30-Day Writing Challenge · Blog 365 · Bookish Delights

Why Harry Potter Will Always Be Read to My Children

30-Day Writing Challenge

Day 10: Write about something for which you feel strongly.

[Disclaimer: This was written about two years ago – however it is nonetheless true. Also: there are many other things which I feel more strongly about, but there can still be lesser things that one feels strongly about. I consider good literature to be one of those things.]

Tonight I finally accomplished one of my 30×30 goals [while recovering from another 30×30 goal – having surgery by getting my wisdom teeth out!] – to read all the Harry Potter books and watch all the movies that go along with them. Yes, it did take me until I was 27 to do so – but it was completely worth it.

I was the same age as Harry Potter when the books first came out meaning that I pretty much grew up alongside of him. I remember when they first came out, and the church was in an uproar about these horrible books touting witchcraft and black magic. I remember reading the first three with curiosity when I was twelve, and then my mother hearing that they got darker as they went along, so I’d better stop reading them. I did so, and over the years, watched parts of the first few movies in various places – at school and at friends’ sleepovers, but with little interest. They were all part of the “popular craze” that I always tried to shy away from, so I didn’t think I was missing out too much.

But then as I went on in my teacher training, especially as a reading major, I began to read a wide variety of children’s literature that my someday students would be encountering – and I knew that I needed to at last add Harry Potter to my repertoire. And so it was that I began checking the books out of the Children’s Curriculum Center at the JFK Library, and toting the thick volumes on the bus with me, unashamedly becoming engrossed in them on my way to and from school.

And what I discovered in those magical pages was what I love best in any good story – tales of true friendship – unique and intricate plotlines – and ultimately the triumph of good over evil. Yes, of course, there are witches and wizards in the stories and magic spells whispered and shouted. But black magic is never once championed or held in high esteem – it is condemned in favor of the good winning over the evil. Life lessons are learned in every book, and the reader grows along with Harry in learning what is truly important in life.

Is this not what I want for my future children? For them to be drawn in by a fascinating story? For them to know heroes in the pages of literature? For them to laugh and cry with characters who become best friends? For them to know that good will always win in the end?

For that is precisely what the seven Harry Potter books present, and as such, I look forward to reading them with my little ones someday. We’ll read chapters aloud before they go to bed, and they will get so into the story – as will I – that when they beg for one more chapter, I will be hard-pressed to not give in. And then hopefully they will read them themselves when they get older and discover new life lessons that they couldn’t identify with as children, because they now have experiences that make them see the story in a new light.

Yes, the Harry Potter books are wildly successful and popular – and normally, I would turn my back on such pop culture infatuation. But in this case, I believe they deserve to be so popular – for Harry Potter is the type of hero that deserves to be remembered – and deserves a spot on our children’s bookshelves.

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