Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why I Love Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is almost here! So to celebrate, I thought I would share what it is I love about the series. (And there are spoilers-you've been warned!! But seriously, if you need spoiler warnings, than I'm sad-you need to read the series!)

I got in on the Harry Potter phenomenon late-I read all the books in a month before the sixth book released. And you all have Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan to thank for that because he told me to read them. I had actually started reading book one aloud with my brother a couple of years before, but we stopped reading because I had to back to school and we just never caught back up. But after I read them, I immediately called my mom and told her she had to read them with my siblings!

I didn't really hear much about Harry Potter until I was in college (and yes, it makes me feel old when my teens say they grew up reading Harry Potter), and while I had friends that read them, I was very busy and not reading as much (this is also before I really re-discovered YA). I was still in that "I'm an adult I must read fancy adult books" phase, so children's and YA wasn't on my radar. But then a few years later, enter Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan who told me to read them. I was also volunteering at the Adler Planetarium and they mentioned how there were many tie-ins to the series in the constellations, so I decided to check the books out. I was getting fed up with my boring adult reading diet, so I welcomed the idea of something new.


I gobbled up the books! I read books 1-5 in a month and finished book five just a day before the sixth book released. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I went to Borders for the midnight release, rushed back and read our copies. We weren't officially dating at the time and we credit Harry Potter as one of the things that really brought us together.


Why do I love the books?


-They reintroduced me to children's and YA lit. Once I started reading Harry Potter, I couldn't stop there. I checked out other children's and YA books. I already had the idea that I wanted to be a librarian, but reading Harry Potter helped further that idea along and introduced me to the genres I loved the read-and the perfect job-tween and teen librarian.


-The stories are inventive and magical. The writing is so fantastic and the details of the magical world J.K. Rowling has created continue to amaze me-even when I re-read the books.


-There's always something new each time I re-read one of the books. There's new hints or details I didn't notice before. Like in book seven, she has characters mention to Hermione things about Magical Law. It's little things like that I appreciate with each reading.


-My all time favorite moment of reading the Harry Potter series came in book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. All throughout the book she has you thinking Sirius Black is a killer and betrayed Harry's parents. The moment Harry learns the truth is when we figure out what really happened. When Harry believes the truth, we as the reader change our mind and believe too-and that is a powerful moment as a reader.


-They can be enjoyed by all ages. I love that I was able to share this series with my family and friends. I was able to get friends who didn't think they were readers, let alone readers of children's and YA books, to read the Harry Potter Series. The fact that we can discuss each book and movie is something I love and hold dear. I look forward to sharing the books with my niece and maybe my own children someday.


Sadly, I think there's still a stigma surrounding the Harry Potter series. I have several friends who still haven't read them-they think they can just see the movies instead. (So wrong and every time they say it's like stabbing me in my librarian heart!) And there's the fact that the fandom has taken off and it's seen as somewhat "nerdy." But I try to explain that they just need to try to read them. If you can't seem to read them, try them on audio-Jim Dale is a fantastic narrator. The funny thing is, these aren't people who will shy away from reading YA-there's just something about Harry Potter that makes them turn up their noses. But I'm still working on them-I'll get these non-readers to read Harry Potter someday!!


So why do you love the Harry Potter series? When did you become a fan? Any favorite moments or books? And if you haven't read them yet, seriously why not???:) (And don't think you can just see the movies-that's so wrong and you're really missing out!) And who's going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One?? I can't wait!


23 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, it would be me, wouldn't it? I started the books when Sorcerer's Stone was the only book in the series out in the US (I was an assistant in an elementary school library, so I'd heard of the book, but it was actually my mom who suggested I read it after she read a review that likened it to Roald Dahl, one of my faves). Why do I love them? I guess because I am always right there with them. I love that the magic and real world make sense together and that anyone can be a wizard, not just those born into the wizarding world. My favorite part of the series, and maybe it's just because it's the most fresh in my mind, is the final line to the final book. "All was well." That's what we all want, isn't it? At least it's what I want. Good should prevail. And in the world of Harry Potter, it does. *sniff*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't feel bad you only found them in college.....I found them as a mom!

    My favorite HP moments are ones that have brought me closer to my kids. I remember getting up early to go to the store to get the Deathly Hallows and reading it in the car until my eldest daughter saw me through her upstairs window and came down and demanded the book. So much for trying to be sneaky.

    I remember exactly where I was sitting when I read what happened on the lightning-struck tower in HP6. I still get chills.

    Harry Potter made me feel like, "Yes, these are my people....the folks that write these kinds of books and the folks that love them."

    Can.Not.Wait.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the books.

    The problem I have with them (or them as an idea) is all the people out there that think that Harry Potter is the only childrens chapter book that exists and they push their kids to read them when they're not good enough readers to handle the entire series (which causes them to quit) and kids miss out. It's a middle grade series that should be introduced to kids when they're older, not when they're in the second or third grade (unless they're audio books or read aloud).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was in my senior year of high school when I first discovered Harry Potter. The first 3 books were out already and it was actually a child I used to nanny who got me to read them. When I nannied in the summer everyday after lunch the children would have to sit down and read for 20 minutes. They were in the summer reading program and this was a requirement. One of the boys hated reading and fought with me everyday about it. Six years later when I was in my senior year that same child came up to me and told me that he found these books that he couldn't put down and he gave me the first three books. I put off reading them and every week he'd ask me about them. I finally read them and fell in love. These books are powerful and they get not only children but many different aged people to read.

    Oh yea..Book 3 is my favorite too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Julie-haha-of course you would comment! I love that it's a battle of good vs. evil and good prevails too. And love the last line!:) BTW-I've been watching interviews online and everytime I see Rupert I think of you!:)

    Storyqueen-Yes, these would be great to share with kids. I can't wait to share them with my niece and maybe my future children-I'd love to experience it again with someone who doesn't know anything about the series.

    Sara-Yes, I see that too in the library. People want to rush kids into reading them, but they really should wait until the kids can really enjoy them. And if you want to read them when you're younger, yes read it aloud or listen to them! Than you can talk to your kids about the books, not just leave them to deal with it all on their own!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lisa-I love your HP story! And I love that a kid got you to read them!:) And book three is all kinds of awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh how I love your thoughts on Harry Potter. Isn't it wonderful when a book or series of books has an effect on your life in a way that changes everything? Thanks for sharing, Sarah.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this series. Like you, I also discovered it late in the game. I was in college and book six had just come out. One of my co-workers was reading book six and raving about the series. I don't know why I hadn't read it yet and so I decided to give it a try.

    I loved it! I read 1-6 in a month and was dying for seven. I accidentally ordered two copies of book 7, I was so pumped up for it.

    I love that there is so much to the books. On one level, they're a great story of good versus evil. The characters are so real and there are bits and pieces of each character I can relate to and love or hate. On another level, they're a great mystery with so many layers to uncover and new hints and clues I'm always discovering. On the "scholarly" side of things, the books make so many different references to various mythology, etc. The vocabulary is also pretty impressive for a "kid" series.

    I also love the world Rowling created. Between the books and the movies, we have such a clear picture of Hogwarts and the wizarding world. I can easily picture what my life would be like if I were a student at Hogwarts: I know what my uniform would look like, what the school looks like, what my school schedule would be like, everything. And I totally would love to be a student there!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVE this series. I started reading them after book 3 came out. It look me to the end of the first chapter to be hooked.I went to a few midnight parties at the bookstores - which were REALLY cool.

    I can't wait for midnight!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I absolutley love the Harry Potter series!!! I am on book 6 right now. I feel like a loser, because I am one of those people that likes to finish the series of a book before I see the final movie, I am just weird like that. Oh well. I am so excited to see the last movies.
    I have been getting alot of my friends into the series, as well. Thet always ask me why I like them so much, and the only way I can answer is by simply saying that they are VERY well written. Wouldn't you agree?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am with you! I love love love them! I am going to see the movie at midnight tonight and having a huge party!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Soooo true...
    What is harder for me to get, even more than the people who think the movies will do, are the people who will never read them because of the "promoting witchcraft" belief that is floating around. It...I just...really?? Evil? I can't even imagine any part of these books doing such a thing. And I bet those people would be SHOCKED to actually sit and read and get the real message in them. The 3rd book was truly a magically written book, like you said. I remember getting SO excited for Harry that he finally had a place to go where he could always be in the magical world and with someone who loved him. BROKE MY HEART when it didn't work out!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got hooked after the fifth one came out. I was one of those reluctant ones - trying to avoid all the hype. SO glad I finally gave in. Of course I had to spread the love and got my sister hooked. I also managed to convince my hubby to read the last few before the movies came out. He officially loves the books more than the movies now.

    Spread the HP love!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sitting here, in my homemade HP7 t shirt (thanks sis) excitedly waiting for midnight!!! I got into HP about four years ago. Sadly I saw the movies 1-5 before I read the books, thus in a way, making it not quite as magical. But I did read them all in two months (which would have been quicker, but I got really sick for a couple weeks and didn't feel like reading) and am now as most people tell me obsessed (though I prefer passionate). HP is something me and my two sisters love, it's made us closer. I loved reading when I started them, but I think HP helped in my dream of being a writer.
    I still remember sitting on my couch watching SS and listening to Ollivander talk about wands and voldemort. That scene made me love HP. THe fact is the whole world is affected by this, who knew that a children's book series could bring us together like the olympics? and now four major points...
    I'm going to cry when it's all over.

    LF

    ReplyDelete
  15. I discovered Potter in college, the summer Goblet of Fire came out. And by "discovered" I mean "my boss forced me to read them." I was working in ILL in the college library and she found out I hadn't read them yet, spun around in her office chair, and said "I'm bring you the first one tomorrow. Don't talk to me again until you've finished it."

    The next night, I devoured it in one sitting. About half way through I had to pee and thought "I'll just wait until the end of the chapter." And then the chapter end would roll around and I'd think "oh... just one more..."

    The book was done before I made it to the bathroom.

    I'm spending the weekend with a friend who isn't a big Potter person. I was sad I'd miss the movie, but she emailed me and pre-ordered tickets because she knows I'm such a Potter freak. She's actually seen all the movies, but as she explains "the books hit my radar in grad school and I just didn't have the time, but I did see the films. I'll wait to get the full story when I read them with my kids."

    My one worry is that David Yates is such a Harry/Hermione shipper! I'm going to have to explain to my friend that all the romantic tension should be between Hermione and Ron!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Literarywife-I do love how the seris really brings people together!

    Small Review-I love love love your comment! Yes, the world is so magical you feel like you know what it's like. And the characters are so real, you feel for them. There really is so much packed into each book and that's what makes them so great!

    YABookNerd-Yep, we went to the midnight releases of every book and movie since Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I have been together. We love it!

    Anon-Yes-they are very well written! They are so entertaining and really keep you guessing! And you're not weird-I like to read the books before the movies too. I just re-read book seven!:)

    Aubrey-Have fun! I'm going too!!

    Colene-Oh, don't even get me started on that! You're right, if they would read the series, they would see that it's so much more than that. And look at Lord of the Rings and Narnia-lots of magic in there too! What really bothers me is when they bash Harry Potter but yet Twilight is ok to read because they wait to have sex. Um-he's a soulless vampire!!

    Melissa-I'm so glad you've gotten people hooked! The books are always better!:)

    Paper Bird-I love that the series brought you and your sisters togehter. It's so true that it brings readers together-and turns people into readers! I love it! I wish I had a homemade t-shirt-I need to make one!

    Jennie-Oh I know-I want romantice tension between Ron and Hermione!! That's the way it's supposed to be! I'm glad you get to see the movie-your friend is so awesome for getting tickets!:)

    ReplyDelete
  17. My favorite book of the series is Azkaban, most definitely. That's even what my license plate says. I enjoyed it for so many reasons, but partly because of what you mentioned, that ah ha! moment where the truth is revealed. I adore the history surrounding the Marauders and would love to read more about them, even knowing about the grisly end they all meet in various ways. My love for Harry Potter knows no bounds, I am definitely a nerd about it but I don't care. I love it that much.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was a lucky "early adapter" in library school when book 2 was published in Canada/UK but not available yet in the US. My former boss (librarian) handed me book one and told me he'd loan book two after he'd jaunted up to Canada to buy it (and after he and his kids finished it).

    I finished book 1 by the end of the weekend (even though I was in library school and *supposed* to be studying), and then mercilessly harassed the guy and his kids to "read faster!"

    I loved book seven. I read it twice in the first weekend, because I zoomed through it the first time, it was over too quickly, so I had to read it again. My spouse and I each got a copy at midnight because we knew that we wouldn't want to share...or wait...!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I too adore Harry Potter (and I'm 40!). Unlike you I came to the Harry Potter books before they became a sensation. My first two books (apart from being 'The Philosopher's Stone as I'm in Australia) are the YA editions published because they wanted to broaden the reader base and didn't think ya readers would read books with the original 'children's book' covers.

    I got my sister (a teacher) hooked and she read them to her 6th grade (11/12 year old) class and we put together worksheets and a programme as nothing was available at that time.

    I was already a big reader of fantasy and had loved Enid Blyton as a child so the merging of the 'English boarding school' story and magic meant it was a book tailor made for me. Like you it also introduced me back into the world of YA (and, as an aside, you are contributing to my reading list, thank you). I am currently studying to become a primary school teacher and hopefully will be able to become a teacher librarian (additional study required!) after that. I currently volunteer in my son's school library and am interested to see some of the YA books you review appearing on the shelves, despite the leaving age being 13 at most. Some books, I might add, are labelled only to be borrowed by the oldest year level.

    Thank you for some great recommendations.

    Kind regards
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  20. The relationship between the trio was utmost the forefront of this movie and I must say that I liked it. There were some very touching moments between Harry and Hermione but you could see that there was only friendship between the two.

    The Ministry break in, I have to say was very amusing.

    But the part that is going to have everyone raving and crying is the death of Dobby. If that doesn't melt even the hardest of hearts then there is something wrong with you. LOL. Just kidding.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am seeing the movie tonight with some friends. I am SOOO excited!!! My mom was the one that got me hooked on the books, and for that, I am forever grateful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I too was late to the party (starting after book 4 came out), but absolutely love them. I just can't get enough of them and pretty much always have one of the audiobooks on loan from the library.

    I get frustrated with the stigma too. I know people (some who are very close to me) who won't let their kids read these books because they think they are a gateway to witchcraft and satanism, and it's just a shame. If they'd just pick up the books and read them they'd see that they are so mistaken.

    Oh, and I'm going to see the movie tonight! I'm so excited!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I read the "Philosopher's Stone" (I'm going to call it by the title I know it as) when I was about fourteen and the fourth book had come out and some parents were starting to question whether they were okay to have in church school libraries. My dad bought a copy, just to see what all the fuss was about and I picked it up when he was at work and had left the book lying around. I was immediately hooked. After reading the first four in quick succession Book Five was the favourite topic of conversation, though I believe I had to wait until I was sixteen. Oh, the horror! It's also Harry Potter that made me realise that an audio book was a good thing to wake up to in the morning. I don't know what Jim Dale is like as a narrator - over here we have Stephen Fry. Who, perhaps needless to say, is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from other readers! Share your thoughts and chime in!

 
Imagination Designs