Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

Harry Potter and the Final Hours

Posted by Jim Walsh on Friday, July 20, 2007

As I write this, it is less than 12 hours before the seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – goes on sale. My older daughter began reading the series when she was in third grade. Fascinated by all the buzz, I borrowed her copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the first book in the series, released in the U.S. in 1998) and have been an avid fan myself ever since. Using my kids as my cover, I have attended a number of prior midnight book releases and other Harry Potter events over the years.

I have enjoyed discussing the books with my girls and speculating about forthcoming plot twists. At the risk of being proven wrong within the next half-day, I was the first one in our house to decide that Snape was actually good. My daughters have come around to my point of view, at least on this issue.

I assume that everyone has at least a passing familiarity with the series, even if you haven’t read the books yourself. Joanne Rowling (rhymes with “bowling”) has created a fascinating parallel world that draws the reader in deeper and deeper. Her vivid descriptions of the world of wizards and witches make this world believable to the reader. Although the books are most popular among younger readers, the author never dummed down her stories or wrote in an overly-simplistic fashion. The plots are elaborate. The wizarding world has good, evil and those we’re not sure about. It also has fence-sitters, back-stabbers and do-nothings who fail to heed numerous warnings about forthcoming dangers until it’s right on top of them – in short, a world much like our own in many respects.

J.K. Rowling has (rightfully) been credited with helping make avid readers of millions of younger readers. You can find many devotees debating the merits of the works of J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. She has also inspired numerous would-be writers who create their own Harry Potter stories (check out

Not surprisingly, although the core group of Harry Potter fans was initially in the age range of 8-12, the core fan age range is now more like 8-20.

Of course it will be fascinating to find out what happens in the final battle between Harry (and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix) and Lord Voldemort (and his Deatheaters), but it will also be bittersweet to know that this will be our last taste of Bertie Botts’ Every-Flavor Bean (“Alas, earwax”), chocolate frogs (that hop) and butterbeer. Like many others, we will be at a local bookstore at midnight tonight. I guess I’ll have to let my daughter read the book first before I borrow her copy. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for this fascinating journey.

2 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Final Hours”

  1. Ralph Norton said

    Ken Ulman = Lord Voldemort, Martin O’Malley = Luscious Malfoy

  2. Ralph Norton said

    Ken Ulman = Lord Voldemort, Martin O’Malley = Luscious Malfoy!

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