Thursday, April 5, 2007

Where I Was and What I Hope Your're Reading

Remember that funny scene in You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks' character, Joe Fox, is trying to write an explanation for not showing up to meet Kathleen (Meg Ryan) at that coffee shop? (Of course, he did show up, but didn't reveal that he was, in fact, her cyber-friend.) And as he sits at his computer he comes up with this convoluted story about a business trip in Vancouver and being stuck in a building during a power outage and the phones were out too, etc. etc...

I know that was a random intro to this post, but roll with me. I was thinking it has been so long since my last post, that I felt like I owed some sort of an explanation for my absence! (Not that you're all just chomping at the bit for Mrs. Cropper's next amazing post, but still...) So I thought of how we've been busy with family in town and with things at our church, etc., but none of those are the real reason. See, usually I blog at night when Blaine has gone to bed and Taylor is doing his homework. But guess where I've been lately during that quiet evening time? I've been deep inside Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! A couple of weeks ago I realized that if I didn't hurry and read books 5 and 6 of Harry Potter, I wouldn't be ready for book 7 on July 21st! And so I dove in to book 5 and have been almost as bad a Harry Potter junkie as many of my friends are 24 junkies! Taylor keeps asking me, "Who do you love more--me or Harry Potter?" And the other day as he was commenting on something about the book I sassily snapped, "Taylor--you have only seen the movies! You don't even know Harry Potter!" At this he chuckled and said, "You're right, Anne. I don't!" I'm sure in his head he was thinking "And neither do you, because he's not real!"--as he so often has to remind me about Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. :)
So now my question for you is, are you ready for book 7--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

If you haven't read any of J.K. Rowling's series, I am here to say, READ IT! I was super late getting on the bandwagon. I was just sure I wouldn't like it because I don't generally like fantasy. I didn't see what all the fuss was about. I really only read book 1 because I figured every elementary school teacher needs to be well-versed in Harry Potter. But then, like my friends predicted, I became totally enchanted by the unbelievably magical, ingenious, complex world that Rowling has created. It really is wonderful literature, and the writing gets better with each book.

If you think, "Well, I've seen the movies--that's about the same"--I am here to politely correct you. It isn't the same! The movies barely cover the basic plot and all the action scenes. But without reading the books you miss all of the excellent foreshadowing, character development, clever side-plots, etc.

If you are like me and aren't up to date in the series, I am here to cheer you on and remind you that you still have 108 days to prepare for book 7!

If you are wondering at what age your child could read it or have it read to him, here's what I have to say: Book 1 is rather simple and easy to follow. You could read it to your first grader. Some second graders can read the first book or two independently. They won't get all the vocabulary and such, but will be able to comprehend it quite well. I think book 2 is really scary though, so you may want to check it out first. As the series progresses, the books become more mature and complex--both literarily and content-wise. She has brilliantly aged the literature along with Harry, so the older he gets, the older the readers get. (So you can use Harry's age as a guide.)

I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Read it! Read it! Read it! I hope you are as excited as I am about reading the 7th and final installment. I know Taylor is excited--once I'm done reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows he just might get his wife back!

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