Harry Potter mania is still alive and going, even 16 years after the first movie was released. This was a movie I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing, if I’m honest. I was in teaching in Toyama, Japan at the time, and Chieko and her mother were able to get a couple of extra tickets for Cari and I to go along to see the film. It was the first time a film was released in Japan on the same date as the USA, so it was a bit of a big deal. I hadn’t been to a movie yet as they were quite expensive at an average of 1200 yen a ticket (Wednesdays were often ladies day and a reduced ticket price of 1,000 applied). But I wanted to be sociable and see what the Japanese movie experience was like, so I went.
This post contains affiliate links through which I may receive a small commission.
I cannot tell a lie: I was hooked by the magic of Harry Potter! I loved the movie, and the next time I was at the international library (my favourite place to go on Thursdays), I borrowed the first book. It was read and exchanged for the second book on my next visit. And over time I eventually read each book as they were released.
Harry Potter has international appeal and many of my pre-teen and teen students were also reading it. Most of them were reading in Japanese, but we could still chat about our favourite things in English class. A couple of my more advanced and dedicated students were actually reading Harry in English! One thing I like about the series is JK Rowling doesn’t simplify her language; she uses ‘big’ words, and although this meant that the students will have had a more challenging time reading it, it exposed them to vocabulary that they will not have heard in English classes.
This same language is what makes the Harry Potter series a good choice for children to read; particularly if they aren’t keen on reading. If they like the adventures of Harry and fall under his spell, they will be more inclined to stretch their literary brain and give novels a chance.
Phil and I were thinking that it might be time for Tristan to experience the world of Harry Potter, and coincidentally, just after we had talked about it, the kids and I were at the library and were packing up to go home when I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a big, illustrated version of Harry Potter! Almost the size of an encyclopedia volume, it was big and heavy, but the illustrations were big and colourful. I asked Tristan if he’d be interested in it, and he vigorously nodded his head.
Tristan checked the book out and took it to bed with him for some light reading before falling asleep. He was enchanted and had the book finished in less than a week. So the whole family had a Harry Potter movie night together. Kallista also loved the movie!
So now we have two Harry Potter fans in the house (four, if you count the adults).
Tristan has spent the summer reading Harry Potter. He’s just about to finish the fourth, or is it the fifth book, now? He could have been reading smaller novels to achieve more stamps towards the library’s summer reading challenge, but he’s content to have fewer stamps in his ‘passport’ and more time with Harry.
After he completes each book, we all watch the corresponding movie together. It’s great fun, I love family movie night!
The kids have gone a little Harry Potter mad, though. Tristan is wearing his grey hooded housecoat almost non-stop (though he’d prefer this one), pretending it’s a Hogwart’s cloak, and the kids are using their magic wands (Kallista would love this Hermione Granger wand) and hollering ‘expelliramus’ more than I can stand in a day. They act out the scenes; trees during our walks are notable for looking like a whomping willow, and blankets become invisibility cloaks.
There are so many books out there that are not good reads, that, as my six-year-old daughter has pointed out, “don’t use good grammar”, not to mention the language and disrespect that many characters have. Harry Potter is well-written, and is a great read for both children and adults around the world.
I know that Harry Potter isn’t for everyone for some reasons, but that’s okay, no book is all-encompassing.
Kallista is a bit concerned that the movies will be a little scary for her, and I agree that they do become more dark a the series progresses, so we may wait a little while before Tristan finishes the series.
In the meantime, the children can continue their own adventures with our Harry Potter essentials….
What are these, you ask?
You will have to wait until the next chapter…..