Leaky Review: "Dear Mr. Potter"
June 11, 2011, 04:34 PM
This week, Leaky was lucky enough to review the upcoming book: Dear Mr. Potter: Letters of Love, Loss, and Magic. Here is our first look at the book, which is available to pre-order and will be on sale at LeakyCon 2011 this July in Orlando, Florida.
It can be difficult, sometimes, to visualize just how widespread the connection of the Harry Potter series has been-- and continues to be-- across the world. However, while reading Dear Mr. Potter, the image Harry Potter fans from across all ages, sexes, nationalities, and backgrounds each connecting with the not only the series, but each other, becomes clearer than ever.
Dear Mr. Potter shares the oftentimes emotional stories from fans who have been touched by the story of Harry Potter. This 223 page book contains hundreds of letters, memories, and photos from our shared experience as fans of these books. The collection of letters comes from fans across the world, as well as actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), HP Alliance's Andrew Slack, authors John Green and Melissa Anelli, wizard rocker Paul DeGeorge, and Mugglenet's Andrew Sims. Each letter, however, comes from the same place.
One particularly touching realization which occurred to me while reading this book was that many who submitted letters to this project, first read the series at the same time I read the books. We were connected then, before any of us even knew it. We grew up together. We learned and changed and grew as one-- as Harry Potter fans. This history is explored and shared throughout the book and makes it that much more special.
Letters also speak of what is to come. Many letters share how the story of Harry Potter changed lives in such a way that J. K. Rowling's story inspired them to find and follow new paths in life. Together, Dear Mr. Potter truly showcases how J. K. Rowling's story touched as all. It made this community possible by giving us the seed and nourishment from which we could grow. I would highly recommend this book both as a way to further connect with one and other and to look back at the impact Harry Potter has had on all of our lives these past twelve years.
Proceeds from Dear Mr. Potter
benefit the HP Alliance. More information about the book can be found via this link
I have never heard such a book – Dear Mr. Potter – was even being printed until just there. I think it is a great idea. And even better, the profits will be going to charity. I think it is amazing that a few books can transform people lives in such a way and create a deep connection with people from every walk of life. I think it’s great that you are able to talk about your stories and how Harry Potter impacted your lives. I love Harry Potter and am more sad than I can say that there will be no more movie or books to look forward to all too soon. I really cannot wait to see how Harry Potter has influenced people across the globe. I also find that reading Harry Potter can distract me from any tragedy or drama in my life, no matter how major or minor. I believe that HP helped me make friends. I was always quite shy, particularly when meeting new people. However, I was always able to talk about Harry Potter. When starting at a new school I knew very little people. However, I distinctly remember that one of my first conversations I had with fellow students was about Harry Potter. I was really able to open up and be myself when discussing this particular topic! Two years on, those people who I discussed Harry Potter with during my first few days at that school, are my very good friends. I owe Harry potter a lot. I really wish that I could communicate with J.K. Rowling in some way. I would even love to send a letter to her, even if she didn’t find the time to write back. Unfortunately, I would never know what address to send it to!
It has long bothered me that many people put down Harry Potter and other fantasy literature with the argument that it is ‘escapist,’ as if that were a terrible thing. But the real world is often a harsh place in which to live, and very few of us indeed manage to get through life without at times experiencing situations from which we need to escape mentally. That doesn’t mean that we don’t go back and deal with the harsh reality when we have to; but having a fantasy world handy can provide an important temporary release from the unrelenting pain and stress of bad situations that we can’t control. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.
Like RubeusHagrid, I too had an abusive parent, and while I was in high school one of my brothers was drafted and sent to Vietnam. Reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’ over and over back then helped me deal with the constant dread that he might be killed over there, while I lived in a household where I couldn’t find much emotional support. As an adult, I first read the Harry Potter series during years when I was an overworked single mother trying to put my life back together after a bruising divorce and legal battle over child support. A year ago I lost my full-time job, and although reading fantasy novels or chatting with Leaky friends doesn’t serve to find me a new job, it does help me feel better about myself during a time when continuing underemployment wears away at my self-esteem. So I am very thankful for the access that I have through literature to ‘fantasy, recovery, escape and consolation,’ as Tolkien put it in his great essay ‘On Fairy-Stories.’