Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Harry Potter Day

I read my first three Harry Potter book in two days when I was thirty years old and I've never looked back. Those books hooked me more than any other books I've ever read. People that don't "get" Harry Potter (I know...who ARE these people?) have either never read the books or read the books but failed to put themselves into Harry's shoes from book 1.

I mean, seriously, how amazing would it be to find out your are actually a wizard and are headed off (and away from the psychotic Dursley's) to WIZARDING school? Spectacularly mind-blowingly amazing...that's how amazing it would be.

Those of you who know me, know that I used to be a Language Arts teacher and I took a workshop with this brilliant woman named Ellin Keene - she wrote an equally brilliant book called Mosaic of Thought. When I listened to her presentation she made the distinct point that the highest form of reading comprehension is empathy...putting yourself into the character's shoes and feeling things with them...as them.

Hello?!

That's exactly what I did with Harry. That first read linked me to him so deeply because I put myself right in his ill fitting clothes and taped up glasses and then slid into a Hogwarts robe too. Ahhh, magical.

But let me say this, there are COUNTLESS books I read where I try my damndest to connect with the MC...feel what they're feeling...be empathetic. And I just can't. Why? Because the writing is hollow. Empty. Or just plain awful. All hail the unbelievable world-builder and character-creator JK Rowling. Her writing snagged me in book 1 and never let go. Incredible.

I see the movie tonight at 7:00 - in the IMAX theater - with my boys and hubbie. But to be quite honest I am by far the most excited.

I will leave you with a short clip of the three main stars trying on American accents. Just try not to love them all even more. I dare you.