FOR KIDS WHO L♡VE HARRY POTTER
It must be magic.
It’s been more than 20 years since The Boy Who Lived appeared in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And the Harry Potter excitement hasn’t let up.
We spoke with Lana Whited, a professor at Ferrum College (and dedicated Hufflepuff) who has written about Harry Potter, to try to get to the bottom of why these stories continue to connect so deeply with readers.
According to Whited, there are many factors at play. For starters, the series can appeal differently to people of different ages and experiences. While the youngest fans may experience Harry Potter as a classic good-versus-evil fairy tale, older children may appreciate the realism of the students’ relationships with one another.
There’s also, of course, the fun of the magical elements of the book (who doesn’t want to fly around on a broomstick?), the appeal of putting yourself in Harry’s place (which house would you join?), and the great sense of community that can come with being a Harry Potter fan.
Whited thinks that Harry’s Cinderella-like transformation from being told he is of no importance to recognizing that he has a special destiny also speaks to young readers.
“Who doesn’t want to hear that I’ve been right all along—this inner voice that says to me that all those people who run me down are wrong. I’m special. I’m going to do something amazing with my life,” Whited said. “What kid doesn’t need to hear that?”
Of course, these days the Potterverse has moved far beyond its print-and-ink origins. Little (and big) fans often crave a far more immersive Harry Potter experience.
There are the movies, obviously. But that’s table stakes. You haven’t truly begun to immerse yourself in all things Harry until you’ve listened to the podcasts (and there are plenty), attended a Harry Potter Festival (many of which are sporting new names these days), taken the ultimate Severus Snap quiz, and—wait for it—played on a real life Quidditch team.
But wait. There’s more.
If your little one craves more magic, you can visit Platform 9 ¾ at London’s King’s Cross train station, enroll in a Hogwarts-themed camp, attend the two-part Harry Potter play, or read the ever-increasing body of Harry Potter-related academic work (psychology, sociology, politics—take your pick). And you can always throw in a visit to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter to top it all off.
There are, of course, plenty of Harry Potter items to add some enchantment to playtime. We’ve tracked down some truly magical books, toys, and games that are sure to delight your little Muggle.