Review: Harry, A History

Read: Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli
Stars: Four

Drinking: Acai Berry Iced Tea, Panera

Do you remember your first experience with Harry Potter?  For me, it was in the car, driving six hours each way on a road trip with my mom and sister.  We read the book out loud to each other.  It was the beginning of a magical journey that only just ended last summer.

For Anelli, the Harry Potter journey became much more than just reading and enjoying the books and movies.  She became a major player in the Harry Potter fandom, to the point where she now is the webmistress for The Leaky Cauldron, a prominent fansite.  Harry, A History is her journey with Harry, the fandom, and the countdown to the final book.  As a budding journalist, Anelli lays out her facts very well, but with her gripping personal narrative interwoven.  She even goes so far as to interview a woman who is trying to have the Harry Potter books removed from her district’s schools for encouraging the practice of witchcraft (and no, this woman has not read any of them).  Through Potter fandom, Anelli has made close friends and even boosted her career.

The book is an amazing story of two personal journeys – Anelli’s and Joanne Rowling’s – but also a story about how the internet has grown communities and fan bases.  Most of all, it’s the story of how a series of books about a boy has touched billions of lives. If you are interested in the social media phenomenon, a Potter fanatic, or just interested in some of the stories behind the books, this is definitely recommended reading.

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