What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is best described as a Harry Potter encyclopedia and online forum. While advertising is far from the focus, Google ads appear on the main page, some "Lexicon" related retail is available (t-shirts, bags, mugs, etc.), and links to Amazon for J.K. Rowling's books are placed throughout the site. There are three levels of access to this site (guest, read-only, participant) and the discussions are definitely monitored by staff as well as self-regulated by contributors.
What's it about?
WWW.HP-LEXICON.ORG is a Web site created and managed by school librarian and Harry Potter reference guru Steve Vander Ark. Here, fans can find A-Z indexes for spells and potions, maps of various environments, descriptions of wizarding and muggle families, details of the Hogwarts houses, and so much more. The site is mainly about the books, not the movies. Its main objective is to be the best and most complete reference guide to the Harry Potter world. But if camaraderie is what kids are looking for, there's the www.hp-lexicon.org forum, where Harry Potter-related discussion threads take place. There is also a collection of essays contributed by fans.
Is it any good?
Unless information overload is a deterrent, HP-LEXICON is a "prefectly" (Potter pun intended here) good website for kids to find all they could ever want to know about the world of Harry Potter. Google ads are on the main page, there are several links to Amazon for purchase of Harry Potter books and there is a store where kids can buy HP-Lexicon garb. However, commercialism has a soft presence on this site; the focus is on the facts and lots of them!
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about what they're looking up about the Potter world. Does it help them understand some of the themes in the books? Would you create such a site for other book series you read, and if so, which ones?