When the first Harry Potter book was released in 1997, like many parents, I seized the opportunity to introduce my children to the joys of reading and the life of the mind. My immediate intention was to get them to then read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, having read them The Chronicles of Narnia at bedtime as children. Now that the final movie is out and a long 14 year chapter comes to a close, I can’t help but look back and consider what impact the Harry Potter franchise has had on this generation and their parents.
I was pulled into the entire adventure when my daughter refused to even talk with me about the books until I had read all of them; the movies didn’t count! I had read the first book just to be sure it was going to be a good one to get them started on their reading adventures, but had not read any of the rest by the time the first and second movies had come out. By the time my first grandchild was born the final book was just coming out…a milestone in many respects. So there was work to be done before any discussions could be had. By that time though, both children had read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings…mission accomplished. And by now they were both avid readers with quite lively minds… Parental sigh of joy.
As I left the theater this weekend, having thoroughly enjoyed the final movie, I couldn’t help thinking what an amazement this all has been….a generation tied together with a common thread all over the world. An analog experience that has transitioned into the Digital New World; reluctant heroes all!
The take-away? Stand up, hook up, do good. More power to you all. Oh, you can always come back to Hogwart’s for a visit but now it’s time to get back home and fix your world. It needs your help.
(Wonder what books you all will get your children to read when your mission is to get them to read the Harry Potter series? New writers, get writing!)