Harry Potter and the Magic of the World

By Louis Sullivan

On July 15, moviegoers across the nation will rush to see the final installment of the Harry Potter series, as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” hits theaters.
The release of this film and the culmination of the series, an event 10 years in the making, mark an important milestone for many cinema enthusiasts and Potter fans alike. It brings to a conclusion a legacy of books and movies that began with the publication of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” back in 1999 and has proved a strong tie to the magic of childhood and the trials of getting older, particularly for those of us who grew up alongside Harry and faced the ever-quickening dawn of adulthood and responsibility as he did.
Never has this been clearer to me than it is now. I was 8 when the book series began, and I read along with each novel as it hit the shelves. I’d compulsively attend the midnight release parties at Barnes and Noble and devour the books, reading along as page after page of Harry’s adventures unfolded before my eyes and whisked me away to a world where magic was as real as the book that I read to behold it.
When I began reading “Sorcerer’s Stone,” though, magic was everywhere in my world, too. I wholeheartedly believed that, when I turned 11, I too could find an acceptance letter from Hogwarts delivered by owl to my home. Barring that, I had other far-flung dreams for the future: Someday I would be a paleontologist and make a major dinosaur discovery; an astronaut who would explore planets and systems that no one had yet visited; or an Egyptologist examining the pyramids and the tombs and artifacts of the pharaohs.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

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