In Defense of Harry Potter

Are you a Harry Potter fan?  Before you abruptly stop reading, hear me out...

I feel like people seem to fall squarely into two camps with this topic.  Either you're 
A). Camp One: You love, love, love Harry Potter!  It's one of the most revolutionary book series of our time!  It is brimming with powerful life lessons to educate our children with tales of hardship, exclusion, discrimination, friendship, belonging, and love.
B). Camp Two: Nope.  Never read it.  Not really my thing.  

(Insert audible sigh here).  I am definitely in Camp One.  I adore this literary series for so many reasons, many of which can be explained far more eloquently by other writers I admire, such as Tsh Oxenreider and Kelle Hampton.  However, ultimately, I just believe it's a literary rite of passage and experience that I want my children to have, and ideally one we can share as a family.

Long story short, my husband fell into camp 2.  Where I am a voracious reader, he prefers to absorb content via podcasts or online, with a few sporadic books and magazines thrown in for good measure.  A few months ago I propositioned the idea of him reading Book One, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - just to try it!  Perhaps this was selfish of me, but I really want our kids to read and experience the magic of Harry Potter someday, and feel it would be useful for him to learn the language, terminology, and jargon specific to the series.  He begrudgingly complied and lo and behold, ended up devouring book one!!   From there he went on to finish (and enjoy) all seven books in six months!  Am I proud?  You bet I am!   I took a non-believer, reading skeptic, and converted him to a Harry Potter enthusiast.  We have since watched all eight subsequent movies on HBO to expand upon the experience.  If that's not a testament to the power of J.K. Rowling, I don't know what is!

And truth be told, if I'm going off genres of books I typically gravitate toward, Harry Potter is definitely an outlier.  Prior to reading the series, I had never read any fantasy fiction or stories concerning wizards, dragons, magic, and the like.  And aside from The Twilight Saga, I've really never ventured into this genre again since Harry Potter.  

While I finished reading the series long ago, I've enjoyed re-listening to them via audiobook. The narrator throughout all seven books, Jim Dale is phenomenal!  He is a brilliant performer, and is truly able to emulate the essence of each character's distinct voice and personality through his reading.  It was almost as good as reading it for the first time.  If reading a tactile book is not your thing, I highly recommend listening to the series.  These books can be pretty pricy but they're available via downloadable audiobook or audiobook CD at your local library.  Also available on (first book is free), and if you become a member, you can download each subsequent book, one per month for the $14.95 monthly membership fee (instead of the $35+ original price). {FYI - This post is not sponsored in any way, just want to give you any insider advice I can to save some $$}
And if you're really a true HP fan, you ought to check out the Ringer's Binge Mode Harry Potter podcast, where super fans Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion do a deep dive into the themes, character development, motivations, and undercurrents of all seven books, chapter by chapter, starting with book one.  This is not a G rated podcast, there is ample swearing, inappropriate but hilarious fodder, and spoilers everywhere, so please make sure you've already completed the series before listening.

Alright, enough about Harry Potter for one day.  If I've somehow managed to sway you just an inch toward to "perhaps I'll ready this someday" camp, I consider that a small victory.

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