Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

Happy Trails to Harry

Unless you live under a rock, then you have probably heard that the last Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, debuts this week. Though this marks the end of the series, it will probably not end the love affair many have with Rowling’s wizard universe. Mass marketing of the Potter-sphere probably turned off the few who never got into JK Rowling’s elaborately conceived world, which is understandable, but still a shame. They who refused to read the books may have thought it was all kids stuff. Silly Muggles, these books are for everyone. I was late to join Harry’s world, jumping in at about The Order of the Phoenix. The movies looked too scary at the time for my young daughter, especially since I was unfamiliar with the plot. Then, during one extremely long night in the hospital with my son, I was bored and found a copy of the first book to read. It was cute and a fast read. I decided to try the second, then the next, and suddenly I was one of those people anxiously awaiting the next book. I started reading them to the kids, and when my daughter was old enough, she read the series—all told at least five times. The release of the last book a few summers ago is etched forever in my memory. The main street of our town was turned into Diagon Alley, the train station, Platform 9 ¾. It seemed like the entire population was there, old and young, celebrating a book. How cool is that?  These stories have depth and meaning beyond the boy wizard plot and JK Rowling has shown remarkable continuity throughout. The story captured our imagination. It brought disparate groups together with a common interest. It turned non-readers into book lovers.  The movies did a tremendous job casting the perfect actors to embody these beloved characters as well as convey (as much as possible) complicated storylines. I’ve got my midnight showing ticket in hand. It was a great ride and I am sad to see it come to an end.

Thanks, Harry, for everything.