Growing Up Without Harry

. growing up I was raised in a Christian home (I hate the word religious it sounds like we chased people with bibles and carried around spritzers of holy water), as such there were certain things that my sister and I were not allowed to watch and read. I would by no means call myself sheltered. I watched all manner of Disney movies, with and without magic characters and dont consider my childhood lacking in any way. I was an avid reader and gobbled up C.S. Lewis, Tolkien (started with the Hobbit) and other books that may or may not have had a creature or theme linked to magic. One series though that was never allowed in the house was the Harry Potter series. To be fair by the time I had even heard of their existence the first four books had already been released and the movie was coming out sparking a fresh hysteria among parents both religious and not about the books and their impact on children.

I didn’t have a real interest in reading the series in general, as at this point my  reading had starting its beautiful and continuing bent for science fiction and Canadian authors, but I was aware of the general premise and that I wasn’t allowed to watch for a variety of reasons. However my mom wanted me to be informed, to be able to back up the reasons why she thought the series wasn’t appropriate for kids my age (elementary/junior high). So she took me to see the first movie when it came out, and we spent an evening watching it and then an equal amount of time afterward discussing it. My main memories of the occasion is that there were a number of instances I found deeply frightening, and very dark. I felt fairly well armed to go back to my comrades and tell them the reasons I wasn’t allowed to read them, and my total lack of desire to read them.

The books (and consequently movies)  continued to come out and as I grew older I was given more freedom with my movie choices, and while the Harry Potter movies were never a first choice, through one circumstance or another I ended up seeing a movie most of the films. Each one to me seemed darker and darker. Not exactly movies to my taste to say the least. So when the third book in the series showed up on my syllabus for Children’s Lit in college I felt a little scandalized. I read the book, and while not scarred, didn’t give the series any more notice then necessary to pass my test.

Off and on throughout the years people have implored me to just sit down and read the series and get a proper feel for it. Because as we all know Hollywood tends to either at best get  a general idea and at worst murder the original literature. I told them all to lend me a copy and I would, and it never really ended up happening. Then I got my Kobo, and a friend generously loaded the entirety of the series onto it for me, and I though well, lets do it then. Lets finally read the Harry Potter series.

I find it interesting that so many people I know grew up with Harry, they aged along side him and feel like his story was a huge part of their maturing. I seemed to make it through by other means, and have always had a hard time understanding the near fanatical at times following that the series has. So I propose to write out a blog a month detailing one book at a time and my feeling and thought on it. I will obviously be reading them much much faster then that (3 weeks and 3 books consisting of lunch breaks and the odd hour or two), but really want to have something  consistantly scheduled. So I will type these out at I read them, and pop them on an auto posting doodly-do. I really hope it will be a learning process for me, and for you and that in the end we enjoyed our time together.