Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter

The next Harry Potter movie is opening tonight at midnight. (I prefer an hour when I won't sleep through the show, so I'll wait a few days to see it.) The movies are never as good as the books, but I have to see them anyway. It has been fun watching the Harry Potter phenomenon. A whole generation of kids actually read again. And J.K. Rowling can take partial credit for that. (Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight series has done a lot to make reading cool with the High School crowd.)

I fought the Harry Potter craze for awhile. Then one year at Christmas the nieces and nephews were discussing Quidditch. I had no idea what they were talking about, so I asked. The W.P. (West Point) nephew was probably a 4th grader at the time. He looked at me, sniffed, and said, "Hmmm... Muggle!" It suddenly occurred to me that pretty soon I was going to have a whole classroom full of kids who would make allusions to Harry Potter and I would have no idea what they were talking about. And if W.P was going to call me a muggle, I was going to find out what a muggle was! (By the way, a muggle is a non magical person. And yes, I am or at least was a non magical person.)

I bought the first book. Sixty pages in, I wasn't that impressed. But something happened in the next 40-50 pages, and I was sucked into the Harry Potter web. I am a fan. The books are all about love: love that protects us, love that guides us, and love that will always be with us. Goodness always triumphs. But beyond that, the books are funny, challenging for kids, and exciting.

When my colleague talks about "He Who Shall Not Be Named" every time a former colleague's name is mentioned, I know that even his name is painful and brings back a lot of unpleasant memories. Students learn vocabulary. (Professor Umbrage will always help students to remember the definition of umbrage.) So many books for kids are deadly dull for adults. Harry Potter is a great book for parents and their kids to read together. They are as amusing and fun for adults as they are for kids. As each book came out, I joined the kids at the local bookstore to wait for my copy. (Sometimes fairly late at night!) And like the 4th, 5th & 6th graders across the country, I spent the next few days completely absorbed with reading the latest book. (Who am I kidding? The high school and college crowd were as excited about the books as anyone!) I was sad when I finished the last book. Rowling did a great job of ending the series, but I hated to see the end of the saga.

Later this week, I will be in a movie theater (milk duds anyone?) to watch "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." It won't be as good as the book, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to drag the Mr. there, but for a couple of hours I can get lost in the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter and friends.


elk said...

life's pleasures are so abundant...this is certainly one of them...and milk duds!

Gayle said...

My oldest son started the Harry Potter books, I think when he was in 3rd grade and I started them when he finished the first because he loved it so much and wanted me to read it! I kept with the books as they came out, but he didn't. My other two kids haven't read them. Maybe someday. Have a great time at the movie! I hope to see it, too!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I have dragged my feet all along, but my last child (16) has been very into the series. She's going tonight with friends to see the opening. I have mixed feelings about it all, but I think maybe I should read the first book just to see how this author turned the world on its ear.

2Thinks said...

I have to ditto Lid. I haven't read 'em and wasn't able to get into the movies when Fash rented them to watch at home. The neighbor girl loooves them.

But I didn't appreciate Lord of the Rings as I should have, either or Star Trek....

ols1 said...

Love the Harry Potter series. I actually watched the HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban last night with my son. He just loves them and loves the book. I am going to see the new movie on Friday night - I am looking forward to it.

2Thinks said...

Just had to pop over here to tell you that I.T. ALWAYS pumps my gas, too. Somehow we drove around more than he remembered over the weekend. He'd just filled the tank and couldn't imagine it was on E already. I tried to make it home, but it was ding ding dinging low fuel low fuel, and that is why I don't know how to pump gas- I am spoiled. Never have to do it. You and I, we undoubtedly have the two best guys in the world!

Bren said...

I love the photo of the books... not into Harry Potter but my son loves the novels.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. I responded to your comment about videos not working. BE SURE THE VIDEO isn't too large. I hope this helps. :-) Wonderful to visit your delightful page.

Happy Summer from my Garden in the Midwest.