Sunday, April 17, 2011
Harry Potter and the Introduction Conundrum
Also, in The Philosopher's Stone, Harry is 11, and I was 11 when it was published. When Chamber of Secrets was published, Harry and I were both 12. Prisoner of Azkaban - both 13. And with Goblet of Fire, we were both 14. Now after that, I started to age a bit more quickly than he did (I was 21 to his 17 when the last book was published), but I never lost the feeling that Harry and I kind of grew up together. What if I had read them all at the same time? I would have been done with the entire series in a matter of weeks, rather than savoring them over the course of my entire adolescence.
Plus, having them come a year or more apart allowed me to grow up between books. I was about 12 when I started the series, but the first book--or even the first few books--would also have been great had I been a few years younger. But scenes from some later books are probably too intense or scary for a younger kid. And in Order of the Phoenix, when Harry was going through some serious teenage angst, so was I. I could relate, because, again, we were growing up together.
I want Jamie to have as wonderful an experience with these books as I did, but I'm afraid if he hears about them for his whole life, goes into them expecting them to be amazing, and reads them all in one sitting, he just won't have a chance. So what to do?
Here's my current plan: Home school him so he never hears about them from other kids, hide my copies and never mention them, and then one day, when he's about 10, leave Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on his pillow for him to find and enjoy all on his own.
Yes, it is that important.