Harry Potter Got Me Reading
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Harry Potter Got Me Reading

Harry Potter is a fantasy series of seven books written by J.K. Rowling.

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The first title was published on the 28th of June 1997 and the seventh on the 21st of July 2007

The series traces the life of orphan wizard Harry Potter and his friends Ronald Weasely and Hermione Granger at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry Potter is special. He has to defeat the Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort who aims to become immortal, conquer the word of wizards, and to have all non–magical people under his control.

Harry Potter is Voldemort’s particular target.

The books have many themes including fantasy, coming of age, British school story, prejudice and corruption.

J.K.Rowling says the main theme is death.

The books are incredibly popular with children. One of my students, a timid little girl and non-reader before the first Harry Potter book said to me, “Hogwarts is genius. You can see how the students are safe.”

Now a self-confident teenager this young women told me how J.K.Rowling inspires her because she wrote something you can go and disappear into. “She (Rowling) gave kids a magical childhood.”

She told me how the stories allowed her to be with the characters. She has read the books often and she feels she knows the characters as friends. She can quote many parts of each book

The series also taught her life skills such as you have to be able to stand up to your friends and you have to be strong. She saw that people have light and shade and not to judge people on the first meeting.

J.K. Rowling in the character Hermione also showed girls how to be confident and determined. Other girls in the story also inspired her.

She also told me, “Harry Potter got me to read!”

The books have received critical acclaim, commercial success and huge popularity. They are still on the best seller lists.

There has been criticism of the increasing dark tone throughout the series.

The first volume of the series received glowing reviews from a number of newspapers such as ‘The Scotsman, The Glasgow Herald and The Sunday Times. J.K. Rowling lived in Scotland.

There were plenty of positive reviews throughout the world.

But the criticism appeared. Harold Bloom, Vale professor, literary scholar and critic and S. Byatt, who published a criticism in the New York Times were prominent critics.

Author Ursula LeGuin said she did not have a great opinion of the series.

The critic Anthony Holden also viewed the series in a negative light.

Author and poet Michael Rosen thought the books were not suitable for children!

Fay Weldon, herself a best-selling author, admitted the series was ‘not what poets hoped for'.She also said, “But this is not poetry, it is readable, sale-able, everyday, useful prose.”

Stephen King had his criticisms, but he enjoyed Rowling’s sense of humour and declared she had a vivid imagination. He thought the story was a good one. He believes despite the series imperfections it will stand the test of time and become a classic set of books.

All this does not matter in the least to children.

Up to July 2013 the Harry Potter books have sold between 400 and 450 million copies. They are one of the best-selling series of all time. The last four titles were also the fastest selling books ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 11 million copies in twenty-four hours.

Harry Potter is a brand. Eight films have been made of the series. This has been the highest grossing film series of all time. Harry Potter parks and resorts have also appeared as well as lots of souvenirs.

The Harry Potter series is loved by millions throughout the world.

This is what matters.


Street Talk

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