I wasn’t alive twenty years ago to wait in line for the first Harry Potter Novel. I wouldn’t pick it up until I was eight, 13 years after it was published.
It all started because my sister (who I strived to be like in every way) had the book on her bookshelf. She’d moved away to go to college, but when I emailed her asking about the book she encouraged me to read it.
I’d never found a book I could finish. I was an amazing reader — at a 12th grade level when I was nine years old — but I didn’t enjoy the baby books they were forcing me to read for ‘pleasure’ at school.
At first, Harry Potter had some sort of mystique to it. I didn’t have a clue what it was about or how many books there were or who Harry Potter even was. But from the moment I got to Hogwarts, I was hooked.
Suddenly, Harry Potter became the big sibling I was missing so much. His bravery would become my loyalty, Ron’s jokes would become my comfort, Dumbledore’s wisdom would become my ‘moral code.’
I can never explain what Harry Potter has done to me in full, you’d be reading for years!
What I can say is it opened me to realizing that life isn’t a routine, it’s an adventure!
And of course, happiness is always there (if you look for it)!
It encouraged me to keep going, even with the pain of my pets passing away, my sister being gone, and going through a challenging year.
I always sort of felt that when I carried that book, it was a shield. I could use it to block out the bullies, ignore my teacher being brutally rude to me, or even forget that my parents always seemed to be dissapointd in me for one reason or another.
Harry Potter came to me during a low point in my life, but it catapulted me into the next year: one I will never forget.
And even though I don’t reread the books as much now, or have time to watch the movies, or still participate in my online Hogwarts courses: Harry Potter will always be with me.
He’s grown up with me, he’s like the old friend you never stop counting on.
My life is better with role models like Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
So thank you, J.K. Rowling. You’ve touched millions (can I say billions?) of lives, that will never be the same.