Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hurrah for Harry Potter

Hello All.
Just starting to feel better after back-to-back lurgys!  While I'm getting a new post together with the bacon solution recipe and some bird flu update, here is a post I wrote before Christmas and never posted
There is an awful lot of literary snobbery about the Harry Potter books. I understand that they are not "classics" nor "worthy" and I know of many people who say they are trash and they wouldn't deign to read them.(mmm how can they know they are trash?)
Some years ago my grandson J. aged 7 (who has Asperger's) who could read exceptionally well (ever since a fantastic teacher found a way to make him sit still long enough to teach him the rudiments of reading  - thank you Mr Collinson!) would often stay with me overnight. I would read to him each night even though he read as well as I, as it calmed him and was part of a lifetime ritual. He liked books on Mythology, space stories and dinosaurs  and some other random stuff. I was always on the look out for something to read to him, or for him to read.
One particular weekend I was watching the news and saw a line of boys and girls queuing outside a book shop. They were waiting to buy book two of a series and were SO excited they were jumping up and down. What really caught my eye were the numbers of boys in the queue and I wondered what phenomenon had captured their interest. It was Harry Potter Book two (I hadn't heard of book one) Sometime in the next week we went to the library and borrowed Book One. I read the first chapter to J. and he then took the book off me and began reading. He read for hours and hours until he had finished it. Needless to say I set off to buy Book Two which he took away and read likewise. These book he read and re-read for the next year, while he waited for the next book to be released. One night when he was staying with me I said. "If you like Harry Potter I think you will like The Hobbit. I read the first chapter and he again took the book off me and read through the night until he had finished it. The next time he stayed I gave him the Lord of the Rings (my mother's favourite books, which we replaced each year for her as she wore each copy out!) He was in heaven, but had to be restricted to his reading times with these books obviously. He would walk around with one of the books under his arm (he still does this age 24) so that he could lose himself (and not have to interact with people either!).
I'm not sure that I would have thought to introduce J. to Tolkien so early without Harry Potter prompting me to do so.
I know of so many parents who say the HP has awakened an interest in reading in their child which can only be for the good and we all have to start somewhere,
So Hurrah for Harry Potter!
Back soon


  1. HP got our youngest reading and it was probably the much maligned Enid Blyton that started me off. Anything that gets people reading has to be good. Although I still haven't read HP!

    1. ooh the Famous Five! I loved them and really wanted to be part of their gang. Bit posh for me though!
      Re HP I recommend you force yourself to read book one and then the rest get better and really quite clever

  2. Hi, I like to read your blog and found this post very interesting. My eldest son now 27 always read like me and his father and loved all the Harry Potter books. He was diagnosed with Type one diabetes aged 9 and it was reading that kept him sane whilst in hospital to get stabilised, I think he needed the escapism. Our youngest son now 25 has a complex comprehension disorder and at first it was thought he was autistic. He too was taught to read by a wonderful teacher who never gave up on him. He has a photographic memory and remembers every detail of any book he reads. He read the HP books because his elder brother had read them and then went on to read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books at an early age because his older brother thought he would enjoy them. I hate it when people get sniffy about the HP books, they kept our sons entertained for long periods and I agree with Sue in Suffolk anything that get's people, especially kids and boys at that, reading is ok in my book - sorry about the pun. Regards Sue H

    1. Thanks for commenting Sue. Parallel lives here re. the boys. Thank goodness for books, they have kept us all sane .

  3. I did try to read Harry potter but I am not a lover of dialogue, I prefer descriptive writing and so found it difficult. But as an ex teacher of children with learning difficulties then I salute JK Rowling for raising such interest.

    1. I would have not read the entire HP series if I hadn't had to read the first book for J and then his sister. I'm glad that I did as the books mature with each one and are not at all childish. It is a testament to her descriptive abilities that everyone I have spoken to has felt that the films accurately reflect their vision from the books.
      I was most impressed by the fact that BOYS were queuing to buy a book!

  4. I love the Harry Potter books. We would always be impatient for the next book to come out and I remember being one of the mad ones who waited at midnight outside WHSmiths one time to get the latest and our daughter reading it straightaway, getting through half the book before falling asleep. We quite often re-read them. Nothing like a bit of fantasy.

    Joan (Wales)

    1. Same here re. queuing once at WHSmith at midnight for a book for J He had had a meltdown the day before, which he he had recovered from and I said I would get the new book as a reward. he too read it aall through the night.

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