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Monday, June 22, 2009

Chinese Harry Potter in "The Adventurous Prince"?

Oh my, accusations of plagiarism in children's books do abound today. After the string of financial successes in children's books, especially of Harry Potter, people seem more suspicious of everybody else lifting somebody else's work.

A Chinese book due for release this month is said to have copied 18 details from the Harry Potter books. The author denies this and finds the accusation "ridiculous". He says he has never heard of JK Rowling and Harry Potter. A 100,000 copies are being tested in schools and it is said The Adventurous Prince is being received warmly by the children.

My 2 cents on the plagiarism: Harry Potter, though wonderfully woven and told, doesn't have 100% super out-of-this world details that will make it impossible to be totally unique. When you follow a story writing formula, similarities will definitely surface between two characters of the same age/ status/ whatever. This is why Ms. Rowling also has a problem with the accusation of plagiarism. Similar basic characteristics of a hero will tend to produce similar contexts sometimes.

I also find it odd for an author to copy something that is currently hot around the world. Easier to be found out. Copycats ought to copy from totally obscure, under the rock pieces to be not found out *wink wink*. Why copy something so popular?

We'll see how The Adventurous Prince fares, and if general feedback will claim it as the Chinese Harry Potter?

I wish Ray will be able to get his hand on The Adventurous Prince so children outside China will also be able to enjoy it. But of course this will be subject to availability, so let's wait and see...

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