Literary Birthdays: Harry Potter!

Artwork by Mary GrandPre

Since today happens to be my posting day, and it also happens to be the birthday of our favorite (well, my favorite) fictional wizard as well as his creator, I had to do a quick post. According to all of the Harry Potter sites and J.K. Rowling herself, Harry was born in 1980. So, today he would be turning thirty-two years old! Hardly a boy wizard, eh? I know not everyone in the world is a fan of Harry, but if you simply can’t stand the kid or his books, just scroll past this post because I’m going to wax poetic for a moment.

Another Harry Potter milestone took place earlier this month. Since I didn’t make a post about it then, I figured I would mention it now. The 21st of July this year marked the five-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the septology, being released. I remember that night quite well. Anderson’s Book Shop, a rather impressive store in the western suburbs of Chicago, was hosting a street party for the midnight release. I spray-painted my hair hot pink and went to the party as Nymphadora Tonks, a character from the series. The evening was a ton of fun and — it seemed — in the blink of an eye, I was holding the orange-y tome that would mark the end of an era and the effective end of my childhood. I read the book in one and a half days.

Do any of you share a personal connection with the Harry Potter series? Whatever you may think about the books, I believe they ushered in a whole new era of reading for pleasure for my generation. Many kids said they were inspired to read other books because of their love for the Potter series. For me, Harry Potter will always have a sacred spot on my bookshelves. Happy Birthday Harry, and  — of course — J.K. Rowling!

— Jet Fuel Editor (and Potterhead), Mary Egan

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