The Harry Potter legacy

harry

Harry Potter holds a special place in my memory.  I used to read the books one chapter at a time to my kids when they were small.  Just before bedtime, with my son on my left elbow and my daughter on the right we’d curl up on the big master bed with extra feather pillows.  I’d do my best to bring the story to life with different voices for each character. 

I remember my son slapping the page and exclaiming “I just hate that Malfoy!!” as I was reading him with such a snotty tone.  My daughter asked me to pause when she got a little too scared by my evil, gravelly Voldemort voice.  I remember both kids cheering “YES!!” when Harry won the quidditch match for Gryffindor.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was instilling a love of reading books – a love of imagination – in my kids that will last throughout their lives.

Any book or movie series that achieves worldwide popularity is bound to draw both praise and criticism.  All I have to say to J.K. Rowling is… thanks.  Any work that can get kids to line up for a midnight release of a BOOK is not a bad thing. 

Last night I saw a TV interview showing Rowling’s first visit back to the humble flat where she wrote the first Harry Potter book.  She experienced a wave of emotion recalling the faith that she lived on all those months, believing that she was creating something that would matter to someone. I am inspired by J.K. Rowling and appreciate the gift of her perseverance.

If you are working on a project of faith, you have no idea whether it will impact one or 100 million.  But that is no reason to stop.  Keep going and finish it.  The one person it impacts might just be you.

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5 Comments on “The Harry Potter legacy”

  1. Rich Hopkins Says:

    I second that emotion. Well said David.


  2. My kids did not discover Harry Potter when I still read to them, so their HP experience is much different from yours because they read them by themselves.

    Nice call-to-action.

  3. Roland Says:

    For me, it was first “Watership Down,” and then “The Hobbit.” Somewhere past those two books, we discontinued the tradition, mainly out of necessity.

    …However, you are right, David. The kids do learn something from those days of family sharing of books. I did the same thing as you, immitating the voices as I imagined them in my head. My daughters especially liked my version of Gollum.

    All my kids love to read. My youngest turned me on to a book she read in elementary school – “Holes!” I loved it! What a great story. Then we all went to see the movie when it came out. I was probably the only adult I knew who could give a brief description of the movie before seeing it.

    A most important aspect of these early days of book reading is that the girls all decided that there was a value in it, and they pursued the benefits on their own.

    I guess I owe it all to a couple of older sisters who read to me constantly, and a mother who walked me to the library once a week.

    Rowling’s personal story isn’t so different than all the characters that she writes about. We all have challenges and opportunities. Happily, all of the stories she writes, and those of sooo many other authors, convey the same values of stick-to-it-iveness.

    Successful stories are great conditioning agents to kids as they learn about their world. So many aspects of living and other lesser minded peoples will tell them they can’t, they shouldn’t, be more conservative, don’t take chances… The real world is easily as exciting as he fantasy world, in its own ways. One can almost live in a hobbit hole all one’s life… but it is not very realistic.

    Glad my kids are out discovering their world with the anticipation of wonderful, inspiring, and fun things to come – kinda like the stories that they have heard.

    Roland.

  4. Jana Enos Says:

    David you have such a way with words…I too love Harry Potter and the magical way he and the stories have on children and adults like us as well……

    Love this post by you and I’m so looking foward to many, many more…. 😉

  5. Joe Franklin Says:

    OMG, if I hear the words to “Goodnight Moon” one more time I’ll shoot that orb out of the sky! Well put about the value of taking such time with the kids… and ourselves.

    Don’t forget making up your own stories with the kids. We had a lot of fun doing that and sort of adding a chapter each night. We did a variation of “Pirates of the Caribbean” (before the movie) where two kids (tightly modeled after my own) ended up being the heroes. And several about talking dolphins (who would watch over kids at the beach) and a galloping pony who would always come to the rescue. We all know that parental fatique at the end of a long day but that little bit of extra effort pays off!


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