Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday Temptation: Going to the cinema with The Harry Potter generation
My children you see are of the Harry Potter generation — just. They were the right age for the books when the books first appeared. JK Rowling made the books grow and explore deeper themes so that they could stay engaged with the series and ploy worked. It does cause problem for parents of younger children because the older books are darker. However, at their core they remain good family entertainment.
My eldest was 8 when we discovered Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone during the Scholastic book fair about the time the second book was published in hardback. It was the first time I ever allowed him to join a bookclub and he used to enjoy the notes from JK Rowling as well as being invited to participate in some of the early publicity...such as showing up at King's Cross in wizarding dress.
Since that time, Harry Potter has been with the family. First it was just my son and I who loved the books but after the third one, my husband decided to read the books out loud to my daughter to prove that they were not as good as I kept telling everyone. They fell even deeper under the spell. By the time my youngest was old enough to listen, the Harry Potter craze was in full swing. Reading had become cool and each book was enthusiastically greeted. I used to go to coffee with other mothers and discuss the book, particularly what might happen.
Because the early films were filmed around the area, the movies were really fun. It became spot the bit of Alnwick Castle or Durham Cathedral. The used bookshop at Alnwick (surely a place of magic in its own right) used to have a tiny notice asking for children to be extras.
When my eldest turned 17, the last book came out. It didn’t matter that he’d long since grown out of children’s books. He claimed first rights to this one. And when I did get to read it, I discovered the important bits right so the writer in me was proud.
We discussed – was the movie going to be as good?
Since 1998, historical romance author Michelle Styles has been a fan of Harry Potter. She credits The Order of the Phoenix with help her discover the rule that 90% of your readers will only get 10% of the emotion that the author feels. Her most recent US release is A Question of Impropriety and in the UK The Viking's Captive Princess. You can read more about her books on her website.