Legit KidLit’s 3rd episode featuring picture book author Angela Shanté.…
HP: The Book Series I Grew Up With
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1 in Harry Potter Series)
Author: JK Rowling
**A little background on this book before I give a book review. (I will write the book review in a different post.)
What book do you love most? One that you couldn’t put down? One that you identified with and could make connections? That you could read over and over and learn something new each time? That book for me is Harry Potter.
I remember the day I bought my first Harry Potter book. I was 11 years old. My family and I were on vacation in Michigan visiting my step-dad’s family. It was right before my sixth grade year (which would be at a completely different school-but that’s a whole different story for a different time.) I was at a book store, imagine that, and one of my relatives told me that this Harry Potter book was “all the rage” and so I bought it. I was a book lover and knew I needed some new reading materials for the long drive home. This was in 2000 I believe.
I began to read it. I DEVOURED that book, as I would do for each book in the series. I believe I almost finished it in one sitting (someone always interrupted me at the WORST moments). I fell in love with the characters (who were very identifiable), the lovable setting (who doesn’t love London and castles?), and the nonstop adventure.
The best part, and maybe the worst as well, was growing up with Harry Potter. I was about Harry’s age when I first started the series, so I felt very close to the characters. I also had to wait for the next books in the series to be written and released. I had to wait. and wait. and wait. It was excruciating, yet exciting at the same time. My favorite memories with my mom are going to Barnes and Noble and putting in my pre-order for the next book. A few months later (or maybe longer, I don’t remember) we would get a wonderful phone call and would make the trip back to Barnes and Noble to pick up the book. I would stand at the checkout counter staring at the wall of Harry Potter books. Brand new books waiting to be opened by their loving owners. The feeling when they handed me my new books is indescribable. I loved those days.
The final book was released the summer before my freshman year of college and it was wonderful timing. July 21, 2007. I waited until right before classes started, curled on my top bunk in my dorm room, and devoured that final book. It was really wonderful timing for me. I was beginning my new adventure, life on my own in a college that was far enough from home to make me feel truly independent. Harry was also starting his own adventure and becoming more independent. This is one of the main reasons Harry Potter has been my favorite through the years, and will be a timeless classic. It fit with my life. I have memories attached with that book and what was happening in my life. I identified with the struggles Hermione had of being different. I was the new kid at a small town school. I was different. I was smart. I loved books and I loved learning. I could escape into the story, but I also learned lessons through the stories and how to live in my world that no one else taught me at the time. I probably wouldn’t have listened to anyone else honestly! (Oh those great teenage years!)
That is why I love Harry Potter. These are books that will stay with me forever and I will pass down to my daughter.
What book do you love? Please share!