On Tuesday Sept. 23, Scholastic released a 10th Anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with cover art done by Mary GrandPre, who has done illustrations for all of the American Potter editions. I came across the cover the other day when I was at Barnes and Noble and I’ve got to say that I really dig it. The original cover was cool too, but I think that this one–with Harry looking into the Mirror of Erisedand finding his family–really encompasses the ongoing themes in the books of dealing with deathand loss and creating your own family. This is something that Harry is constantly facing, from the death of his parents when he was a baby and his only living relatives rejecting him while he growing up, to the Weasley familyadopting him as a seventh son and vice versa.
This got me thinking. Ten years ago in 1998, I was 12 (and a half, but who’s counting?) years old. That put me at just starting the seventh grade. Surprisingly, despite my love of fantasy books, I didn’t immediately pick up the Potter books. Honestly, I don’t think I even heard about them until I was in the eighth grade. I started reading them the summer after eight grade (2000) and was immediately hooked. Little did I know that Harry and the gang would have such an impact and effect on my life. I’m not ashamed to admit that Harry got me through a lot of hard times in the past. Whether it was issues with my parents, stress from school or rough times with my ex, Harry, Ron and Hermione were there to make my troubles disappear with the simple swish and flick of a wand.
It’s my opinion that kids nowadays are growing up way too fast–texting on their cell phones when they’re 11 (no joke, I met one such individual yesterday) and then stowing them in their Coachpurses before they’re even in high school. Personally, I didn’t receive either until I was in college. Kids no longer feel the need to be kids any longer than necessary and that saddens me. Now, despite having grown up in an era where technology and brand names are being used to define a generation, I am proud to say that I’m a cardholding member of Generation HP. I have no shame in admitting that in all honesty, I’m really just a big kid when it comes to this kind of stuff. I’ve attended multiple midnight releases of both the books and the films and have dressed up (though, not as actual characters) for the occasions and have plans to do so for the future film releases.
So, it’s no secret that I’m an avid reader and that I’d rather pick up a good book than go see the latest chick flick or superhero movie (I’ve yet to see the Sex and the City movie or The Dark Knight). I get excited over the smallest mention of Harry Potter and often wax poetically about the series to those who aren’t familiar. This being the case, I guess it comes as no surprise that I while don’t follow celebrity gossip, I know almost everything there is to know about not only about the characters, but also their real life counterparts from the films.
This being said, imagine my surprise that while perusing MuggleNet, I came across an article on MTV that features interviews from many celebrities and their take on my favorite boy-wizard’s best friend (Harry’s BFF, Ron is actually my favorite…sorry Harry!). I found it amusing that rapper Paul Wall enjoys the series and likes that Harry is “he’s getting a little more gangsta,” OC actress Autumn Reeser was called a Hermione when she was younger and that Goblet of Fire actor Robert Pattinson appeared to be worried that he might be considered a traitor for being in Twilight (to be fair, his character SPOILER ALERT! dies at the end of the book/film in which he makes his debut). I also found it delightful that rapper Lupe Fiasco finds the phenomenon inspiring. Check out his “Paris, Tokyo” video below. Doesn’t the train at the beginning remind you of the Hogwarts Express and the round glasses he wears in the middle of the video remind you of Harry’s?