In honor and celebration of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release today, I find it only appropriate to share five of the billions of reasons I adore the Harry franchise. First, a little background… I started reading the Harry Potter series when I was 21, a junior in college. I was taking a children’s lit class (which was fabulous) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was required reading. Honestly, I was reluctant–I’m not big into fantasy or magic, nor was I interested in reading a book told from the perspective of a ten-year-old boy. How on earth would Harry’s silly adventures hold my attention?
Boy, was I stupid. I devoured that first book, then moved quickly to Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Goblet of Fire. Sadly, that was it at the time. I had to wait for the subsequent novels like the rest of the world, but they sure were worth the wait. Never once was I disappointed in one of JK Rowling’s books. And JK herself… wow. I only dream of moving people the way she has with her series.
So, without further ramblings, here are my Friday Five reasons that Harry Potter is awesome…
1) JK Rowling is a master world builder. From the foods that Harry and friends eat (butter beer and chocolate frogs? yes, please!), right down to the magical contents of their wands (a unicorn hair? a phoenix feather? so cool!), JK painted an alternate universe accessible only from Platform 9 3/4 that is full and colorful and complete. Her settings are amazing and play a part all their own in the books and movies. Plus, an entire THEME PARK is modeled off her world!
2) Harry Potter got kids (and everyone else!) reading. It’s cool to be a tiny part of a literary movement that’s such a worldwide phenomenon. I feel the same way about The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series. Anything that unites people over books is good for publishing and great for literacy. The sheer numbers of Harry Potter books and movie tickets sold blows me away.
3) Characters, characters, characters. JK Rowling incorporated scores of them in her books, and each is unique and magical in his or her own way. There’s a Harry character everyone can relate to, whether it’s bumbling and good-hearted Neville Longbottom or hard-nosed but still sort of funny Minerva McGonagall. My favorite Harry Potter character? Hermione Granger, of course. Who doesn’t love a smart, strong girl who’s still capable of being one of the guys?
4) The Harry Potter movie stars are a class act. In a world of Disney Channel loons, seventeen-year-old rehabers and general bad behavior among many young actors, Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint seem to have it all together. They’re diversely talented, smart and seemingly appreciative of their fame. Hopefully they continue on their journey of relative positivity because I, for one, find it very refreshing.
5) The Harry Potter series is moving. JK Rowling isn’t afraid to make you feel, to make you sad, or to kill off your favorite characters. She isn’t scared to force her characters into making hard decisions, and she doesn’t seem to be afraid of criticism or lynch mob book banners. She puts it all out there, and her series is amazing because of that. It takes a lot to move me, but when I saw this poster at the movie theater a few weeks ago…
…I looked at my husband and said, “Oh my God! That almost makes me a little teary!” He kind of rolled his eyes and looked at me like I was hormonal (don’t worry, he does that a lot), but I got the impression he might have felt it too. He’s not a super emotional person, but he’s more than down with taking me to see Deathly Hallows this weekend, so that says something. 🙂
What about you? Have you read Harry? Seen the movies? What do you love about the series?