I heard somebody once say the Harry Potter book series was “horribly written and not about anything” and that they “couldn’t even finish reading it”. Another claimed he only read it “when [he] was a kid and didn’t know any better”. Yet another denounced it as being for children. These words were spoken all by writers.
Let me clarify some things. First, I’ll admit my bias as being a diehard Harry Potter fan. I was sucked in around 2000, and became obsessed in 2002. From then on, I was there on the first day of every book and movie release. I collected as much memorabilia as I could get my hands on, and almost cried when I finished the final book. My favorite store growing up moved from Toys”R”us (RIP) to Noble Collection. I recently got a Deathly Hallows symbol tattoo. When Pottermore was first released, I immediately explored the entire website and was sorted into my house (Ravenclaw) that I identify as a part of myself. Recently, I discovered my patronus: a cat, which is also fitting.
A genre label is a guideline that I feel is not always meant to be taken seriously – especially by adults. Why would you deprive yourself of a great story because of a label you feel does not apply to you? Why would you limit yourself? Many have said Harry Potter is a children’s book. True, it started off as a children’s book, but it became much more than that. I see it as purely fiction. It deals with adult topics at times.
A true writer should understand this. It goes beyond preference when you insult Harry Potter with incorrect observations. Harry Potter is a magical coming-of-age series about a brave boy’s discovery of himself in a world he is unaccustomed to. The seven books slowly reveal his past and future, but most of all, how he is truly brave. He risks his life every time he steps foot at Hogwarts, the magical school of witchcraft and wizardry, but he presses on to learn the truth.
Also, for those of you who have only ever watched the movies, shame on you. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movies, but the books tell so much more.
I consider J.K. Rowling a saint. I cannot thank her enough for giving me such a magical world to escape. She is truly brilliant.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”