I have always been a series reader, ever since I discovered American Girl, The Boxcar Children, and The Babysitters’ Club. There’s something about the way the characters in a series become your friends, recognizable and familiar. By the end of it, you aren’t ready to say goodbye, and are so invested in a plotline that Book Hangover is a very real thing.
I’ve had many favorite series over the years, but I would remiss if I didn’t mention the king of all of them. The Gateway Fandom. The one that led me to so many other fantastical worlds.
Harry Potter. There is so much to say about this series, that it’s hard to know where to start. JK Rowling created a world with huge societal themes, in a way that people of all ages could understand. She starts in the middle grades, when children are so impressionable, and then allows the readers to grow with the characters, teaching them as they go along. And these are not light themes. The book deals with civil rights quite heavily, it also deals in betrayal, fighting for what you believe in, love, death, homosexuality, and many others. Everything is wrapped up in the story so wholly that you wouldn’t realize you were reading a very political novel until you are old enough to break it down.
That sort of sounds like the author is brainwashing today’s children. That is not what I mean at all. Rowling does such a good job of presenting the themes and ideas in a way that leaves a person to have an open mind. That is the goal here, in my opinion. It is important for a person to stand up for what they believe is right–to choose their own house, so to speak. There is going to be evil in this world, but we have to decide for ourselves what that is going to be. While the Slytherin house was supposed to be “bad,” most of them were very intelligent and driven…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The biggest thing about this book is that it teaches you to think differently about things. I was never into fantasy before this, because I couldn’t make it real. Rowling took this muggle and made me at least a mudblood. It’s certainly a slippery slope into full on nerddom. Once I finished HP, it wasn’t long before I was grabbing LOTR and everything else that I had missed because “I wouldn’t like that…”
This series is an incredibly important work of fiction. I believe people should always keep an open mind about everything, no matter what religion or faith or creed they follow. However, if our beliefs are rocked, we should always fight for what we stand for, and this series teaches us how to do both things. That is a difficult accomplishment, and for that, Rowling will always be the Queen of Fiction.