By the time I was in sixth grade, the first three Harry Potter books were already out, and my middle school was abuzz with talk of how good they were. I refused to read them at first. I didn’t want to just do what everyone else was doing and, being a slightly snotty child, I doubted that I would enjoy something which everyone else seemed to love. Thankfully, a friend whose taste in books I trusted told me how good they were when our school’s book club picked them, so I decided to give Harry Potter a chance. I asked my parents to order me the first three books in hardback and when they came, stacked them neatly on my alto saxophone on the bus ride home as my classmates gawked at my nerdiness. Halfway through the first book I fell in love with the series.
To this day, my seven hardcover Harry Potter books might be the ones that are closest to my heart. I grew up with this series, attending midnight release parties for books four, five and six. I awaited each installment with bated breath, loving the series even more as each book released.
There’s so much to love about this series. To me, Hogwarts is the type of school with a cozy atmosphere, yet where this is always excitement to be had. Every time I read these books, I wish I could perform spells and taste all of the magical foods which Rowling describes in her novels. Of course, while a good atmosphere is a sure way to pull me in, most of my favorite books have characters which I find lovable, and the Harry Potter series most definitely delivers on this front. By the end of the series, I was very attached to Harry, Hermione and all of the Weasleys.
In her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Rowling talked about how one of the predominant themes in the series is the importance of love. As I turned the last few pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I definitely misted up. I was glad to see how this theme played a role in the outcomes of the characters, and I thought Rowling ended the series really well.
At the end of the day, however, if I ever have kids, I won’t just pass these books because reading about spells and learning to be a wizard is awesome. I want them to learn that love is a powerful and important thing. Maybe they won’t want to listen to me lecture about it, but perhaps I can give them their own Harry Potter books, in hopes that they take that very message away.