Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: 10 awesome things about Harry Potter

I probably won't get to see the last movie until the middle of next week, but I'm already on pins-and-needles about how good it's going to be! in 3-D! (Our baby-sitter is probably really sick of listening to me on the topic.)

1) It made a generation of children into readers. (I don't actually think that's much of an exaggeration... as a high school teacher, I often talk with students who tell me that Harry Potter was their first book over 200 pages or their first seriously multi-book series.)

2) It gave steady work to a generation of excellent British actors and actresses. (I'm still stunned that many people think of Alan Rickman as "Snape" rather than "that amazingly hot older dude in Sense and Sensibility", and my younger students know Helena Bonham Carter as "Bellatrix Lestrange" rather than for her many roles in excellent costume dramas.)

3) The stars of the movies aren't idiots. (Granted, I'm going by what the popular press tells me, but it seems to me that Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe haven't gone off the deep end of fame.)

4) Molly Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Nympadora Tonks, and Professor McGonnagal are all, in their different ways, important role models for girls. (My personal fave is Molly, who raises seven kids on very little money and is generally portrayed as a harried, stay-at-home mom, but jumps into battle at the first chance and can more than hold her own against the Death Eaters.)

5) Hermione Granger's very liberal views about inclusion in society. (Most notably the House Elves, but also applied to Giants, Centaurs, and Mer-folk.)

6) Harry Potter, despite having a really lousy childhood, manages to grow up to be a good person. (Good friends and teachers certainly help him find his path, but I admire his firm determination to be on the side of Good.)

7) Harry and Ron, despite being surrounded by young lovelies who fawn over them, manage to fall in love with the two smartest, kick-ass, take-no-nonsense girls at Hogwarts. (It doesn't hurt that Ginny and Hermione grow up to be pretty, but it's barely remarked upon by the guys.)

8) Hogwarts is just really, really cool

9) So is Diagon Alley.

10) Did I mention that Molly Weasley also knits?

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