Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pontificating on Potter

So, I just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and it got me thinking about just  what these books mean.  I don't mean the deep philosophical battle between good and evil.  I mean what these books seem to have done for the genre.  When I was the intended audience for young adult literature, I feel like the only books I know that were out there for me were The Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley HighNow, of course, I loved these books dearly and thought they were the absolute best.  But, I didn't know about anything else.  There were no major movies, no midnight sales of the next installment, no themed was just no big deal.  Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling changed all of that.  And for that, I am thankful.

There are a wealth of articles that suggest Harry Potter changed the face of reading for young people.  But, you know, I think it changed reading for everyone.  These books proved that there could be universal appeal to a tale, that people wanted to follow a character as he grew and changed, and that young adult literature was starving for a resurgence. 

Sometimes I marvel at what these books have done.  In addition to the amazing movie adaptations, there's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventures.  I am lucky enough to have seen this in person.  I've got to tell you, the excitement of it was overwhelming!  You must make it one of your life goals to visit this place if you haven't.  Have a yard sale, sell your plasma...whatever it takes get thee to Orlando!  It was truly amazing.  But, in addition to the grandeur of it all, what amazed me is that people run through the entire park passing everything just to enter this section.  This section that's here because of books!  This happens so much that the folks at Universal give out ticket times for this section of the park just so Hogsmeade can hold all the Potter fans.  Yes, a ticket within a ticket is needed.  How very Dumbeldore!  And, just in case you forgot, books did that. 



(These were taken by yours truly.  Note the feeling of being transported into a magical world you are now experiencing!)

Young adult literature has such power.  It can create lifetime readers; it can offer travel and adventure.  Oh young adult literature, you are so amazing, I think I'll love you all my life!

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