Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hannah & Harry

       When the Harry Potter craze was at it's peak, it pretty much passed our family by. The girls were into books about ponies and tweenie girls, not magical boys. Dino was the only one to read the entire series, and loved it. He kept encouraging me to read it out loud to the kids at bedtime, but other books would capture their interest more, and we ended up putting Harry at the back of the pile. 
Then out of the blue, right after Hannah's 11th birthday, she picked up the first book and started to read it on her own. And she read, and read, until pretty soon she had completed it and immediately picked up the next one. And then the next one. In the month of October she read the first 3 Harry Potter books! 

We were on vacation pretty much all of Nov. so she didn't read book #4 until Dec., and then #5 & #6 throughout Jan & Feb. Cold weather has made it easy to want to stay in and snuggle up with a book, which is great because she is consumed in the story. She wakes up early to read before school, and has even snuck in a few chapters at night after "lights out". 
Now she's on the last book and is facing the realization that the series is almost over. She's in turmoil trying to decide if she should read fast to know what happens, or to read slowly and savor it. She fluctuates daily, poor thing. I know exactly what she's going through, as I was an avid reader at her age as well. I spent hours reading Little House on the Prairie and Ann of Green Gables, etc. Those stories and relationships become such a part of your life, of who you are. Good books make good friends. 
I am so proud of Hannah for delving into the world of literature. Before this she read often, but this experience has transformed her. Nothing has touched her imagination, or her soul as deeply as these books. They are now living, breathing objects to her. I am so grateful for such a vivid and complex book series that has captivated her imagination for the past 6 months. I'm sure she will always look back at this period of her life fondly. So thank you, J.K. Rowling, for touching yet another kid's heart.
Now, what do I offer for her to read in the post-Harry Potter future? What compares to this in richness of characters and entertaining action? Any suggestions??

1 comment:

  1. When I was a child, as the earth was still cooling, dear Harry had yet to make an appearance. For me the books that caught me were actually the "plays". I remember reading Cyrano De Bergerac and being hooked on reading from then on, but that was jr. high, not sure she would dig it or not. One play led to another and there you go.

    My girls loved the "Dear America" (not to be confused with "American Girl")series, "Ann of Green Gables", "Little House", and pretty much anything written by Jane Austin.

    I'm not sure these can compete with magic spells but their "true to history" type of fiction opened up history, as well as reading, from a kid's point of view.