While fortunately not many children grow up having to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter is a character plenty of children can identify with. Who hasn’t at some point wished they could leave their day to day lives behind and go to a magical place where everyone keeps telling you how special you are?
However, it’s the supporting cast that really makes it. Hermione has been an idol for book smart girls everywhere, as revealed by the warm welcome Noma Dumezweni received when she took on the role for the new Harry Potter play. The slightly weirder among us instantly gravitate towards Luna Lovegood’s spaced out charms, and everyone has had a day when they feel a little bit Neville Longbottom.
Teachers you wish you’d had
Who wouldn’t have wanted to take a few classes with Hagrid or McGonagall? Isn’t Dumbledore the head teacher you also wished for? Yes, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers all either turned out to be evil or died, but even the cruelty of Snape’s Potions class would have been worth it to experience the greatness of his powers.
A rich and vibrant world
As great as the people of Hogwarts are, it’s the magical world they inhabit that really draws us in. There’s a reason so many children have stared out their window waiting for a letter from Hogwarts. Of course, the school itself sounds like the education any child would choose, but even beyond the school grounds there are hundreds of places we’d all love to explore. Who hasn’t wondered what butter beer actually tastes like? Or wished they had a time spinner to get everything done?
There’s a reason thousands of people visit the Harry Potter studio tours every year. Everyone wants to get a slice of the Harry Potter magic.
That said, there’s a reason why Star Wars has leapt to the top of the box office, why Lord of the Rings is such a hit and also why the Harry Potter books continue to captivate all ages. We like to see the goodies fight the baddies. Especially if the goodies win.
The books grow with your children
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of the greatest childhood adventures. It has monsters, spells and friendship and nobody ever really gets hurt (apart from Harry’s parents, and that happens long before the story even starts). But the amazing things is that the 12 year olds who read that book when it was published were heading into their twenties when the final book came out, and still found something worth reading in there. As the children in the book grow older, the situations they face become more complex and mature. These truly are books that’ll last you a lifetime.