Twenty years ago today readers first met “The Boy Who Lived,” or as he’s more commonly known — Harry Potter.
This eleven-year-old outsider who lived in a cupboard below the stairs, and happened to be a wizard, quickly became one of the most beloved characters of modern literature. An entire generation of young readers grew up not just with Harry, but with the entire Wizarding World.
We saw ourselves and our friends in Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates. We dealt with the same struggles from studying for final exams to juggling extracurricular activities. Yes, our exams were a bit more mundane than potions and charms, but we did manage to throw together our own version of quidditch.
Twenty years, seven books, eight movies, several theme parks, and one play later Harry is still very much a part of our lives. Before any of you muggles start to judge, we could all use a little more Harry Potter in our lives.
After all, in addition to learning about magic and muggles, Harry Potter also taught us about the real world. We learned the power of fear and of love. We learned to value our friendships. We learned that the right path isn’t always easy or clear. Most of all, we learned to look at the world in a new way, and to see the magic in the everyday.
I would be remiss to not mention the woman who gave life to the wonderful Wizarding World, J.K. Rowling. Thank you for sharing Harry with the rest of us, and inspiring countless witches, wizards, and muggles to add a little more magic to the world.
…And a quick note to you U.S. Potterheads, today is the 20th anniversary of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released in September of 1998…so we get to celebrate twice.
…just for fun: