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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

When a single mother on the dole finally found a publisher for her first book, a children’s novel about a school for wizards, it was decided that she should disguise her gender by using initials instead of her first name. It was felt that the boys who would be most attracted to this genre would not fancy a book written by a woman.

Thus, J.K. Rowling is known to be the creator of the Harry Potter universe, not Joanne Rowling.

It’s A Girl’s World that Harry Inhabits…
But when you read the Harry Potter books, they are clearly not the work of a man. For one, the small gang of heroes includes a girl – Hermione – who would later become known as the “greatest witch of her age.” No relationship like this can be found in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Not one girl works in alliance with Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island. Children’s adventure stories written by men tend not to include girls – or at least don’t include girls who behave like heroes.

But the most telling clue to the gender of the now-famous author can be found at the end of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Spoiler Alert!
(Here’s where I talk about the ending of the book.)
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Reading is one of the most fundamental activities we can engage in. We need to read in order to learn; we need to read before we can solve some complex math problems; we need to read to become informed.

Reading is fundamental, of course, but is also much more than fundamental; it is foundational because it allows us to tap into diverse resources for knowledge.

According to the dictionary, the roots of the verb “read” can be traced back to the Middle English word reden, which means to advise and interpret.

The Sanskrit root of the word is rādhnoti, which means to achieve, to prepare.

Cracking the Code
I am a reader – I have absolutely no memory of a time when reading was not an essential aspect of my day-to-day life. I remember the first words I ever read – a sentence that can still be found on the cover of every Dr. Seuss book – “I can read this all by myself.”

I don’t know how old I was when I first deciphered the code, but I still remember the sheer excitement I felt when the jumble of letters became transformed into words.

From that moment on, reading became a huge part of my life. And I assumed it would be the same for my children.
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