Five Muggle Books Hermione Loves That Prepared Her for Hogwarts
The Brightest Witch of Her Age is near and dear to many of our hearts. Hermione Granger portrayed the bookworm with whom we identified, and for some of us, we aspired to become more like her. But before Hermione entered Hogwarts, she was a young, clever girl growing up in Muggle Great Britain. Not much is known about Hermione’s life prior to her arrival on the Hogwarts Express in 1991, but one would assume that throughout her childhood, she grew more and more in love with books, devouring any within her reach. Looking at young adult literature of the time, this list speculates which books Hermione may have loved prior to attending Hogwarts and which may have prepared her for her adventures there.
1. The Oxford History of Britain
Aren’t you ever going to read Hogwarts: A History?”
“What’s the point?” said Ron. “You know it by heart, we can just ask you.”
Hogwarts: A History, by Bathilda Bagshot, would not have been the first historical narrative Hermione devoured. She was clearly the child who would ask for a complete set of the encyclopedia for her birthday and then proceed to read each volume cover to cover. Discovering the history of Great Britain would be top priority to her, which causes The Oxford History of Britain to be on her list of favorites.
2. The Lord of the Rings
Although Hermione is almost 11 (almost 12) years old at the start of Sorcerer’s Stone, I do not believe Tolkien‘s masterpiece is beyond her reading capability. The epic fantasy would have been among her favorites. Filling her imagination with wonder at a world full of magic and adventure, it could have helped Hermione accept the fact that she is a witch. It could have also given her the need for adventure. Frodo and Sam’s enduring friendship and bravery as they faced Mount Doom together would spur her onward as she fought alongside her friends against Voldemort and his army.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
I believe this novel is a standard favorite for any bookworm, Hermione being no exception. Although it is written by an American author, the popularity and gravity of the novel would have caused its message to spread around the world. Just as Scout learns about the flaws and social issues in her society, so too, would Hermione. The lessons put forth by Harper Lee would remain with Hermione as she encountered numerous social injustices in the wizarding world. Perhaps some of the lessons she garnered from this novel became the bedrock for SPEW and her career within the Ministry of Magic post-Hogwarts.
Matilda‘s love of books and unexpected ability of telekinesis could have created a strong sense of identification for Hermione. JKR tells us that young witches and wizards will often present uncontrollable and sporadic bits of magic when placed in intense and frightening situations. Perhaps when Hermione was a child, she performed small acts of magic, like Harry did as a child. Matilda’s magical abilities and love of reading created a literary icon that Hermione would connect to and adore, as well as serve as an intellectual role model.
5. The Westing Game
This book centers on 16 individuals competing to be the sole heir to a vast fortune. The thrill of finding clues, suspecting every character as the culprit, and deducing the truth would appeal to Hermione and foster her deductive reasoning skills. Perhaps this book, and other mysteries, would have been high on Hermione’s reading list, thus resulting in her drive and ability to solve the mysteries the trio stumbled upon.
These are just some of the books Hermione may have had on her bookshelves. What books do you think she would love?