Every new generation seems to come with an explosion in the world of fiction. Three generations ago, Lord of the Rings transformed people’s imaginations and started changing lives. A generation later, came Star Wars. Then my generation received Harry Potter. In all honesty, my life and imagination would not be what it is today if not for J. K. Rowling sharing hers.
Today is the 15th anniversary of the release of the first book in the Harry Potter Series, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m sure many of us have our own Harry Potter stories of when we read which book, how it made us feel, which characters we loved most, or even why we steered clear of the books. I can’t brush over the controversy Harry Potter brought, especially to the Christian world. Yet I can’t help but notice fifteen years have passed and our world isn’t filled with witches or wizards, just like it’s not filled with hobbits, elves, fighter pilots, or wookies. Books affect us. They change us. But most often, our imagination erects a safe wall between itself and reality.
In celebration of the anniversary, Scholastic is releasing the Harry Potter books with brand new covers designed by Kazu Kibuishi. I think both sets are stunning and I’m trying to rein in my desire to own them solely for the sake of owning them.
Original US Covers by Mary GrandPre
New Covers by Kazu Kibuishi
J. K. Rowling is one of my most admired authors, mostly because of her personal story and her love of story. I admire her fight to continue writing after the huge success of Harry Potter, even if her new books aren’t something I enjoy. I admire the way she handles fame. Many people even say she rekindled a love for reading in children. I always had a love for reading, but I fully believe she instilled new love for imagination. And that’s irreplaceable.
God can use anything to change us for the better, even if it’s controversy-filled fantasy books. He can use anyone to change us, even if it’s a woman author I’ve never met and probably will never meet (though I desperately desire to someday.) Today I want to share so much more about what her writing did to me as a young reader. I want to share every magical situation I found myself in while reading and every moment I spent counting down the days until the next book. But a single blog post just isn’t enough. It will be shared someday, like all good stories should be, but today I want to hear about yours.
Is there a book series that specifically impacted your life?
How did Harry Potter affect your life?
Just for fun, what do you think of the new covers? Which cover is your favorite?