During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What it was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time.
And as webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, touring with the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters, or traveling to Edinburgh to interview J. K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.
The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world’s sense of wonder, and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over. With remembrances from J. K. Rowling’s editors, agents, publicists, fans, and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon—from his very first spell to his lasting impact on the way we live and dream.
Justin bought me this book (along with The Reader) for my birthday last month. It is no secret that I, along with my kids Brad and Justin, have waited out each books arrival to the stores and usually sat around with three copies going at once of the Harry Potter books. I am just as big a fan of these books as my kids and towards the final books – finshed before either of them did. I love the story line, the story behind the author and her hardships, the amazing reads that bring out an incredible imaginative world in the minds of children and adults alike….
This book, Harry a History, took it to the next level. While I knew the books were good reading, I had no idea to the extent to which this went. I never thought about things like “Fan Get Togethers” for pre release nights…. and I didn’t really think about the fact that these books and their popularity makes our generation a kind of “they were there when it happened!” group. Kind of like being the first people to read one of the all time classics of today like Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Jane Austin… while they were still alive and thinking, “well, thats a pretty good book.”
We are the generation that actually had to wait for each book to see what will happen next – our generations coming up will get to read them all at once while we wait to talk with them about “what did you think of that??? Or did you believe that?????”
I love Melissa’s story – a college student who stumbled into a position that she loved…. it sounds exciting and I dream for that kind of excitement in a career. What an amazing season of her life! She was such a large part of what was happening through the years of the books and she writes it well.
Anyway – obviously I found the book a great read. I was also impressed with the fact that kids all over the world who struggled with reading or even had dyslexia or other reading disorders, were able to correct this and even move beyond their age reading level because of these books.
A+ read for any Potter Fan. Thank you Justin for seeing this book and thinking of me – my favorite all time gifts are books! It is a gift that keeps on giving and can go with you anywhere. I finished this one in the back seat of a truck on the way to the airport in Minneapolis to go to Honduras.
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