LOGANVILLE - The mother who fought to ban Harry Potter books from her children's suburban Atlanta school district said her work on the case has allowed her to find her calling - ministering to children and young adults.
"I never understood why I was involved with Harry Potter in the first place," said Laura Mallory. "I never expected all of that to happen, but I'm called, and my husband is called to this generation. We want to see them delivered from drugs, alcohol, the occult and sexual perversion."
J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter books tell stories of children with magic powers. The first six books have sold more than 325 million copies and they are the most challenged texts of the 21st century, according to the American Library Association. The last book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," went on sale at midnight Friday, heralded by parties in thronged bookstores across the world.
Gwinnett County school board members have said the books are good tools to encourage children to read and spark creativity and imagination.
But Mallory says the books "open the door to the occult and the demonic," saying there are 11 actual witchcraft occult practices in the books, including spell casting, numerology, spirit channeling and astrology.
Mallory began challenging the use of the books in 2005 after she found they were being taught in her son's classroom at J.C. Magill Elementary School.
In May, Superior Judge Ronnie Batchelor upheld a decision by the Georgia Board of Education to let the fiction series remain in Gwinnett County libraries. The education board had supported local school officials.
Mallory said she may consider filing a new case in federal court but has been spending the summer with her four children and working with her husband on developing a youth ministry instead.
She said she never expected the media attention that followed her protest against the books.
"I think I've actually handled it surprisingly well," she said. "It hasn't really bothered me. I knew I was speaking the truth."