Reviewing Harry Potter is kind of like reviewing Taco Bell or vanilla ice cream. Most everyone has read it, but sometimes just knowing that a book is famous or has won awards won’t make you read it, especially if you are a careful reader, like me. Yes, Harry Potter is scary. And it is also inspirational, amazing, spellbinding, and deeply profound.
I had never read it on my own, because I knew it has some very scary moments (and it does). Scary books just aren’t worth it to me. But, one day my grandma persuaded me to read one chapter on the phone. Just one chapter. How hard could it be?
HARD! But not the book. Needing to put the book down! From the first page I was hooked. I never knew Harry Potter was funny, but I think it’s hilarious. The characters are strong, well thought out, and multi-dimensional. They are real to me, and that’s one of the magical things about Harry Potter. (“Of course it’s happening inside your head!” Dumbledore exclaims in book seven, “But why on Earth should that mean it’s not real?”)
I love Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, immensely. She is strong, independent and brave, but I really appreciate that author J.K. Rowling sometimes lets her break or be real. “We could have been killed!” Hermione says in book one, “Or worse, expelled.” By book seven though, “We’re coming with you. That was decided months ago— years really.” Though not well known, that is one of my favorite Hermione quotes.
I think J.K. Rowling is very brave. As a writer myself, I know how hard it is to put your characters in difficult situations, or make bad things happen to them. You love your characters like friends (at least, I do) and often you can tell something about the author by what he or she makes happen to theirs. Harry Potter IS sad, and scary, but it revolves around love. “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!” Dumbledore tells Harry in book six. These books have many layers, which makes it interesting for me to read, and you get to decide if it’s worth it to you to see them all.
I see the books differently now at thirteen, rather than eight. I really value the beautiful and dynamic characters J.K. Rowling adds to her books. The realness of it all is one of the reasons that I love Harry Potter. No, you probably can’t make someone’s wand shoot out of their hands when you yell “expelliarmus!” in this world, and mail is delivered by postman, not owl. But you CAN stand up, fight back, break down, laugh, cry, and LOVE each other in this world. This is the kind of magic we can all perform. We all have this magic inside of us. Will we use it? Do we even know it’s there?I love Harry Potter because it is it’s own world. I am a part of it every time I open a thoroughly well loved book, where dragons exist and broomsticks can fly. My collection of the hardcover books have a million pages folded down, and every funny scenario is highlighted. Some may argue that this isn’t the way to treat good books—but I think, it’s the best way. Harry Potter inspires me to enjoy smarts, love, and use MY wizard powers. What are they? How will they help?
What are YOUR wizard powers? Maybe you’ll find some you didn’t know were there... when you read my favorite book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Arthur A. Levine Books, Reissue 2018. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!
Have you read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? Let us know in the comments below!