Lying to Dumbledore: On Moral Consequentialism in Children’s Literature

Contemporary children’s literature often celebrates children lying or worse to accomplish “good” ends. As parents of avid readers, we must be aware. Joe Breslin and Tom Cox take on perennial favorite, Harry Potter, which offers, as one of its many strengths, gripping portrayals of flawed heroes.

Joe Breslin

About the guest:

Joe Breslin


Joseph Breslin is a fifth grade homeroom teacher at The Heights School. He graduated from the Heights in 2001, and attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he majored in English with a concentration in writing. Joseph was a teacher and coach at the Avalon School for three years, before coming to The Heights in 2011. He and his lovely wife Elizabeth have two sons, Julian Reuel, and Ignatius James. Joseph has helped coach varsity wrestling since 2011, and has been head varsity wrestling coach since 2013.

Tom Cox

About the guest:

Tom Cox


Born and raised in Southern California, Tom Cox attended Hillsdale College in Michigan. After college, he went on an 18,000-mile road-trip exploring America and, while touring the country with his barbershop quartet, was offered this job at The Heights. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Nicole, and four children. In the summer of 2019, he completed a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts at St. John's College in Annapolis. The experience of being a Johnnie helped sharpen his pedagogy while expanding the tools he uses in the classroom, from seminars to oral exams. He blogs on all topics educational at his personal blog grammatic.us. When he isn’t speaking or reading Greek and Latin, he enjoys reading (English), hiking, and spending time with family and friends.