I decided, after seeing the trailer for the final Harry Potter movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Gallows (in two parts, BTW), that I wanted to read the entire series before the movie.
That means reading all seven books by November, when part one comes out. This may not sound like a lot to my avid reader pals, but it does to me. Many of these books grew to be tomes!
I did read the first one, partially, when CJ was about two or thee years old. The HP phenomena was in full swing and I was curious as to what it was all about. A series of books that really, truly had children *and* adults excited about reading? This was too good to be true.
So I read, out loud, about half of the book to CJ. Reading out loud is not that easy, at least to me. I don't know how the audio book folks do it. I read it to myself to about the 3/4 mark and I put it away. Not because I didn't like it, in fact, I found it extraordinary. I was in disbelief that an author could be so imaginative and creative! But having a small child, at that time, was a bit overwhelming and I gave up reading books all together. Shocking to think that now, but that was a different person then. :)
I loved loved loved the reaction of my friend Ann when I told her about my HP book challenge. We were going to lunch and I saw puzzlement in her eyes, as she looked at me in the rear view mirror of her car..."How have you not read any of those?" It wasn't sarcastic or facetious. It was a legitimate statement of 'dumbfoundedness'. I laughed and just said 'i don't know'. Because the book is amazing.
So I decided to re-read it from the beginning. I knew the story pretty well from my last reading, and mostly, from the movie. I didn't get the "awe" feeling I got when I first read it but I am thoroughly excited about starting the second one, because I know it will be a new adventure to me. I don't remember the movies as well, just parts of it, and at some point, I didn't watch any of the movies because I just became "lost" in what was happening.
As most know, Harry Potter is an orphaned boy, relegated to living with his Aunt and her family. Aunt Petunia has pretty much disowned Harry's mom as her sister and she and her family are none too happy to have Harry live with them.
For years, he his mistreated and left to sleep in a closet under the staircase. Upon Harry's 11th birthday, the magic begins as he nears the age of attendance to the great Wizardry School, Hogwarts. However, Harry knows zero about his parent and their past, his past. We learn how Harry learns about who he is and what his parents did, and what the "he-who-should-not-be-named" Voldemort means in his life.
The other main characters we meet once Harry makes it to Hogwarts: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I looked up how to pronounce her name and J.K. (we are on a first name basis) states it is: Her - my - o - nee. I was soooo happy to read it correctly because I could never figure it out at my first reading of it, and never could understand what they called her in the movies.
I am not a fantasy-wizard type of reader. It just doesn't appeal to me. But HP is an amazing character, as well as the others in this novel. I am astounded at the talent that Rowling has to create the world, the people, the muggles :)...truly classic that will be read and re-read 100 years from now.