“You’re a wizard, Harry.” –JK Rowling
I remember my first glimpse of the wizarding world. I was 9 years old and I was unimpressed. It was the year JK Rowling took my generation by storm and everyone was talking about Harry Potter, “The Boy Who Lived.”
Now, understand, I read A LOT. I was interested in stories, in the art of story telling and I read everything and anything of quality that could feed that hunger. But this just didn’t appeal to me at all, this boy-wizard.
So the kid’s a wizard. What’s the big deal? Lord Volde-who? What’s a Muggle, and who in their right mind would name their kid “Hermee-on”? Boring! Let me get back to my literary feast of Redwall (Brian Jacques) and Narnia (CS Lewis), Roots (Alex Haley), and Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George).
Fast forward to my first year of high school, when in spite of what I thought of as all the hype, I decided to give Harry a second chance. I fell in love.
I devoured the first three books and their accompanying films. I re-read and re-watched everything. And Harry Potter became my summer obsession. The Goblet of Fire, book then film. The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows, and all subsequent films.
I have several distinct memories of sitting by my locker, eyes glued to the page and of striving to complete my homework as fast (and as well) as humanly possible, to race up to bed and be rewarded with a new chapter of life at Hogwarts.
For literary instalments 5, 6 and 7, when I wasn’t swimming in the pool, I was parked at the picnic table. This is just absolutely perfect! Yes! Don’t interrupt me, I’m READING!
They were the best summers on record. I re-read. I re-watched. I waited for the movies, I waited for the books and kept the Fantasy fire roaring with King Arthur, and The Lord of the Rings, and Bobby Pendragon.
And when all of it came to its final conclusion a few years back, I cried. What a ride! What amazing work! And what the heck was I supposed to do NOW? 🙂 No more Hogwarts. No more Camelot. No more Travellers. No more Middle Earth.
These books, and others like them, were (and still are) my dear friends. Being able to create such a vibrant, fascinating world with words is a gift, and I am always looking for works that can bring that sense of adventure and mastery.