20 years ago, my eldest son was 10 – just about the same age as Harry Potter when he burst onto the literary scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I remember that the Potter phenomenon was pretty slow to get going in our household but by the time of the Order of the Phoenix it was in full flow. By then we had seen the first film – and worried about whether Hogwarts would be as we all had imagined it (it was!)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came on holiday with us to Greece, immediately after my son had got his GCSE results. We were at the grunting stage of adolescence and all he wanted to do was read his Harry Potter. At least he’s reading, I remember thinking at the time. This photo shows him on Skopelos engrossed in his book.
Good GCSE results meant that my son had choices and he was on the verge of a journey that would take him through academia and eventually to starting a life in another country. But I now know that at that point, he was confused about his place in the world and what he wanted to do. And Harry Potter had moved on from being an exciting story of a boy wizard, and was becoming darker and more complex – all of which a 16-year-old could identify with.
I had no idea then that 14 years later, Harry Potter would still be bringing fun, insight and comfort into our lives. (Only last Christmas, my younger son and I watched as many of the films as we could fit in between festivities!)
Through my work at Inkpots, I know wave after wave of children are huge Harry Potter fans – and every time we do something Potter-related at our workshops, there is much enthusiasm. So, we’ll be running activities all week at our after school clubs and Harry Potter will feature at our summer holiday clubs too.
I have heard wonderful things about Harry Potter World too – one of our Inkpots, Ruby, is a huge fan and chose to go there for her 11th birthday last week. She’s in the main picture with her sister, and fellow fan, Lara. The magic goes on.
So, thank you Harry Potter and you, J K Rowling. And may the magic continue for another 20 years.