Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Here she goes again about Harry Potter. Most of the people who know me know very well that I have an undying love for Mr. Potter and all of his friends. And we’re not talkin’ just the kind of love that means you reread the books every now and then, we’re talkin’ the kind of love that involves carrying a copy of the first book in your car at all times (you never know when you’ll need it!), getting a Hogwarts Graduate bumper sticker for Christmas (best brother ever), and wearing an Expecto Patronum necklace on a regular basis (sorrynotsorry). It was only fitting that J.K. Rowling’s masterpieces make an appearance during the first month of Emma Lou Reads.
I started reading Harry Potter when I was eleven, the same age as Harry in the first book, and Harry and I remained the same age for almost all of the installments of the series. I went to almost all of the midnight releases of the books (and then all of the midnight premieres of the movies). Rowling created such an amazing story with the best characters and I (along with most of the world) waited with bated breath for each new book. But I don’t love the Harry Potter series because of the magical stories and the thrilling adventures, no no, while the plot of the series is incredible, that isn’t what makes the books stand out.
The characters, the feelings, and the relationships are what stand out the most to me. The lessons I learned from each character and how they treated one another have stuck with me ever since.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione taught me that friends are forever, through thick and thin. They taught me that loyalty is one of my most treasured values. Fred and George showed me the importance of a sense of humor and taught me that mischief and curiosity are to be valued. Lupin and Tonks taught me not to judge others for their differences. Bellatrix LeStrange….well she didn’t teach me anything, she just scared the pants off of me (and continues to to this day). Professor McGonagall reminded me just how important our teachers are. Snape showed me the power of love. And Neville taught me to be brave.
These characters, the lessons they taught me, they have stayed with me over the last 12 years. I dream of sharing Harry Potter with my future children, of reading the series aloud to them like my mom did for my brother and I.
These books remind me why I love books, why I value reading so deeply. Being transported to another world and coming back a better person with new lessons learned is the most amazing treasure. Harry Potter reminds me why I read.
I will love these books, all books, until the very end.