Better Late Than Never (AKA I Love Harry Potter)
I confess: I’ve never read Harry Potter. Well, that was true until just a few weeks ago when I read the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, because Andrew’s horror that I hadn’t read the series was beginning to get to me. (Since I read the Canadian version, it was indeed entitled the Philosopher’s Stone and not the Sorcerer’s Stone, as it was renamed in America for reasons I can’t imagine make any sense.) And now I’m on book three, reading on my lunch break, reading after work, reading on the bus because, man, they are really good.
So everyone knows the story: boy lives with crappy aunt and uncle and cousin; on his 11th birthday he receives a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, telling him that he in fact is a wizard and is expected at school there in the fall; boy goes to school; boy fights bad wizards; boy wins.
The six following books bring us through Harry’s years at Hogwarts. I’ve been told that the series gets darker after book three and I’m really ready for it. Books one and two are definitely YA. I’m getting tired of bully Malfoy, who is mean for no other reason than to be mean, and of the unfair Professor Snape storyline. I just don’t think any teacher would ever act that way and it’s too difficult to suspend my belief to try to go along with it. Whereas suspending my belief that Harry is a wizard is amazingly easy. In fact (I know I’m an adult, but bear with me), I really really wish that I was a witch and I had gotten the letter on my 11th birthday and that I went to Hogwarts. I wish I was in Gryffindor, or maybe Ravenclaw, but definitely not Slytherin (those slimy jerks) or Hufflepuff (they’re not the brightest, those duffers). I want to know the secret password to get past the lady in the painting and I want an invisibility cloak.
JK Rowling is a genius because these books are incredibly easy to get into and the subject is so incredibly appealing, not just to kids. I can’t wait to keep reading, to see what happens to Harry, Ron, and Hermoine in their years at Hogwarts. I know Voldemort won’t rest until Harry is dead, and what will become of Snape and Malfoy?
To everyone who read these books as they were published: good for you, you were the smart ones, you knew the amazingness that is Harry Potter. But to those like me, who resisted: Get on it! Better late than never! Harry Potter is really awesome.