Like millions of other readers, U.S. President Barack Obama and his older daughter are big fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. “I’ve got a lot of favorite books,” Obama told excited children at a Silver Spring, Maryland, elementary school on Monday. “But Malia and I read those Harry Potter books, and we thought those were pretty good.”
Obama visited Viers Mill Elementary School to recognize improvement in the students’ standardized test scores and talk about the importance of reading. “I wanted to come by and introduce myself, to say I’m very proud of you. I am hoping that you guys will continue to read, read, read, and that all of you are going to be really working hard not just this year but all the way through high school and then all the way through college,” Obama told the classes of mostly 8- and 9-year-olds assembled in the school’s cafeteria.
After very short remarks, the president stopped at each table and shook hands with the thrilled children, asking them what they liked to read, and chatting with each group. Besides sharing his thoughts on their reading selections (he hasn’t read the “Goosebumps” series, but hears they are “pretty good.”), he shared his opinion of the new movie, “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was the most popular film at cinemas in North America during the weekend.
“When I was really small,” Obama told the schoolchildren, “I used to love a book that they just made a movie of, and that’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’” he said. “We saw that on Saturday and I thought it was worth seeing.”
Photo credit: U.S. President Barack Obama chats with third and fourth grade students at Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 19, 2009. Jason Reed/REUTERS