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Me and My Harry Potter Books

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There is one item for everybody that defines who you are, what you like and who you want to be. I’ve also noticed that some people don’t even realize what that item is; therefore, ignoring it and pushing it aside so newer and flashier items can take the front seat of attention. Luckily I’m not one of those people. I don’t exactly have one item per say; but I have seven of them that compiled form one glorious series. I’m pretty sure that by now you have guessed what I’m talking about; The Harry Potter series by the wonderful J.K. Rowling.

My whole life I’ve always known that I loved stories. Every night my father would sit by my bed side and tell me great stories of far off lands or tales from our own backyard. I remember loving the Roman and Greek myths, Fairy Tale Princesses but with a modern twist and last but not least the stories he invented himself. When I entered first grade and the teachers taught me how to read I was ecstatic! I was the head of my class trying to read every road sign and sentence I encountered. When summer break arrived and they assigned the simple reading list I rushed to the nearest bookstore to buy my first, what I considered adult, book. It was called “Cara Susie, Caro Paul” (it was in Italian); by the time second grade started I read it 5 times.

A few years ago, around when the third Harry Potter book had just been published; I was in New York City to celebrate my aunt’s birthday. My aunt, to try to make up for my many missed birthdays and Christmas gifts, had given me a present as well, the first book of the hit series. Later that evening; when I got to my grandmother’s apartment, I asked my mother to start reading the book out loud. From that moment on, I was hooked.

The books for me were an opening to the world of literature, New York Times’ Best Sellers and the “it” book of the moment. They were my first serious English books that I read by myself. They were also my life line for when I left the comfort of my Italian home for the new horizon of my new American residence.

When I moved to America and first started school, life was not easy. I didn’t have any friends, I could speak great English, but my Italian accent made it incomprehensible and the culture shock really hit me hard. So as any eight year-old would do, I turned to my literary heroes. Every night I disappeared into Harry’s world and instead of facing my problems I faced his. Throughout the first year I read those four books with intensity, without ever relenting, so as to not confront my own problems. But as I grew older and the books became more worn, I realized that what made Harry a hero was not his magic wand or his invisibility cloak; but his ability to stand up in front of his fears and his problems. His tools were merely auxiliaries. From then on I started using the Harry Potter books as my daily sermon for courage. And it worked.

When I finished with elementary school, I had decided to go to a different middle school than all my American friends. I was alone again, this time with middle school girls and the new frontier which I never had to cross before, boys. Up till then I had always been friends with boys: climbing trees, playing in the mud, wrestling etc… But in middle school girls weren’t friends with boys, the pursued boys. They wore makeup, tight shirts and flirted; which to me was a whole alien concept. The last year and of half of elementary school I had let my worshiped Harry Potter books in the back shelf while new books took up the front. With the new crisis of middle school and the upcoming release of the fifth book, I decided to pull them out again. And like last time they became my life vest, this time in the infested waters of middle school drama and makeup uh-ohs.

In the later years of middle school, when most of my friends became high school students, I started exploring and widening my horizon when it came to books. My beloved Harry Potter books became slightly dusty on my book shelf whilst I explored the world of Holden Caulfield, Hester Prynne and many more. But to my friends I’m always known as one of the many “Harry Potter Geeks” who waited in line for six hours for the seventh and last Harry Potter book and one who will become extremely argumentative at any contradictory remarks about the brilliance of the series. I know that until I’m old and gray I will carry with me the magical world of Harry Potter.





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doria said...
Nov. 13, 2008 at 1:15 pm
really liked this. gave me the feeling of growing up and the intensity of the life line that the books had for you
 
jenjen4ever said...
Nov. 13, 2008 at 3:43 am
AMAZING!!!
 
MarjoryeDewsnap said...
Nov. 13, 2008 at 3:42 am
Micki! I love this article! You are such a talented writer - I can't wait to buy your first book! (Who knows, maybe I'll be standing in line for 6 hours one day to get it!!!)
 
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