Despite attaining nearly universal acclaim, some people just refuse to give Harry Potter a chance. Those people are not your friends and direct eye contact should be avoided, but if you insist on hanging with them and really want to turn them on to the Wizarding World, here is some ammunition for that argument:
It’s A Good Story
Plain and simple, the books tell a great story. It’s epic, especially for a children’s series, but it’s not terribly long. The lasting popularity proves that kids will stick around if the story is good enough and it obviously is. I mean, if they can play video games for thirty hours a day then they can sit and read through a 700 page novel.
Also the story is fantasy, but it’s easily digestible fantasy. The made up stuff in J.K. Rowling’s world of magic isn’t all that complicated and it seems almost plausible at times. She bases it on a practical notion of what magic would really be like, though it seems the Wizarding World somehow got stuck in the late 1800s (of course you could argue that in the world of Harry Potter, the Wizarding World advanced right along with the Muggle world until the early 20th century when Muggles benefited from scientific advancement which the Wizarding World didn’t need, but holy crap that got way too nerdy, skip that part).
The movies are good, but they just can’t compete with the novels. They are great visual spectacles and capture the essence of the story (you couldn’t capture the whole story unless each movie were ran twenty hours) But holy damn, they gave us Emma Watson and for that, we should all be thankful.
Big Investment = Big Reward
The series is an investment. You have to set aside a good amount of uninterrupted time to read these books. It’s so easy to just pop in a movie and watch it after school or work, or DVR your favorite show and watch it when you want. But reading a book, especially seven fairly long ones, takes a considerable period of time and believe me, Harry Potter is worth it.
Immersive, But Not Overwhelming
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is rich in detail and scope, but its not daunting like, say, The Lord of the Rings or Star Trek. These are kids books after all and if a child can understand basic spells, so can you. The stories themselves go fairly deep into the mythology surrounding the series, but only to enhance the overarching narrative. Rowling doesn’t go off into details about some famous wizard unless it is absolutely necessary and what she does tell us about this world is fun and entertaining.
However, if you’re really interested in this world you can go further in depth. Rowling has revealed tons of information about the world she’s created and she has hinted that she’ll write an all-encompassing “encyclopedia” of Harry Potter eventually. So if you do get caught up in the world or just want to know more about it, there is plenty of info available.
Not Afraid Of The Dark
Lets be honest, how many children’s books and movies will start off with the main characters parents being murdered in the first chapter of the first book? I mean, how many people survived at the end of the series? Practically everyone croaked even though it was a happy ending. And just look at this still from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. How morose is that?
Children’s books are supposed to be tools for teaching and yet too many of them beat the kids over their heads with their message. Most kids wish they had magic to take care of their problems. Harry Potter teaches kids that life is rough and won’t be all sugar plums and fairy tales, even if you do have magic spells to clean your room.
J.K. Rowling Is A Billionaire For A Reason
One of the greatest aspects of the arts in modern times is that if your work is popular, you will get compensated for it. J.K. Rowling at one point became the richest female in the United Kingdom (richer than the Queen, even) and it just shows how popular the books and films were. Again, let me remind you, J.K. Rowling is a BILLIONAIRE. Because she wrote seven children’s novels.
Usually I’m not the type of person who thinks that, just because a large group of people all agree on something, that makes it right. But I do believe that there are a few certain things a mob of people can determine and Harry Potter being good is one of them.
The Books Are Great And The Movies Aren’t That Bad
No more sequels or exploitations or knock offs or ghost writers. J.K. Rowling has such a tight grip on all things Harry Potter’s that it ensures a certain level of competency and quality. Hell, they even trademarked a long list of possible titles so no one could even write those books.
Approachable From Any Age
Do you want your 11 year old to start out reading Deathly Hallows? Of course not, that is some serious stuff in the final book. But can they handle Sorcerer’s Stone? You better believe it. And as they start to discover each novel as they get older the books become tailor made for them. The language never gets too complicated yet it is still very well written. It doesn’t treat the reader, no matter what age, as an idiot, but rather uses simple and tactful language.
But what if you’re older and want to get into the series? Does the first one still work? Of course it does. Granted, Rowling was a first time writer when Sorcerer’s Stone was published, and it shows, but it is still a good and fun story that is enjoyable. Harry Potter is one of the few things in life that is able to speak to multiple generations at the same time and still seem cool to each one.
It’s So British
The books are chocked to death with little British-isms that are endearing. The movies are practically a who’s who of British actors and actresses. Even if you think all Brits are stuck up snobs with bad teeth, these books and movies are little capsules of all that is great with the people of the UK.
Love Is The Greatest Magic Of All
One of the main themes of Harry Potter is love. Not the lovey dovey type of love found in horrible teen romances (cough, Twilight, cough) but the real love people feel in the world. Friends, elders, parents, kids, enemies, everyone. Rowling doesn’t pull any punches with her readers, as a former single mother living on welfare, she has seen plenty of hardships. But she didn’t let that extinguish her optimism and her love for the world is evident in all of the series.
However, that isn’t the only lesson she imparts on us. The world of Harry Potter and as such, the world through Rowling’s eyes, values bravery, intelligence, loyalty, and trust. The characters treat friends and families with respect and in the end the good triumph over the evil. Of course, there can be many losses along the way, but such is life. People can also change for the better and/or worse, but in the end you have to forgive them. You can learn a lot from Harry Potter; it’s not just wand waving and spells.