childhood magic in a book

Paul and Rachel

I love this photo. It captures my niece Rachel reading a Harry Potter book to her little brother Paul. The picture was taken in August 2000 just before the fourth Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowlins was released. Fourth! Today Rachel is 20 years old and her brother Paul is entering  his freshman year of high school. Rawlins released the last (so they say) and final version of the book which was recently turned into a movie (as were all the previous books). The movie broke records. Rachel says she only read a couple of the HP books since this photo was taken and saw two of the movies. Guess she moved on. But not everyone did. Kristin O, 21, said she read all the books and saw all the movies including the final one on opening weekend. Kristin said it was great but the ending was sad.

As an education reporter in 2000, it was my job to cover this phenomenon. My youngest son was in high school and really didn’t show an interest in the boy wizard, so it was up to the elementary school students to introduce me to the young green-eyed orphan boy. The school kids filled me in on the Hogwarts School, the evil dark wizard and several competitions involving flying brooms. I just couldn’t follow it. But the kids did. The school districts had to figure a way to reward the reading without condoning the witchcraft and wizardry.

I think all the die-hard Harry Potter fans probably saw the movie when it first came out so there will probably be plenty of seats for those who want to catch the last act.

It was great to see all the kids reading and engaged. I’m not sure what Rowlins can do to follow-up on this successful series. I figure she probably has enough money, but writers do like to write.


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