Harry Potter mania nearing an end

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him atajcmomania@gmail.com.

If you or your kids are Harry Potter fans, you have a reason to be nostalgic this weekend.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Many of you and your children have watched the gifted young wizard grow up in the decade since the first Potter flick came out.

You might have bonded with your kids over the books or waited for midnight showings of the movies. Did Potter work his magic and get your kids to finally start reading?

Ty’s too young to have been a part of the Potter frenzy and I have never had interest in it, but Lori has read every book and seen every movie. She’s even going back to read the second part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to prepare for this last movie.

For some kids – and parents, including Lori – it’s the end of an era.

If you need any proof of how long the Potter flicks have been in many of your lives, check out this AccessAtlanta slideshow for a trip down memory lane.

AccessAtlanta offers one review of the movie, but as you see it, we would love to hear your thoughts about how it was handled. Remember, no spoilers, please.

Is the release of the last Potter movie bittersweet for you and your kids?

Are you or your kids awaiting the October launch of Pottermore, a new site by author J.K Rowling?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

20 comments Add your comment


July 14th, 2011
7:36 am

Never understood the phenomenon.


July 14th, 2011
7:52 am

I’ve never gotten into Harry Potter, and I really tried, but my older son is a huge fan. The first book came out at a difficult time in his life (new school, new little brother) and he would escape into Harry’s world. I remember waiting in line for hours for the release of each new book. As a teacher, it thrilled me to watch him so excited about reading. He’s almost 21 now and I asked him if he was going to watch the movie this weekend and he replied with, “How can I not go see it? It’s the end of an era.” I love J.K. Rowling’s story too. What a great message that life can take a turn for the better when you least expect it.


July 14th, 2011
7:52 am

I haven’t read any of the books nor have I seen any of the movies. Our 16-year-old, however, has read and seen them all (to date). Too bad his retention of more important school-related topics isn’t at this same level.


July 14th, 2011
8:12 am

My two decided to go to the movie tonight ( or is it tomorrow) as they are both living at home now and will be off of work then :).. Daughter went to get the tickets yesterday. I am happy this is something they enjoy together! I have not read any of the books nor seen any of the movies. Many years ago, I was on a business trip to Arizona and my family came with me. A book came out that day. My husband took them to the bookstore and my son came home and read the entire book from start to finish, in one day. My daughter has not been as diligent about the books but has enjoyed the movies. I hope they have fun!


July 14th, 2011
8:22 am

Haven’t read any of the books, and have only seen a few minutes of one of the movies (not sure which one)..

I think its great that the younger kids enjoy reading them…I grew up reading and think it’s a good thing for kids to do..

Hope all that see it, have a good time…


July 14th, 2011
8:32 am

I’ve read all the books twice and seen all the movies. I love them. My husband really loves the movies & watches them on DVD all the time, but he hasn’t read the books yet. Can’t wait for the finale this weekend. My son is 7, so he isn’t really old enough to read the books by himself yet, but he loves the movies. We’ve even been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. That was fantastic. That section of the part was so beautifully done it’s like stepping into another world!!


July 14th, 2011
8:47 am

Our whole family has loved the books — we were always there at midnight for the releases, and our tradition is that we would stay up all night reading the book. I would get one book for each child, and the lights would be on all night long. Happily, my daughter would usually fall asleep at 4 am, and I would steal her book and start reading :-). By 6 pm the next day, we were completely up to date on Harry’s latest adventures!

We definitely have tickets for tonight’s midnight show! We have been marathoning the movies since this weekend, and our goal is to watch Part 1 tonight after dinner before we go to the show :-)


July 14th, 2011
9:12 am

I read the books as soon as they came out–usually hit a store at midnight–but had fallen behind on the movies. I rented the last two to watch on the plane to and from vacation last week (they were fantastic!), so I’m all caught up and ready for the last one. Hope to see it Sunday.


July 14th, 2011
9:30 am

@Andy: I had to chuckle at your “no spoilers, please” comment. As if anyone interested in the story doesn’t know how it turns out! :-)


July 14th, 2011
9:49 am

We got interested in HP after the first 2 books were published. On third, we started the tradition of going out at midnight, buying the book, and reading the first chapter together. The oldest is a super-fast reader; he’d stay up all night and finish the book…then I had to wait for #2 to finish it, then I got it. By the time the last books were out, the boys were driving themselves to the store at midnight to get it. I am very sad that my older two won’t be available to see the movie with me tomorrow, but I’ll go w/ #3 (who doesn’t enjoy reading????), but he still enjoys the movies.


July 14th, 2011
10:32 am

The first book came out in 1998 in a Scholastic edition. My son’s reading teacher in 4th grade had heard the scuttlebutt on this ‘amazing’ book coming out of Britain, and had suggested it to him in the spring of ‘99, but his initial impression was that it was a book he wouldn’t be interested in (he was into Animorphs and Lord of the Rings :-) The second one came out in the summer of ‘99. between his 4th and 5th grades. In mid-September of the 5th grade, he was going on a school trip to St. Simons for four days (and got caught in the Hurricane Floyd evacuation!) Before he left, he wanted to go to the bookstore and grab a couple of books for the bus ride, and we saw a display of the two HP books. He remembered his teacher had recommended it, and picked up the first one to give it a shot . . . when he got off the bus two days later (after a 10 hour drive back in the evacuation traffic), he begged to stop by the book store on the way home – he had finished the entire first book on the bus, and was dying to know what happened next. Thus began a love affair :-) Each child has their own set of books that have been carefully kept, and we have all the DVDs. The first Harry Potter movie came out in 2001, and I remember being away at a soccer tournament and taking all the boys on the team to see it that evening after the first day’s games. Magical! (Even if every single boy there could tell you EXACTLY how the movie differed from the books!)

And I must confess: When the second movie came out, I purchased tickets for the first day’s showing, in the afternoon. And I was a bad mommy — I told the kids (and their school) that they had a dentist appointment, and picked them up an hour early from school. On our way to the “dentist”, we saw the movie theatre marquis with the HP movie on it. The kids were chattering excitedly — “When can we go?!” when I suddenly said, “I don’t feel like going to the dentist — let’s go see Harry Potter instead!” and turned into the theatre. The kids were absolutely agog that strict, straight-laced Mommy would do something so utterly crazy!


July 14th, 2011
10:38 am

Not only have we read all of the books and seen the movies, we have all of the books in audio book format. My kids would rather listen to a Potter book read by Jim Dale (amazing, Grammy-award winner!!) than listen to music. His dynamic reading style and ability to develop a unique voice for each character bring the books to life like no other reader I’ve heard.

We’re going to splurge and see the IMAX version on Monday (hopefully). It’s bittersweet – as gratifying as it is to be able to see the last movie, it feels like the end of an era to me.


July 14th, 2011
10:57 am

We wanted to go to the IMAX tonight, but the tickets were apparently sold out within a few hours of being released. They’re on Craigslist for $20 apiece. We decided to save ourselves a 40 minute drive and see it at the neighborhood theatre at midnight. Would have loved the IMAX, though . . . *sigh*


July 14th, 2011
11:08 am

DB – that’s a good price. The list for IMAX @ Atlantic Station is $17.50.


July 14th, 2011
11:09 am

I began reading the books when they first came out at the recommendation of a fellow teacher. I loved them! Harry is such a genuine character and, in the earlier books, is such a typical middle schooler.

At the end of the first book Dumbledore tells Harry, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” When I got to that line, I knew this was a series that kids could identify with. I taught the book in seventh grade English long before it was popular enough to cause an uproar. They loved it. We discussed our hidden talents, what makes each of us special, and what we would each see if we looked into the Mirror of Erised. Kids who had never read a book on their own went on to read the next one. It was truly inspirational.

I have found similar inspiration in every one of the books.


July 14th, 2011
1:11 pm

I am sad to say we won’t be able to see the movie until Sunday or maybe next weekend. When my daughter was younger, we would be in line for the books opening day, Also did the midnight showing a few times. I think I am the bigger fan than my daughter.

What I loved about the books/story is the spoke to so many. My mom loved reading them, friends my age, and the kids. My husband who does not read, unless it is a technichal manual, loved the movies. We have spent the last week re-watching the movies so we will be caught up before we see the final one. I truly sad to see the end.

There is one other book collection I have read I refuse to finish the last 100 pages because I don’t want it to end. Few authors can inspire love for the characters, J.K Rowling is one of them.


July 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

My kids never got into them. My son would rather read about insects or animals. My daughter would read Judy Blume.


July 14th, 2011
7:24 pm

My oldest loves them. If he was older, he’d probably be bugging me to go to a midnight showing. Since he’s only 9, I’m going to go with a friend first, and then take him next week. I want to preview it before I let him see it.


July 14th, 2011
7:46 pm

@irisheyes: If he’s already read it . . . he’s read about death, dying and violence. How would the movie be any worse than any of the other ones he’s seen? (Assuming that he’s seen the other 7 movies?)


July 14th, 2011
8:41 pm

my youngest 2 kids and i always read the books together…sorta…whoever got up first got dibs on the book..then we would wait til it was put down and grab it lol…great books…great lessons for life. everyone should read them. it was a family tradition for the first 4 movies that all of my kids would either come up here or we (me and the 2 youngest) would go to atlanta and see the movies the first night it came out.