Can you believe it’s been 20 years since JK Rowling blessed us with the first book in what would become the biggest selling children’s book series of all time? We certainly can’t! Up and down the country there will be lots of different events, book clubs and parties happening to celebrate this book birthday, so we decided to get together with some of our blogger friends to pay tribute to Harry Potter and share some of our favourite memories.
“What a beautiful place, to be with friends” - Dobby the House Elf.
When we asked the question, does anyone want to team up for a blog about 20 years of Harry Potter, we were very pleased that there were lots of enthusiastic responses! And as usual our lovely blogger friends had lots of brilliant things to say:
My name is Hannah Earnshaw, I’m a blogger, mum of two, lover of coffee and books.
I was first introduced to the Harry Potter series at a sleepover and was instantly obsessed. They were the first books I fully immersed myself in and would read them in bed until I could no longer keep my eyes open.
I remember lying in bed reading the chapter where Harry meets Nearly Headless Nick, and feeling absolutely terrified. It seems completely ridiculous to me now that I should have been scared, but the imagery was so vivid in my young mind that it really had a strong effect.
My favourite Harry Potter book has to be, without a doubt, The Goblet of Fire. I remember being around eleven years old, going to Bournemouth with my granddad for our summer holiday, and spending my holiday money in a bookstore. I sat on the beach, and at the edge of the pool, with my head in that book the entire holiday. I wrote a letter to J.K Rowling that year about how much I cried when Cedric died.
The film also came out on my birthday, which was a great treat. It's by far my favourite of the films too.
Looking back as an adult, one thing that amazes me is the amount of thought and foreshadowing that went into the series, everything links back and everything has meaning. With this being said, I am thoroughly ashamed that I didn't see the Ron and Hermione relationship coming.
Harry Potter and I by Orla
I am an English and History teacher, living and working in the Irish Midlands. My blog, fancypaperblog, is a labour of love that began when I was on maternity leave and in need of a creative outlet. I blog about parenting, books, days out and films. I am married to a handsome Irish man and we live on a dairy farm, early starts and busy days. We have two precious little girls, three-year-old Gigi and one year old Betsy. Betsy has a fascination with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - she stares at the cover and runs around showing it to people. I recently turned 37 and find it desperately hard to believe that it was TWENTY years ago I turned 17!
Favourite HP character:
Luna Lovegood. I have to leave the three main characters aside to make this decision but after that, it is definitely Luna. I loved the enigmatic oddity of her aura in her first appearances. I really loved how much decency was in her personality and how it shone through as the books progressed. In college, I received the moniker of ‘Quirky’. It is possible that I empathise with Luna.
Favourite HP book:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was easily my favourite of all. It was the first of the series that was a whopper in size, it was a wonderful weight in the bag, reminding me that there was more to read. Why was it my favourite? Ireland won the World Cup! This book made dreams come true! In 1990 Ireland got to the quarter finals in the soccer World Cup, Italia 90, and we are still talking about it. Imagine if we really won...only in a fantastical world filled with magical beasts and deep, dark powers. Thank you JK Rowling for giving me the moment.
Too many to mention! Therefore, I will select two elements from the novels that repeat in my world and I use in my daily life.
Firstly, the notion of a pensieve. As a teacher, I refer to this magical device and how it has the ability to pin down those butterflies in your mind, freeing yourself to think clearly and logically. As I give advice for exams, I encourage students to scribble down a few ideas, quotes, paragraph topics or poem titles as soon as they are allowed to write on paper. This way, they have ‘banked’ that knowledge. It is astonishing how many kids nod knowingly when I talk about the pensieve- non-readers, non-school- loving or literary young Yeatsians alike, they have ALL read Harry Potter. This is the magic of JK Rowling.
The quote I love:
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” –The Deathly Hallows.
I love this thought as it takes away the universal fears of loss, death or the unknown of any kind. Harry Potter books let characters die. Not just one or two, (Little Women) or a pet (Old Yeller) but many people and it really could be anyone. As a child, death is a terrifying, mystifying concept. In Harry Potter, you might see those people again. Death was not forever.
Thank you, Harry Potter, for letting me enter this world. Thank you, Edinburgh Elephant cafe, for sorting out JK Rowling with free coffee so she could write this world for us. Most of all thank you Maureen from Boston for gifting me the Philosopher’s Stone when I was in my early twenties. Ironically, it gave me my youth back.
Happy 20th Anniversary Harry Potter!
Hello there, my name is Emma I have purple frazzled hair, live in my Doc Martins, have two gorgeous boys with my drummer of a husband and live in Scotland. Have I forgot anything? Oh, I love writing, reading and all things patisserie. Pleasure to meet you. Let’s have a cup of tea and chat about something truly magical, Harry Potter!
Has it really been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published? Wow! 20 years ago, J.K. Rowling introduced the world to the most famous wizard of our time, the boy who lived. We mere muggles were shown a small glimpse of the fascinating world of Hogwarts, spells and Quidditch. I think it’s safe to say, we have all been hooked ever since. And for good reason. Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? It has everything you could possibly want in a story. Wizards, friendship, magical creatures, adventure, danger, and love. All the prefect ingredients you need to make a potion of a series. I’m still waiting to receive my Hogwarts letter by owl. Any day now!
I was first introduced to this enchanting world in primary school. It was story time and our english teacher produced from her bag a book she recently purchased. She was so excited to show us, I remember her saying ‘This book will change your lives! Forget everything you think you know about wizards and magic. It will never ever be the same once you have read this book.” From that moment on I was obsessed. I read every book as soon as they were released. By the time I was in secondary school I would be queuing up outside the local bookshop at midnight waiting eagerly for the newest edition. As soon as it was in my hands I would breathe in that new book smell and rush home to start reading. Conversations at school consisted of how far we had gotten and what we think would happen next. J.K. Rowling had managed to cast a spell over the entire world, it was awesome!
My favourite Harry Potter book has got to be Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s when things start to slot into place regarding Harry’s parent’s background. Who their friends where, who betrayed them and all the stuff in between. It’s also where things start to get a bit darker as Dementors creep in and devour all the happiness from your soul. Those parts never failed to make me shiver. Just thinking about it now…I can already see the familiar bumps of my arm forming.
“The cold went deeper than his skin. It was inside his chest, it was inside his very heart…”
It also has Buckbeak *Bows* What I wouldn’t give to fly on the back of a hippogriff and see the world. Just imagine what that would feel like.
“The Hippogriff suddenly bent his scaly front knees, and sank into what was unmistakeable bow.”
Out of all the characters, my favourite has got to be Hedwig. She is brave, loyal and an owl! I adore owls. She carries important mail back and forth throughout the books. When Harry is in his loneliest moments, he often turns to Hedwig and talks to her about his worries. She is a good friend to Harry and even sacrifices herself so he could live. I was in bits, a complete mess. But the memory of Hedwig will forever live on. For now, whenever I see a snowy owl I pretend it’s her, reincarnated to spread a bit more happiness in the world. Such a beautiful owl.
“He had decided to call her Hedwig, a name he had found in A History Of Magic.”
There are so many memorable moments throughout the books. But my absolute favourite has got to be when Norbert hatches. Hagrid has always wanted a dragon and to bear witness to this event is heartwarming. I want to give him a massive hug and congratulate him on becoming a mother. You would never think it from looking at him, but deep down he is a big softy. He reminds me of someone very special and close to our family’s heart. It’s comforting to read and reminds me of the happy memories that will never be forgotten.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece I think I will hide away for a few weeks and re-read all of the books. And then after binge watch the films. I can’t wait to introduce my boys to it all. It’s a franchise that will last for generations. Now that’s magic. Bertie Bott’s every flavour bean anyone? Watch out for the vomit ones, just ask Dumbledore.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle
It's amazing to think that one wizard has inspired so much and is spanning generations already. So from all of us at Boolino, and all our blogger friends - thank you J.K Rowling - here's to another twenty years of Potter memories!
Now it's time for you to share - tell us your favourite Harry Potter moments!