The Boy Who Lived

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” That was the first line of a book series that would spark a generation. Released exactly seventeen years ago on June 26, 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hit the shelves with no idea how fast it would fly off of them.

I was five years old when the book was released and what I find extremely funny is that the adults in my life knew about the books way before I did. On my tenth birthday, my aunt bought me the first four books (the only ones available at the time). The girl at the bookstore had told her how huge the books were going to be. My dad concurred, saying that a few years prior, when only the first two had been released, another bookseller had told him the exact same thing. But I don’t think they or even J.K. Rowling knew how huge these books were going to be.

From the time I read that first line of chapter one in the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone for all you Americans out there), I was a Potterhead for life. These were more than just books to me, they were some of the most important things in my life aside from my faith and family. I didn’t have a lot of friends, so when the so-called popular kids were out being what you were supposed to aspire to be, I had my nose buried deep in the Potter books. I even got made fun of for liking Harry Potter too much, but I didn’t care.

I was on MuggleNet every day (who knew I would end up working on it!), went to midnight releases where I met one of my best friends, and immersed myself in Potter culture. The books inspired my love of writing and reading, and encouraged me to be a geek, which I will remain until the day I die. These books were so essential in shaping me as a person and they still are. Despite all the criticism the books have gotten over the years, people cannot deny all the good that’s come from Harry Potter.

Charities, Wrock, Muggle Quidditch, the theme parks, even friendships—none of this would be possible without the famous boy wizard.

Thank you again to MuggleNet for giving me the opportunity to even write articles like this and for allowing me to be a part of something so unique, and thank you to J.K. Rowling, because without you the Harry Potter Generation would never have existed.

Happy seventeen years!!