How Harry Potter Shook The World of Young Readers

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Like a lot of young people (I’m 20), JK Rowling’s Harry Potter was the first piece of literature that interested me as a child. Similar to many of my contemporaries, I was awestruck by a beautiful and sometimes scary world of magic and mystical creatures.

Rowling’s wizarding world was so well done, so tangible that an entire generation of youngsters understood what it meant to get lost in a good book. A good world.

That desire to immerse yourself, to escape some might say, has never left me. The only form of media that you can truly delve into is literature. Armed with a good imagination and some sense of literacy, you can easily lose yourself in an expertly crafted and credible (sometimes) narrative.

JK Rowling’s land of muggles, wizards and witches made magic seem believable, framing it in a very real and often harrowing environment.

In my opinion, Harry Potter grabs the reader through the gentle nurturing of our love and compassion for Harry. We first see him as the helpless baby in a bundle of blankets. Hagrid parts with him at the hateful Dursley’s door step and the next time we see him he is fully entrenched in the hostile family environment of number 4 Privet drive.

Instantly, we sympathize with Harry, in addition to the deplorable conditions he is forced to endure. If you have ever felt unwelcome, you connect very deeply with this beloved main character.

This authentic and personable hold that Harry elicits puts the whole world in context. Harry’s friends are your friends, his enemies are your enemies.

When the only person Harry could call a family member, Sirius Black, is killed by Bellatrix Lestrange; the pangs of grief and disbelief are experienced by all. Due to seven books worth of active character development, every death is etched into the memory of each reader.

As with all popular series, Harry Potter has its issues, although, lets not deny its power in inspiring a new generation of young readers. Young readers that are willing and hungry for a  new world to get lost in. Since it has been basking in the limelight, the mantle has been taken up by George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones series, although elements of these equally exciting books are thoroughly more NSFW and no where near as family friendly as the Potter series.

I can be certain that anyone who has stepped foot into this mystical world, whether they loved or hated it, will never be able to forget the influence it has had in the Fantasy world.

Featured image via Nerdist

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