It’s Harry Potter’s birthday today (he’s 38, I’ve heard, older than I am, although the first book only came out 21 years ago—anyway, I digress…). I’m a huge fan of the series. The books are well-written and clever, the characters are flawed and fierce, and the world is magic. It’s one of my favorite series of all time. Which actually makes me sound like a cliché, but they’re fantastic (for all my friends who haven’t read the book—who hasn’t read the books? It’s a travesty!).
If I was to pick a favorite book, it would have to be the Prisoner of Azkaban, with The Sorcerer’s Stone a close second (same for movies, consequently). I think what I love most about the series is the theme of personal choice and responsibility, that our choices, more than the choices of others, shape our futures. Voldemort might have murdered Harry’s parents, leaving him an orphan in an unloving household, but that choice didn’t rob Harry of his own—namely to choose goodness and loyalty over self-pity and self-indulgence. It’s a powerful lesson for anyone.
You know what’s also a choice? Being happy.