So I heard on the news that “Harry Potter” was 20 years old yesterday! It made me think of my Harry Potter story…… My dad was getting married, and a wedding guest and friend of his new wife was Terry Brooks (“Sword of Shannara”). We were very excited to meet him because he had just written the book version of “The Phantom Menace” for George Lucas. When Terry found out I taught middle school he recommended a new book out called “The Golden Compass.” When I got back to town, I went to the public library and looked it up. It was checked out – boo. I double checked, and Debbie Gravel, one of my favorite children’s librarians said it was indeed checked out, but had I read this other book, “Harry Potter?” The rest was history.
We attended every release party for the next 5 or 6 books. Waiting outside Waldenbooks at midnight, dressed like characters from the book (the kids did anyway.) We always had to buy two hardback copies, because neither one could wait for the other to finish. One of the installments Laura Brandt-Erichsen read in under 24 hours, then started again.
It is my belief that Harry Potter taught Laura Brandt-Erichsen to read. The three of us, Laura, Gracie and I would spend HOURS sitting on the couch, reading it aloud, and when my throat started to hurt from so much reading, or I HAD to get up and start dinner, Laura would plug away, do the work and before the final chapter, was a reader.
I work in the library now, and I am THRILLED when a child checks out Harry Potter, and am a little stunned when they don’t get my Dumbledore jokes. (“Who?” They ask).
So here we are, many, many Harry Potter themed birthdays, pets with names from Harry Potter (OK, that was actually Emma, but Emma Scott counts as family), hours of family time spent reading the books, discussing the books, loving the books, college Christmas break Harry Potter movie marathons later, and I still love Harry Potter. BUT one day, soon, I will get to take my grandson to Harry Potter World, and I want to make a family adventure of it, but first… first, I will have to read him the books.