Sunday, October 17, 1999 Published at 01:22 GMT 02:22 UK
Harry Potter fights back
The Harry Potter books are best-sellers in Britain and the US
The author of the best-selling Harry Potter children's books has rejected accusations that their depictions of evil make them unsuitable for children.
JK Rowling says that her books, which recount the adventures of a young orphaned wizard, were "very moral" in their representation of the struggle between good and evil.
"I wasn't going to pretend that an evil presence is a cardboard cut-out and nobody gets hurt.
"If you're writing about evil you genuinely have a responsibility to show what that means and that's why I'm writing them the way I'm writing them," she said.
But the author rejected such claims, saying that the novels needed to include such ingredients to honestly tell their stories.
"There are those things in the book because I made a very conscious decision right at the beginning that I was writing about someone evil and I was not going to tell a lie," said JK Rowling.
"I think they're very moral books. I see children as innately good unless they've been very damaged. That's where I'm coming from."
Support for the novelist has also come in the form of an online poll in a newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia, which found overwhelming backing for the stories not to be banned from schools.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found 93% of respondents were against a ban.