An Eight-year-old Reflects on the Loneliness of Finishing Harry Potter

weekend-is-booked-harry-potter-style

In this post, one of my twins discusses how she feels now that she’s finished reading the Harry Potter series:

My name is Samira. I am in third grade. I read all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling (including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.) I was so glad that Voldemort died because I was having nightmares about him (I do not think that’s a spoiler. Who doesn’t know that already? Sorry for the ones that don’t.) Now I’m waiting for my sister and friends to finish. Then I can talk about it with them and not spoil it. They don’t know the truth about Professor Snape and I can’t tell them. I feel lonely that I can’t tell anyone.

In case you’re wondering, I’m the one with the glasses.

Her twin sister’s response: I will be done soon!

AMB’s Response: I reminded my daughter that her father and I have read the Harry Potter series, so she can talk about it with us. However, she pointed out that we haven’t yet read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (by Jack Thorne based on a story by JK Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany), and she doesn’t want to spoil it. I guess that’s what I’ll be reading during my commute to work this week.

_________

*I did not edit her reflection, except to suggest that she give an example of something she wants to be able to discuss with her friends (Snape was one of several examples she rattled off).

**My daughter gave me permission to share her thoughts on my blog.

 

26 thoughts on “An Eight-year-old Reflects on the Loneliness of Finishing Harry Potter

  1. I felt lonely when I finished the last Harry Potter book too. It was such a big part of my childhood — growing up, eagerly waiting for the next book to be published. When I turned the last page of the final book, it felt like the end of an era.

    I haven’t read The Cursed Child yet. To be honest, I was disappointed that it was published as a script rather than a novel. I’d love to see the play in London.

  2. This is too adorable! She’s a super reader to be done with the series at such a young age. I hope she revisits the story when she’s older as well for a different experience that’s just as rewarding as your first time through.
    I assume they have not seen all the HP films yet?

    1. Thanks, Naz! My daughters love to read. I’m sure they will revisit the books in a couple of years (I know I’ve revisited them from time-to-time). As for the movies, they’ve only seen the first four. I don’t let them see the movie until they’ve read the book (of course, we’ve broken that rule with the youngest one, but I’m hoping she’ll forget most of it by the time she’s ready to read the books in a couple of years).

  3. Please tell Samira that I completely feel her pain, because I was always getting the new Harry Potter books when they came out at midnight and then I’d stay up all night reading them, and the next morning, nooooooobody but me would have finished them already. When that big Snape spoiler happened in the sixth book, there was NO ONE for me to debrief with. Hang in there, Samira!

    1. I’m excited to show her your comment. She’ll be thrilled to know that you know what this feels like! Her sister finally finished the 7th book last night, and they’ve had so many interesting discussions about it. They’re still waiting for their friends at recess to finish the series.

  4. Pingback: Why Are the Sins of the Parents Laid Upon the Children? – The Misfortune Of Knowing

  5. YES! I feel similar with many popular books with spoilers, feeling isolated until someone close to me has finished the book. Thank you to your daughters for sharing their thoughts! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I finished The Cursed Child last night, and got to discuss it with my daughter. She had so many thoughts about it. It was such a fun discussion. Her sister has finally finished book 7 of the series last night and will start on Cursed Child tonight.

    1. Thank you! I ended up finishing The Cursed Child last night. I really enjoyed it, and it became the basis of a very interesting discussion with my daughter. I’m glad I read it.

  6. Oh, I so wish my kid would give HP another chance. But she got a bit scared during her first try, and I don’t want to push too hard and maybe spoil the entire series for her with my insistence. I did have my friend’s twins over on Sunday, and one of them had just finished the first book, so I got my fix of “talking with a kid about HP” for now. 🙂 I hope your daughter will have lots of wonderful talks with her sister and friends, once they are all caught up.

    1. Considering how many tears my kids shed while reading the Harry Potter series, I felt kind of bad for encouraging them to read it (https://misfortuneofknowing.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/scaring-children-a-benefit-of-books/). The night they read about what happened to Fred was especially hard in our household. As a pair of redheaded identical twins, they really identified with Fred and George. Nevertheless, they couldn’t put the series down, and now they are very glad they read it. At some point, your kid may want to pick it up again.

      1. Like you, I think my kids will have to read the books for cultural literacy reasons. I’ll read the books to them, if necessary. 🙂 I see nothing wrong with kids reading (or at least being encouraged to read) scary or realistic books, even if it’s hard on them (and their parents). Life isn’t easy either!

  7. Snape was the only reason I always loved Harry Potter as a series. Till date I am always super-exited to recommend all books to new reader and at the same time can not justify why. I still remember I have only discussed “interests” with one of my close friend who was also Potter aficionado. “Cursed child” is still left though.

    1. Snape is a wonderfully complex character. My daughter can’t stand all of the negative comments her friends at recess make about him. I’ve encouraged her to be patient with them. They’ll finish the series soon enough and then know why Snape doesn’t deserve their ridicule.

    1. Thanks for the tip, though I’m not sure what difference it makes to the enjoyment of the script to view it as a sort of fanfiction (especially when JK Rowling was involved in it, unlike other fanfiction where the original author is not involved).

      1. In my Aug. 22 review, I take issue with some of the dialogue–perhaps Rowling was not involved enough. Also, the plot is heavily based on the most common fanfic plots.

        1. Thanks for the explanation! I’m curious to know how much JK Rowling was involved in it (just as I’m always curious about the origin of big blockbusters, which probably get lots of input that might produce a result that diverges from the author’s original intent). That won’t matter for my discussions about the book with my daughter, though. She loved The Cursed Child. So far, I’m enjoying it too (I’m only about 25% finished with it).

  8. I understand your daughter’s loneliness. It can be very frustrating to be the only one who knows a big reveal. I want to discuss books with my sister, but she hasn’t finished them yet! It felt like it took forever for her to read The Martian. While movies aren’t as good as the books, at least they don’t take too long to watch and soon everyone can discuss them without spoiling it.

    1. Thanks for mentioning your experience. My daughter will be happy to know there are others out there who know how she feels! Her sister is almost finished the series now, so they’ll be able to talk about it (other than the play). At school, though, she’s just going to have to tolerate all of the negative comments her friends make about Professor Snape.

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