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There are books written about Harry Potter. He is famous. And I’m sure (almost) every child knows his name. There have been seven books and eight movies. The first Harry Potter book was published when I was 12 years old, the perfect age to start reading the series. Admittedly, my mom wasn’t too keen about me reading the book. I read them anyway. At that age I wanted to read everything. The book wasn’t all that popular when it first came out but somehow I found it. The release of the seven books spanned a decade which included my middle school, high school and college careers. They show children the meaning of friendship, how to persevere through hard times while also encouraging imagination through the fantasy world Rowling develops at Hogwarts.
The first four Harry Potter books were challenged in Cedar Rapids in 2000 and were, unsuccessfully, asked to be removed from a school library. As a librarian it disheartens me to hear that any book is challenged or banned. Books speak to different people, over different issues and throughout different times. I would say the Harry Potter books were a significant factor in how I formed my view on books and reading which in turn helped me realize my dream-job, Children’s Librarian. The series still follows me to this day, five years after the final book’s release. This summer I re-read books one and two, wanting to see it from an adult’s point of view and also attempt to catch some foreshadowing in earlier books since I now know how it ends. I was not disappointed. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books and re-live the world of Harry Potter.
Without the Harry Potter books, and other books I was lead to through them, my life may have taken a different path.
–Jennifer, Children’s Librarian