My youngest daughter, at age 26, went to the 3AM showing of " Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" today. The "Harry" party started after work with other Harry fans. They met at a friends house to watch Harry on DVD and then went to the movie and then went to work this morning afterward. She had posted on Facebook that being up for 31 hours was worth it.
Our Harry Potter experience started in 1999 when I read a small article in a magazine or a newspaper about the these books causing a big stir in Britain about this little boy that is a wizard. They were hughly publicized here. The third book had come out that year as well. So, for Christmas, my younger daughters got the first 3 books. They were hooked.
I'm not sure of the publish date, in 2000, of the 4th book, but in July, Daughter #3 and Terry were interviewed by our local newspaper about Harry Potter fever. By then they girls were 15 and 17. I thought they were on the older end of Harry fans, but I was wrong.
They convinced their Dad to read the books and soon he was hooked. I needed more convincing but Harry soon grew on me too. I became a fan because I saw children in lines at book stores and libraries. I saw children in restaurants, in movie theaters and at ball games all reading Harry Potter. One of the Daughters took Harry with her to read, to the theater, before "Wicked" started and she was not alone. There were other Harry books on laps there. J.K. Rowling, single handily, got people, young and old reading in masses.
A new book hitting the market caused book stores to hold Harry Potter parties, and to open at 12:01 am to sell books to the line of customers standing outside their doors. I had never seen anything like it, since Daughter # 1 waited in line overnight to get a Garth Brooks wristband that would allow her to get in another line to get tickets fora concert. (She did and we all went. Yeah!) But, I digress. I had never seen that happen for books.
Harry is not without controversy. There was some protest concerning Harry being a Wizard and the books promoting witchcraft. There are witches in Cinderella and Snow White. I think the kids know Harry is not real. ( Although, don't try to tell me that Camelot, King Arthur and Merlin weren't real.) To me these books are very much like the Narnia books. Good vs. Evil is always a struggle.
One of my girlfriends has a 16 year old son. She posted on Facebook this morning that the two of them had gone to the midnight show, something they had shared since the first movie came out. What a wonderful Mom and son adventure.
Somewhere after the newspaper article we "acquired" a male kitty that soon became Harry Potter. I can truthfully say I have reached Harry overload, but I still love that the books and the movies are fun, family entertainment.
I applaud J.K. Rowling. Good job!