Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

 We did it! 
We set a goal to try to finish the entire Harry Potter series this summer and we did it!
My oldest started back at school today and we finished the book this past weekend, just in time. 

Reading this series has opened my eyes again to just how much I adore these books. 
J.K Rowling has created a world and characters that will live forever. There is no doubt in my mind that children and adults alike will be devouring this story for generations and it will always feel new and fresh and exciting. 
As for Deathly Hallows itself, I love this book. 
I think that she did a great job of wrapping up all of the main story lines and bringing us to a satisfying conclusion for the Boy that Lived and his friends. 
Our daughters felt the same way. 

SPOILERS AHEAD: Do not read the rest of the post unless you have read the books, have seen the movies and so you know the ending, or don't care about being spoiled!




The girls really loved this book but this was the first one that got Maddy crying. She has been sad about some of the deaths but she hadn't cried until Hedwig. 
She was so torn up. 
Abi found many reasons to cry in this one, just like me. 
For Abi, the hardest death of all came toward the end of the book. 
Fred and George were two of her very favorite characters. Perhaps only following the main three of Hermione, Ron, and Harry (in that order), so it is no surprise that Fred's death was a hard blow for her.
She still loved the entire series though and has become quite the Potter junkie now. 
We all went onto Pottermore immediately to be sorted. Abi and I both got Hufflepuff and Maddy got Slytherin. Neither were very happy with this outcome and asked to do the test one more time. I told Maddy she had to answer the questions honestly because the first time she was trying to be funny with answers like wanting power and to be envied, etc. 
I didn't mind being Hufflepuff too much (yellow is my favorite color after all) but decided I would retake it as well. Now all  three of us have been sorted into Gryffindor. They were very excited about this, and I was too. When Doug got home we did the test on him as well and he was put into Ravenclaw which he was happy about. 

It is so much fun to share this passion with the kids and be able to talk to them about all of the many themes and life parallels in these stories. Harry Potter really is one of a kind. There is so much fantasy out there (and I for one LOVE fantasy) but nothing quite like Harry Potter, in my opinion. 
I think that this story will stay with them throughout their lives the way the important books from my childhood did for me. (Anne of Greeen Gables, The Westing Game, The Phantom Tollbooth, Little Women... etc) I can't wait to see how they will re-visit the series through their life and how it will be a little different each time. 
Because that is another thing I have realized during this read through. Every time I have re-read these books they mean something new to me. And this time was probably the most meaningful aside from the first time I read them. Reading them out loud made me notice things I had just skimmed over before or hadn't taken much notice of. I read things I had forgotten about. I was way more emotional about the deaths than I had been previously, especially when I would see tears welling up in Abi's eyes. She ran over to me for a hug when Lupin and Tonks died mainly for my sake than hers as she knew that Lupin is one of my very favorite characters. 
And I loved getting to Snape's chapter. She turned to me and said, "So Snape was really good all along?" This led to quite a discussion about how he did have a not so good past as a death eater and what drove him to risk his life on such an intense level for so many years, playing the spy. 
We also talked about what it would be like to let so many of your peers think the worst of you as he had to do after Dumbledore's death. How hard that would have been to be so hated by so many knowing all along that what they believed to be true wasn't. 
There really is SO much to talk about once you come to the conclusion of this series. 

We will be finishing up the movies this week and sometime in the next month we will have our Harry Potter party. I will be sure to post about that when the time comes!
I strongly encourage you to pick up these books!
If it has been a while since you have read them- read them again!
If you think your kids would enjoy them (if you have kids) read them to them!
Make it a family affair. My husband had never read them either and while he wasn't here for every chapter we read, he was here for a lot of it and enjoyed learning more than the movies offer. 

Thanks for coming on this summer journey with me!

 *Did you read the series this summer? 
*Do you plan on reading it again anytime soon? 
*Which death was the hardest for you?
*What are your favorite things about the Harry Potter series?


Seth and Julie said...

Funny that you mentioned Hedwig being such a big blow for Maddy. The other day my sister was asking which death was sadder...Dobby or Hedwig. I thought it was a no brainer...obviously Dobby, right? In fact, it took me a second to remember that Hedwig even died because it had very little impact on me. When I asked Alyssa, my animal lover, she just started moaning and saying "no, no, no, no" because she couldn't decide and didn't want to be reminded of either death. While we differed on the Dobby/Hedwig thing, we both agreed that Snape was by far the saddest death. I never cried in the books, but I did tear up at Snape's death in the movie. It is certainly due in part to Alan Rickman's performance which I still think deserved an Oscar nod. Fred was another tough one :(

We have done the sorting before as well. Alyssa and I are Ravenclaw. Seth is Gryffindor. Alex is Hufflepuff. Chloe has gotten Gryffindor and Slytherin, which I think is appropriate. In fact, I could have sorted all of us without the quiz.

As for my favorite things about the series...I am most impressed with the foresight. So many fantasy authors think that they can just throw in new stuff and get away with it because it is fantasy. Does that make sense? Fablehaven is one series where I noticed magic thrown in conveniently when needed and not fully developed. Potter has new stuff all the time but it all ties in and adds up in the end. I felt like she had a plan and wasn't just winging it. I love when you see stuff come full circle and it becomes clear that she was building something from the start.

cheryl said...

Yes. I thought getting Slytherin and Gryffindor for Maddy was pretty appropriate too. But she was much happier with Gryffindor. I think Ravenclaw would actually fit me better... or a mix of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.
I agree with Snape's death. The Prince's Tale is one of my favorite chapters in the book because I feel like his story is just fascinating. I wish we would get a book just about Snape. :)
And Alan Rickman was amazing. While reading the book I had to keep stopping myself from trying to say lines the way he did because they are just cemented in my brain with his voice.
I agree with you on the foresight of the books. Rowling knew at the start where she was going with this story. It wasn't just added to because it did well. In fact I have read that she was able to tell Alan Rickman where his character would be going so that he knew, when no one else did besides her, what his real motivation was.

The Kings said...

I haven't read the books since the first time but am sure I will again sometime! They were so good! I think it is amazing that movie and books are so excellent! I do hope many generations will enjoy Harry Potter and friends!

cheryl said...

You need to read through them again! They are so so good. They just get better every time!