Seven books. Eight movies. Fourteen years.
After growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione, members of the Harry Potter Generation will need a stiff upper lip to face the next chapter in their world life after Potter. The epic series draws to a close when the last of the movies Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens at midnight around the world.
The arrival of the final film has left some fans reflective and others grieving the end of their childhood.
For Ariel Klugman of Lawrence, J.K. Rowlings series inspired a love of reading, a feeling of belonging and a rebuke from her eighth-grade teacher.
I actually got caught reading during class, said Klugman, now 22. My mom got really mad at me, but I was like, Im reading! Its Harry Potter. I cant help it.
Millions of spellbound fans felt the same way.
The first book, published in England in 1997, ignited a firestorm of interest in the Boy Who Lived. The series set sales records and prompted the improbable as millions of kids in the video-game age lined up at midnight for the release of a mere book.
But the Potter Effect was just getting started. Fueled by films and the rise of social networking, Harry and the gang rode a wave of technology into virtually every corner of their young fans lives.
From Facebook, forums and fan fiction to podcasts, YouTube videos and international conventions, Harry Potter became a cultural phenomenon of incalculable influence. Readers of all ages caught magical fever, but none so strongly as kids around Harrys age.
The series has spawned more than a love of reading. The Harry Potter Alliance is an association of U.S. and international chapters doing good work based on the constructive social values found in the books. Wizard Rock (often shortened to wrock) is a growing genre of music inspired by the series.
Read the complete story at kansascity.com
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