Happy Anniversary, Harry Potter!
Posted on July 4, 2017
I began reading the Harry Potter series soon after the first book was published, way back in 1997. Initially, this was because I was working as a therapist at a social work agency which specialized in helping children and adolescents. Every child who wandered into my office was talking about Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Hogwarts. They all wanted owls. So, as I always do when working with kids, I studied what they loved so that I could enter into their world with them. Unlike Yugio or the Avengers or Spider Man, though, I found myself as enthralled with J.K. Rowling’s books as any of the children. Also, I will be forever grateful to Rowling for getting a whole lot of kids reading who were uninterested in it prior to the Harry Potter series. (Likewise, whatever we think about the Twilight books, I know for a fact that a lot of semi-literate adolescents improved their reading skills with that series. For that alone, they are worth taking seriously as having made a contribution to our kids’ well-being.)
Here we are two decades later already, celebrating Harry’s magical takeover of the book world. As I no longer have any of the books I read originally, my husband bought me this beautiful boxed set of hardcovers published by Bloomsbury. The cover and box illustrations are wonderful. I like them better than the originals I read, which were the American editions. What I like, too, is that the words and spellings used in the text are British rather than American terms, which is appropriate given that Harry and his friends are all British. So far, I have re-read only the first book, but I am happy to say that it has stood the test of time. Still enchanting!