Monday, September 23, 2013

Beyond the Book: the Harry Potter series

This bookish feature is an original by me! I had the epiphany for this the other day when I was writing out my 15 bookish confessions. (See #7) A lot of times I like to go "beyond the book" and do something that will connect me with the book and characters a little more. It will pop up on Mondays! Be on the look out for which books caught my eye and made me go beyond just reading it!  

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7)
This Beyond the Book will be a little different... It will feature an entire SERIES instead of just one book! This week's Beyond the Book features the Harry Potter series in honor of Banned Book Week!

“You're a wizard, Harry.” 

    I chose Harry Potter for today's Beyond the Book topic because this week is actually Banned Book Week! "Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read." Libraries, bookstores, and even bloggers are "banning" (pun intended) together to bring attention to challenged books that we love! This year, BBW will be celebrated September 22-28. 
     Now I know that all the spotlight has been around the recent banning of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (which is just absolutely RIDICULOUS... Sometimes, things like that really do happen!!!!), but I wanted to write about something on a more personal note. 
     When I first heard about Harry Potter, I was in the FIFTH GRADE! I was absolutely tiny. I had found the first three books in my school library and I decided to take the plunge. I started reading it, and from the very beginning I was HOOKED! I remember going back for the second and the third book as soon as I finished the first one. By then though it had started to get more attention. From other readers as well as their parents. Not only from around the world, but in my own elementary school as well.
     Apparently the staff sent out a letter to parents saying they were looking in to banning a certain book that dealt with dark magic, witch craft, and sorcery. Which is extremely crazy because, let's be real... How many of us tried "Wingardium Leviosaand to no avail? My mother got the letter and recognized the title as one that I had just recently checked out and grew nervous. found out that I had read books 1-3 and was anxiously awaiting the release of book 4 which came out summer. 
     My mom, whom I'm extremely thankful for, did the right thing by deciding to read it. She didn't tell me why she mysteriously decided to read it, but I was super excited when she did. Even then I liked to fan girl about books with her. In the end she fell in love with Harry just as much as I did. She cried in the same spots I did. She chewed her nails completely off in the same spots I did. And on the nights they were released, she was up at the same midnight releases I was. She ended up sending a letter back to the school district saying that she actually sat down to read the books and see what they were all about and she found that they were harmless and actually really enjoyable 
     Unfortunately, this wasn't my first run in with censorship and the Harry Potter books. I was helping out at my old daycare when the fourth book was released and I took that book EVERYWHERE! I couldn't stop reading it. Any free time I had, I was reading it. So, I took it to my old daycare and the teacher I was helping out with said I couldn't read it there. I told her that was my favorite series and I was reading that book, no matter what she said. She said "fine, just don't read that devil worshiping book by me." (Umm, I have NO IDEA where she got the devil worshiping stuff from...) I had to literally get behind the door and read so it wasn't near her. It was at first a little depressing, but at the same time, it was ok because I wanted to read more than watch tv or whatever the activity of the day was. I'm so thankful nothing ever panned out where I was because its really hard to imagine my younger years without Harry Potter. 
     Even with all that, I stuck with the Harry Potter series until the very last book. And even now I'm a huge supporter of the franchise. Everyone that told me not to read Harry Potter only fueled my wanting to read it even more. And that's with countless other books as well. If I hadn't already read Eleanor and Park (and loved it) I would've been adding it to my TBR pile as soon as I heard the hub bub. 
     Banning books to me is crazy. Do people not realize what kind of society we live in today?! Bad things happen and teens curse, have sex, and countless other things. As much as you may want to pretend that they don't, THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT GO AWAY! 

So, have any of you connected to a book so deeply it made you write a separate post about it? Join me on Mondays or tell me in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. I had a friend whose parents wouldn't let her read Harry Potter because of the magic in it. I couldn't understand that then or now. My parents I don't think ever stopped me from reading a book. Great post!