In preparation for the release of the first film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I'm rereading the book. I haven't read it since it was first published in 2007...and I raced through it, desperate to find out what would happen. I am thoroughly enjoying my second time through and am acutely aware of how little I retain in my reading! I remember the basic plot but had forgotten a lot of the wonderful small details.
In honor of all things Harry Potter, here is a post I wrote on my other blog in July 2009...it should really be updated with the account of our trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this past summer! With our family of three HP-obsessed boys, it's been a pleasure to read these books over and over with each son.
Harry Potter through the Ages
Phase 1: Circa 1999? Not sure of the exact year...my mother-in-law persuades me to try a Harry Potter book at last (being all the rage in the UK)--I'm not interested in fantasy and am not convinced I would like it. But wham! I am sucked in immediately and get hooked--read all of the books available at that time (I think only the first two at that stage).
Phase 2: We begin reading all of the books with Chris.
Phase 3: Everywhere he goes, Chris is told that he looks like Harry Potter. Then he gets whacked on the forehead by an errant wooden racquet...and ends up with his first trip to the emergency room and a scar on his forehead!
Chris dresses up as the great boy wizard on Halloween:
Although I don't think Harry himself ever looked quite that happy!
Once JK Rowling hits it really big in the U.S., we begin ordering each book so it arrives on the day of release--delivered first thing in the morning. Very exciting! Initially we try to read it as a family, but soon Mike and I begin sneaking ahead (bad parents!).
Phase 4: Years later--2007--Chris and Mike attend their first midnight book release party at Annie Bloom's Bookstore for the final book--and Chris wins a t-shirt! The next morning, bright and early, we leave for Hawaii.
|Our happy Harry Potter|
|Chris and friend Garen at the party|
While in Hawaii, we all try to read the book at once--but fortunately my colleague Lisa is there at the same time, and she'd finished her book! So Mike and I stay up late at night reading obsessively!! (One of these days I must go back and reread it because I can't remember a whole lot.)
|Posing in Hawaii with prized Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows|
|The next Harry Potter|
Thus begins the beginning of Kieran's impersonation of Harry Potter...which still continues to this day. He crafts wands, broomsticks, potions, and snitches, and casts constant spells. (Although I have forbidden him from using the Avadra Kevadra curse on his brothers, explaining that it's like pointing a pretend gun at them.)
|Nicholas as Voldemort--he has no idea what it means, but he likes to pretend to be "the dark lord"!|
|Kieran with the broomstick he made by tying a bunch of long pine needles together and tying them to the end of a stick!|
|Kieran with broom|
Recent HP adventures at our house include Kieran mixing up potions in the living room WITH FOOD COLORING no less (by the time Mike noticed that wasn't such a great idea, the Persian carpet had yellow stains on it--anyone know how to get them out?). He is determined to procure a real cauldron (he has a plastic one). Kieran has drawn "the dark mark" on Nicholas' arm, and they frequently have red lightning marks on their foreheads. Yesterday morning Kieran was giving Nick wand lessons (every stick in the yard or chopstick in the kitchen is a wand): "Swish and flick!" Nicholas made up a spell yesterday to cheer Kieran up. 10 minutes later, I found myself yelling "Wands are not for hitting!"
On Tuesday the four of us went to see the latest Harry Potter film. I hoped we weren't doing the wrong thing, because those movies are quite a bit more intense in the cinema than they are on the little screen. But Kieran was fine. I did have to cover his eyes during some previews--there's a movie coming out called "2012" that looks like some kind of armageddon flick. The images were upsetting for ME to look at...and I thought them too much for a 6-year-old. Of course, children even younger than Kieran were in the theater...in the past, I must admit to some horror at seeing how parents take their very young children to VERY inappropriate films.
|At the showing of HP 6|
The chemistry between Harry and Ginny seemed to be lacking, as it was in the book. Ginny, however, did come across as a slightly stronger character in the movie than she did in the book.
|With my little Harry at the theater|
I am ambivalent about the decision to split Book 7 into two movies. On one hand, they will be able to include more detail from the book, but on the other hand, it will be hard to stop at the end of the first movie. And we have to wait 2 more years until the saga is finally ended on film!
For now, I think I will go back and reread the books so I can remember more about them. (Chris has started rereading Book 6 after having seen the movie.) And then I'm sure we will read them all over again when Nicholas becomes old enough! Onward, Phase 6!