Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Harry Potter (=HP) Revolution


November 16, 2001, was a milestone for all who contemplate such in regards to storytelling.

This is the twentieth anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone movie, one that sent an already phenomenal literary success into the stratosphere of cultural treasures.


The first books were published a few years before, beginning in 1997. As a new millennium burst forth, and with the trauma of September 11 2001 just marking the new age, civilization needed a global hero to do battle with the dark forces.


Previous super heroes were muscular and donned impressive outfits. Harry was small; a bespectacled pre-teen with no support at home.


But Harry had magic.


For those who write kidlit, the return of magic to stories was welcome. Children were back to reading, even though teachers didn’t assign these books in school. What made the series especially impressive was that people of all ages bought and read the books. Childless folks of parental age also gobbled the volumes up.


Then, beginning November 16 2001, came the movies. They didn’t replace the books. People watched the movies, and went back to read and re-read the books. I know the volumes on our bookshelf were tattered from use.


Whether you are a fan or not, Harry Potter’s appearance on earth is something to celebrate for all the reasons I mentioned.


We needed him. We need heroes still.


Kelly Hashway said...

I think the world definitely needs magic. I enjoyed both the books and the movies.

Vijaya said...

I no longer read SFF like I did in high school but the HP books were so good. My stepmother bought me the first when Max was a wee baby and I was hooked. JKR is an amazing storyteller. My kids read them all when they got older. I'm glad I waited until they were about 10-11 because the books got darker as the series went along. Watched the movies. So well done. I wonder what the next big thing will be for the kids who are turning 10 today. It's got to have more than magic...something miraculous! Yes!

Janie Junebug said...

How my daughter loved those books. I enjoyed them, too.


Evelyn said...

JKR is definitely a terrific story teller. I enjoyed the first HP books but didn't read the last few because they were getting too dark for me.

Barbara Etlin said...

On the dust jacket of some of the early HP books, there were fan letters from kids. They were priceless.

I reread the HP series often.