30 June 2014

Finally Harry!

We started reading Harry Potter!

I love the Harry Potter books.  I knew that I wanted to read them with Isaac some day, but I waited because I also knew that I did not want him to read them too early.  As Harry's character grows and matures, so do the themes in the books.  It is my personal opinion that the later books are not suited to elementary students, despite the fact that many have read them.  So, it was just last year that I began asking Isaac if he wanted to start reading the series.  The answer was a resolute "no."  Until last month!

Many of his classmates were reading Harry Potter this year and I had a feeling that he would jump on the bandwagon.  We have been doing family read-alouds of novels recently, and he decided our next one should be The Sorcerer's Stone.  I was elated.

Matt is reading the story out loud, with a wonderful British accent and voices for each of the characters.  We try to read a chapter a night - luckily we are flexible on bed time in the summer since some of the chapters are rather long.

We just read the chapter about the sorting hat.  It is one of my favorite chapters in the entire series and I was excited about reaching that point in the story.  Matt and Isaac both thought my enthusiasm was a bit odd as I bounced in anticipation of reading the chapter.

In "The Sorting Hat" chapter Harry, along with the reader, sees the interior of Hogwarts for the first time and meets most of the principal characters in the series.  Rowling's descriptions of the ceiling of the main hall, the ghosts, the food appearing on the plate are vivid illustrations of the magical world we have finally entered.  The reader shares Harry's amazement and his trepidation as he takes his turn with the Sorting Hat.  The Hat's monologue as he decides what house Harry will be in sets the stage for the conflicts that will carry the series through to its conclusion in book 7.  The glimpses we get of the professors -- McGonagall, Snape, Dumbledore -- introduce us to the characters that will shape Harry into the wizard he becomes.

We still have a lot to read of the first book, and then there are the other six to read after.  I am not sure that we will read all of them out loud, though I will re-read them as Isaac reads so we can experience Harry's adventures together.

I have been waiting to share these books with Isaac for almost nine years.  Now that the time is finally here, I am content to take it slow.  I am hoping Isaac will love these books as much as I do.

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