Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Harry Potter: A Slow and Arduous Journey

The story of an adolescent wizard named Harry Potter, along with his best friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, has taken over young adult literature for the last decade & then some.  I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have yet to pick up these books.  I promise to one day, though.  In the mean time I thought I'd showcase a very dear friend of mine's portrayal of the books as she encounters Harry Potter for the first time.  Please welcome Erin to GReads! 

I used to roll my eyes so hard at Harry Potter fans that I’d almost puke from the vertigo. I proudly proclaimed myself to be the only middle school language arts teacher left that hadn’t read the series. Why, I wondered, would I waste my time reading a series that contained so little ROMANCE?! That didn’t contain an Edward/Jace/ Peeta/Po/Sam/Fuentes brother/Jacob and on and on and on… Blasphemy!

Oh, was I wrong…

Let me back up for a moment. Two friends play a very important role in this journey, and I need to introduce them. Kari is my friend who ridiculed (RIDDIKULUS!) HP with me (“Why would we read HP when he dies at the end of the first book?!” etc etc), and Corinne is my friend (and Kari’s sister-in-law) who is perhaps one of the most determined fans of the series I’ve ever encountered. Corinne decided that she wanted Kari and me to read the series so much that she was willing to read it to us via Skype once per week. I accepted the offer (how do you turn down something as heartfelt as that?) and thus the journey began.

I have to say, I was bored at first. I teach eighth graders, and so reading about the goings-on of 11-year-olds didn’t quite catch me at first. But then they went to Hogwarts. And ohhhh, do I want to go to Hogwarts. And Hogsmeade. And drink butterbeer. And eat sugar quills. Edible office supplies?! Dream come true!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a series (or maybe will ever read a series) that is so wonderfully written and detailed. It’s seamless. It’s enchanting. Each character is so fully developed and real that I feel like they are my friends, and I find them so endearing. I don’t miss the romance (much…I am only on book five. And I gasp and giggle every time Hermione and Ron argue) because my requisite romance is between the series and me. I’m truly in love with the books. I find myself reading more and more slowly to savor them because I know the end is in sight. (Insert Snooki-style WAHHHHH!)

Above all, the storyline is epic in the truest sense. Harry is a true-to-type literary hero but is unique in his likability and faults. I can’t wait to find out how it all ends, and yet I dread the finale. At least I still have the final movie to look forward to – and all of the random stuff that comes with the series. I love the Puppet Pals video, and with Kari’s Snape obsession, I have all sorts of (shudder) interesting photos to peruse.

Thank you, Ginger, for allowing me to guest blog. This was so fun! Maybe you’ll allow me back for a reflective piece once I finish the series? Love you!! :)

That WAS fun!! Thank you so much to Erin for being a guest blogger & giving us your thoughts on Harry Potter.  Have you read the series?! I'd love to hear about your first journey with this famous wizard...



  1. This is so fun! I'm glad you like HP now. I know how difficult it can be to "not read a famous book and have everyone telling you how great it is..." but then I change my mind, read it and end loving it!
    And if romance is not the most important aspect of the series, love is ^^

  2. I cannot even describe how utterly happy it makes me when I read Harry Potter stories like this one! They are my favorite books of all time and they appeal to so many different audiences. I really think everyone should at least try reading them because 9/10 times (or maybe 9.9/10) they end up loving them.

    Ginger - does this mean you are FINALLY going to read the series?!?! I will seriously read it over Skype/Hey Tell/voicemail/GChat if I have to...

  3. Oh YEA!!! A convert!! I am so, so happy you are enjoying the series. I cannot wait for the day when I can share them with my children (although my SIL threatens me when I joke about giving them to her kids - she's a lit snob). Welcome to the club!

  4. I haven't read Harry Potter yet. Which I know I'm a YA book blogger you would think but I can't read it after I watched the movie. Great guest blog!

    Tara will you read it to me also?

  5. Yay Erin! Great review. And now I feel famous!

  6. Yay, a convert! My mom brought home the book for me when I was eight years old and started my total obsession. I've read the first book a whopping eleven times - I actually reread the series every year. It's become a tradition!

    And on Saturday I'm leaving to go visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios. I'm predicting tears when I see Hogwarts.

  7. Great guess post! My first experience with Harry Potter was an awesome one. At my 16h birthday party, my friend Ami decides that I deserve to be introduced to the awesomeness of HP and then BOOM! I'm blindsided and get the first two books! I finished them both the following day. :) I only recently bought the third book this past week. Can't wait to read it. :)


  8. Oh Harry Potter. The one book series my little brother, my 70 year old grandmother and best friend can adore with me. Great guest post--I find "why I decided to read this book" posts interesting.

  9. Using skype to share a book is a such a neat idea! Does she still read the series to you online? Do you wait for that one day a week to read the book or do you read some of the book on your own during the rest of the week? Is she reading the *entire* series to you or was it just a way to introduce you to the first book? I don't even know if my questions are making sense, heh.

  10. Hi Jackie! She actually just read a chapter to me now - I read on my own during the week, but we Skype every Wed night and she reads whatever chapter I'm on to me then :) It's awesome, really. Thanks, everyone, for letting me share! <3

  11. Harry Potter is always going to be an absolute favorite of mine. I started reading the series before it became super popular. I started after book 2 but before book 3 was released and just fell in love. So, I went through that crazy hype and excitement with all of the books.

    But even better than that, I was in 5 or 6 grade when I first read Harry Potter. And, I was 18, maybe 19 when the final book came out. So I literally grew up with Harry, Hermione, Ron and all the rest. I was always close in age to the characters, and they were an integral and important part of growing up for me! Love Harry Potter! So excited you are reading them, and Ginger!! Seriously. You must read. One of the few times that nothing about the hype is wrong.

  12. Love this post!!! Welcome welcome new Harry Potter fan, I love this series sooo much it's my favorite ever. I don't know why so many people don't want to read it, even though it's a children's book I think it appeals to everyone and the story just gets better and better. I love it more than chocolate cover strawberries and cupcakes, and that's saying a lot!

  13. I'm always shocked when I hear about people who've never read Harry Potter. I mean, I guess I'm sad they never got to go to the midnight release parties and be surrounded by a crow of people who are just as excited about Harry Potter as you are. I mean, I know they do that for those Twilight books and I think for Mockingjay, but it isn't on par with Harry Potter.

    That said, I am so glad Erin is discovering the magic of Harry Potter. I am slightly jealous you get to read these books for the first time.

  14. Yay Erin! Yay Harry Potter. (oh, and you are so welcome!)


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