Monday, November 8, 2010

Harry Potter Wrap-Up

It's actually been a couple weeks since I finished up the Harry Potter books, and I've been meaning to blog about them since then. In fact, I meant to blog about them one-by-one as I read each one, pointing out all the new insights and cool things I noticed. It's been exciting to reread the whole series now that I actually know how it ends. I hadn't opened a Harry Potter book since I finished book 7 on the day it came out in July of 2007.

3 years since I've read a Harry Potter book!

Maybe I was a little Harry Potter-ed out. Maybe the last Harry Potter book was so deep and emotionally heavy that I had to take a break and recover. Seriously, the way Harry Potter's world sucks me in, it really felt like I had to grieve for some of those characters who died.

Anyway, whatever the reason, it's been a very long time. When I saw the new trailer for Harry Potter 7 and didn't recognize half the scenes, I realized I needed to read that book again if I wanted to fully appreciate the movie. And if I was going to read book 7, I may as well read them all...

Reading Harry Potter is like taking a vacation. I can forget my troubles and become fully immersed in a world that is wonderful, magical, fun, moving, and uplifting. I love the layers upon layers of plot detail and the way the stories weave together. I wish I had taken the time to document all the little things I noticed. There really are probably too many to mention, though. Everyone should experience these books for themselves. I've yet to find a series that compares, that replicates the glorious reading experience I enjoy every time I read a Harry Potter book.

The Harry Potter books, in my mind, are truly the best works of children's literature available. They take kids on a ride through childhood and adolescence, showing them how to deal with issues every individual experiences. Adults can fully appreciate and enjoy this ride as well, because it really is the human journey. J.K. Rowling has appealed to every archetypal situation existing on this planet. Every emotion that a human can feel is in these books. I laughed and cried and everything in between.

It just slays me that anyone could believe these books should be banned, that they're evil. Anyone who has read Harry Potter can vouch for the series. It is about love and friendship and overcoming evil, not about teaching kids witchcraft. Could there really be anything bad about a series that managed to get an entire generation of kids hooked on reading?

I can't wait to share these books with my own children! Sarah's already asked me to read her the first book, and I may start it with her, but I won't be reading books 4 - 7 to her until she's a bit older (even 2 and 3 have pretty scary and intense moments); they are definitely too much for a five year-old!

P.S. Anyone else excited to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? I'm so glad they're splitting book 7 into two movies. Nothing should be cut out of Deathly Hallows. It's going to be epic!


SoniB said...

One thing I've been thinking about that I love about these books is that each one is a complete story unto itself while continuing the larger story. I just got sucked into another series that is just parts of a story split up into books (15 of them) . . . grrr. Thanks for the review.

Jeff and Rebecca said...

I agree with you; wonderful books! They are fun, but I won't be letting my kids read them for a long time; not because I think they are evil, but because there are things in there I don't think my children are prepared to hear about or handle. The books progress with the aging of the characters; my 8-yr-old would love the first 2 or 3 books (even though he might get scared at the more gruesome/intense parts), but the later books are geared to an older audience, ie. teenage emotions, romance, violence, etc. It's a shame I won't let him start them yet, but I know if I let him read the first ones, he'll want to keep on going and read them all.

How's that for a novel? Sorry about that... But as an adult I really do love this series. And I love reading all your book reviews!