Just a quick one from me as Harry Potter was first published 20 years ago today. I was seven, had just started junior school and was (still am) loud and boisterous – not very “lady like” and always putting my hand up in class (NEEEEEERD!!)
I loved the Harry Potter books for many reasons – I was a real book worm at seven and reading was my favorite thing to do. I remember the Harry Potter series being the first thing I read compulsively. I had the first three books in hard back, a gift from my grandparents. I was that cliche, hiding under my covers at night after I was supposed to be asleep. Trying to cram in as much of the story as possible, fighting my drooping eyelids. I link these books with my love of studying English as well; which until I was about sixteen was my favorite subject in School.
I remember in junior school, there was a core set of boys in my class whom the teachers doted upon as they were “the clever ones” . They were all reading the Harry Potter books and we’d have regular updates both from them and the teachers about which page they were on and very quickly which book they were up to.
I started reading the books to try and keep up with them and be able to contribute to class discussions. The teachers seemed so impressed by the boys reading the books and I wanted to be in that ‘cool’ group. I now know that the teachers reacted more obviously to the boys as usually, they are the hardest to engage in the classroom.
What I found however, was comfort and strength in the character Hermione. I saw she had the same struggles I did in the reactions she got from Professor Snape and the unkind remarks she got from classmates for wanting to contribute. Overall though, she turned out to be a bad ass witch and although I can’t claim to have punched any Slytherins in the face it was so freeing reading about it!
It’s only writing about this now that I wonder, were the Harry Potter books the reason I was mainly friends with boys in Primary School? I remember my mum saying how worried she was because I preferred spending time with them in the playground (“can’t you play with the girls, Emma?”) perhaps I actually thought I was Hermione? I had tried writing to Newsround at the time, hoping to audition for the part – turns out they picked another Emma.
Anyway, I find it funny that my mind still allows me to recall this so vividly. Thanks J.K.