seems like it should be possible to bring people back to life. But even though this is a fantasy novel, there are some things that seem just too fantastic for J.K. Rowling to allow. If you could truly bring people back to life, what real consequences would there be for people's actions in the wizarding world? Rowling's refusal to allow people to be brought back to life adds a moral weight to the Harry Potter universe. And it also makes Harry's own struggle more serious: we know that, if Harry dies at the end of the novels, he cannot be brought back. This is the real moment when we think that the Harry Potter novels shift from children's books to young adult literature: the consequences in Goblet of Fire are much darker and more severe than they ever have been in the series.
The Ministry of Magic [...] does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so – either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory. (37.51)
What do you think of the idea of protecting people from disturbing information because they're young? To what degree is it possible to defend young people – or children – from the harsh realities of the world? Where do you draw the line between what's appropriate for young people to know and what isn't? Who would you trust to make that kind of determination?