Time to say goodbye :(

Posted by Mary Risi on 6/2/2011 11:55:00 AM

harry
 
 
Remember him? The sad little boy forced to live under the stairs in the home of his cruel aunt and uncle, unaware that he possessed powers greater than any of them could have imagined.
  
For those who have grown up or watched the children we love grow up with Harry Potter and the wonderful, whimsical world of Hogwarts, this is a bittersweet time. We have all read the last book and know what becomes of Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Ginny and the others, but with the final movie due out in July it is truly the end of a great literary era.
 
Harry Potter profoundly and forever changed the world of children's literature and reading by children. Nothing has been the same since J.K. Rowling introduced us 13 years ago to the boy wizard and the amazing wizarding realm. We entered the world of potions, spells, invisibility cloaks, Quidditch, flying cars, talking paintings, three-headed dogs, Muggles and, alas, true evil.
 
Using only her initials when the first book was published because boys were disinclined to read books by female authors, Rowling completely altered the landscape. Twilight was another children's publishing phenomenon, but it was a true girls' book and few boys were willing even to observe the paranormal swoon. There are still "boy books" and "girl books." And that's ok.
 
But J.K. Rowling made it possible for authors like Suzanne Collins to introduce teenagers to characters like Katniss Everdeen, the fearsome protaganist of the 2008 title The Hunger Games and its sequels. Katniss showed us that girls can attain the same kind of cross-gender appeal and literary celebrity as boy characters and that most boys no longer fret about the gender of the author or the protagonist when the book is that good. Watch for The Hunger Games movie in 2012.
 
Harry Potter changed everything. Thank goodness! So let us celebrate Harry. The RDMS Library Club is planning a gala sendoff on June 17. And the Club may go to the movie together as we did the penultimate movie in the fall.
 
How will you recognize the end of the era of Harry?