Response to What Book Are You Most Thankful For?:
Harry Potter changed my life. When I was 12, I was verbally abused by a teacher in my middle school. After months of not telling my parents what was going on, they found out and pulled me out of the school in which I had grown up. Most of my friends never spoke to me again, and I was put into a new school the following year. I had never felt so alone, stupid, and worthless. During my eight grade year, I had to pick a book to read for an English project. My aunt suggested Harry Potter. At the time, it was a fairly new book and was making the rounds on the New York Times best-sellers list. Little did I know that the series would go on to color even the smallest corners of my life. I devoured the first book, then the second, and so on. Finally, I had found a character that understood me, but more importantly, understood my loneliness. Harry became my friend — my only friend at the time. He taught me that even when things look bleak, help is right around the corner. In my life, like in Harry’s, help came in the form of a lifelong friendship — a friendship (albeit one-sided) with Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. Prior to the series, I had also never been very much interested in reading. These books, however, changed my perspective. They made me fall in love with the written word. Years later, I would end up pursuing a writing degree and a career in the field. The Harry Potter series truly is magical. In my case, it had the power to transform that 12-year-old scared, lost, little girl, with no friends, and little-to-no self-esteem into a strong, independent, confident, intelligent 28-year-old woman. Harry Potter is the boy who helped me live.