Sarah over at ReadingZone wrote about her Harry Potter memories, which started for her as a high school student. Sigh. That made me feel a little old, yet my own first memory of Harry Potter is as crystal clear as if it was just last week.
It was my fifth year of teaching fourth grade-1997.
No surprise, I was already obsessed with filling my classroom with books that would help kids find the magic of reading.
I was attending the Ohio State University’s Children’s Literature Conference that they held every year.
The most fabulous conference that used to exist.
Where I would go to get my fix of children’s authors and illustrators and get to talk non-stop to other people who loved children’s books as much as I did. I had a computer and a dial-up modem, but there was no KidLitosphere to meet like minded people. Reviews were from School Library Journal, Hornbook, or Publisher’s Weekly.
Where I first met Sally Oddi from Cover to Cover. Where I heard Katherine Patterson give a keynote that was more inspirational than any church service I had ever attended. Ah….
In the bottom level of the Columbus Convention Center, a “book store” was set up for the duration of the conference. I was in a very long line with a huge stack of books to purchase when I overheard the women behind me discussing Harry Potter. One was asking the other if she had read Harry Potter yet and went on to explain about the ‘boy who lived’, his lightning scar, and his room under the stairs. As I eavesdropped unabashedly, my gaze swept the room for the book.
There it was, a huge stack of Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone. I picked it up, started reading while I was in line, and was in love before the end of the first chapter.
Sure I butchered Hermione’s name in my head, but who didn’t?
I can’t even begin to guess the number of people who I would go on and on to about Harry Potter. Children, fellow teachers, adults, parents. You name it.
Starting with book two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I was attending midnight release parties. I borrowed my friend Debbie’s two boys, Spencer and Tyler to a movie to “kill” time before the midnight premier. It was Chicken Run. Not a memorable movie, except that it preceded the release of Book Two.
I could go on, but won’t too much more.
I taught a Harry Potter class one summer for an enrichment camp.
I remember being frustrated how quickly my students were tearing through Book Four and I didn’t have any time to read with a newborn at home.
I couldn’t make myself start to read book seven, because I never wanted the series to end.
Ah, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Herimone Granger and all the other characters, you created a magical world that so many of us love being a part of.