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Essay on How Did Harry Potter Impact Literature

Since the dawn of publishing, certain human beings have impacted and molded the industry into a new well-rounded pot. Very few have impacted the world of literature all together. J. K. Rowling is part of the select few who has done both. She has molded a pot that others try to mimic, but fall short. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series has not only changed the publishing industry, but has strongly impacted the cross-changing from children’s books to YA novels, and has impacted literature as a whole. Rowling has dominated in literature by changing the tradition of how books are published, and by what genres efine a book.

First, we must touch the Pensieve (Dumbledore’s stone basin where memories are stored) to travel back in time where it all started. It’s the 1990s. Rowling was moving to Manchester with her boyfriend at the time (Friedman). When she takes a train back London, Harry Potter pops into her head. It was on that train that the boy who lived was born and would soon impact the literature world. During the time Rowling had finished writing, she was a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Once her daughter falls asleep, she would go to a cafe and write her story while her daughter stayed asleep in her troller (Friedman).

Like many or almost every writer, Rowling struggled at first to get her book published (Lebrecht). After a year of sending her manuscript to different publishing companies, Bloomsbury Publishing finally made an offer. On June 30th, 1997, Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone-once it travelled to the US, it became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Lebrecht). A total 500 copies were published and 300 of them were free copies sent to public libraries (where kids were forced to open their minds and read) (Friedman).

Those free copies sent to the public libraries ould have been the start of the phenomenon that got children into reading again. Harry Potter was published as a children’s book. During the time of the first publication, it was unlikely to publish a book under the children’s genre because children’s books didn’t sell (Lebrecht). Children had stopped reading. Only a tie-in with a television show or movie could put children’s books in stock in chain stores (still unlikely to sell) (Lebrecht). Kids, as they are today, were glued to the television, or they just didn’t want to stick their nose in a book.

I can remember my hildhood where I didn’t want to read anything that I didn’t absolutely have to read for school, and my classmates were the same way. That soon changed for us. The Harry Potter book series became, “The Beatles in children’s publishing,” said Julie Bertagna. Children’s fiction wasn’t taking seriously until Harry Potter came along (Gray). Anna Weinberg (45) stated, “The Potter books have made children’s literature more visible, the market more receptable to the hardcover edition of new children’s fictions and reviewers more willing to tackle juvenile titles in their columns.

Because of Harry Potter, New York Times had to add a Children’s Bestseller list (Anders). After the fourth Harry Potter installment was released, the four books combined (80 million copies sold) represented less than one hundredth of one percent of all the children’s titles in print (Kotarba). Eden Ross, the Children’s Book Editor of the New York Times, commented, “It’s unprecedented in American children’s books. It’s unprecedented in English children’s books. There is nothing that compares to the velocity of the success of Harry Potter. ” So, what drew kids to these stories?

What made their heads turn away from a television and into a book? The vivid detail and the magical storytelling, while making Harry Potter seem like a normal human being, is what drew kids into reading again (Andrews). She also focused on the children’s side of things, making the adults seem like the bad guys, which any kid can relate to when their parent won’t let them do something for instance. The amount of detail Rowling used in every aspect of her books, helped the kids take off to Hogwarts in their mind and create a whole new world. I also believe it was the wide row f inner genres that played a part.

These weren’t just stories about a boy who found out he was a wizard. These stories were filled with fantasy, magic, suspense, mystery, romance, humor, friendship, family, horror, and more (Tanaqui). Someone who doesn’t enjoy fantasy could enjoy the mystery and vice versa. Almost everyone could enjoy these books because of the overlapping the genres. The overlapping of genres also made the line between children and YA genres blurry. Although originally published as a children’s book, it was hard to place the Harry Potter series into an age limit. It marked a new path for a book to straddle the line between children, teens, and adults (Gray).

Statistics were released by Scholastic stating that fifty percent of the books in the series, were purchased by readers thirty-five and older (Kotarba). Adults were sneaking into the children and teen sections in bookstores to see what all the fuss was about. The executive Vice President and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Brenda Bowen said the plot- heavy escapism that books offer is the reason for adults wanting to read them (Kotarba). Adults were able to travel to an nrealistic world like children were, to escape the real world.

I also believe the way Rowling wrote the books, as if we were growing up with the characters, helped by there being no age limit to her books. Brenda Bowen also stated, “There’s not a particle of me that’s troubled by the idea that adults might be reading children’s books. They jolly well should be. Thank you, J. K. Rowling, for making it cool to read children’s books. ” Harry Potter not only attracted adults to the series itself. But it also attracted adults to the books of other children’s writers (Weinberg, 45). Philip Pullman’s mystery novel The Amber Spyglass won the Whitbread Award for “best book” in 2001 (Kotarba).

That was the first time that a children’s book exceeded titles considered the finest among serious adult genres. Pullman contributed his success to Harry Potter: If anything good has come out of me getting the Whitbread and the attendant publicity, and Harry Potter being a mass seller all over the world, it is that it’s drawing the attention of adults to the work of other children’s writers, which it thoroughly deserves. (Weinberg 45). J. K. Rowling also set the path for other uthors as well like Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events series and Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series (Kotarba).

The Harry Potter series also impacted the world of YA literature. Giving the choice, like if a tomato is a vegetable or fruit, Harry Potter will always belong under the children’s literature, but it still has meaning with YA literature. It has paved the way for more fantasy and science fiction novels (Anders). Publishers discovered that kids will fall in love with a magical and a fantasy world, and they will read a lot of it (Anders). Like tated above, the Harry Potter series can be taken as a fantasy (or even science fiction) novel, which is a popular teenage and YA genre, and contains an impressive vocabulary (Kotarba).

Along with the impressive vocabulary, Adults are also drawn to the classic Greek and Roman literature that appears in the books (Kotarba). Adults are enjoying books because of the tie- ends with Greek mythology, and how fantasy is intertwined with real world problems (Kotarba). When Rowling was asked to explain how adults, young and old, are reading the books and loving them without a child interpreter, Rowling simply stated hat she did not want to analyze it (Kotarba). She wanted, “to carry on writing them the way I want to write them and not, you know, have to put Ingredient X in there.

According to Philip Nel, author of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels, he says that the novels represent a “creative synthesis of a lifetime of reading, and Rowling is very widely read,” (Kotarba). While others tried to mimic the style of those who made a mark in the publishing industry, those who made the mark, remain a big part of the revolution of what publishing is today. Rowling has brought us into her world, improving ours while oing so. This is a woman who has defined the laws of the line that separated children’s books to YA novels.

This is a woman who has made publishing into fun midnight release machine. Other author takes their hats off to her because she is the reason kids are reading their books. She is the reason the fantasy genre made a breakthrough of every age limit. She is also the reason the genre of children’s books still lives. If it wasn’t for Rowling’s masterful art of writing such magical detail works, would the line between the genres be as straight as a B line? Would the hype of books be nonexistence? Would publishing be no more than releasing a book, and praying it sells?

Rowling has brought us into her world, improving ours while doing so. This is a woman who defined the laws of the line that separated children’s books to YA novels. Thanks to Rowling’s mark on publishing, these questions never have to be answered. Professor McGonagall said in the first film of Harry Potter, that everyone around the world will hear his name. Bloomsbury Publishing has taken the wizarding world of Harry Potter to an estimate of 200 countries, and has translated the story in over ixty-nine languages.

If one was to take a walk in a city and walk around asking people if they know the boy who lived, almost every single one would say yes. His name has stretched from sea to sea, and from country to country. He is the boy who lives in our hearts. I have grown up with this character, with all the characters. Rowling has not only impacted the publishing and literature world, but she has also impacted many lives around the world. She has brought back the life of children’s books, getting kids to finally enjoy the words between pages.

She has also helped other authors by having the kids that read her series want to read more, and want to read more series. She has truly changed the world. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series will continue to change the world of literature. Because of the blurred line between children’s books and YA novels from Harry Potter, Children’s books and YA novels have no age limit even today. For example, Melissa De La Cruz’s, a YA author, book The Isle of the Lost: The Descendants, Book 1 is a YA novel, but the ages of readers are from ages ten and up.

Because of Rowling’s impact on children’s book genre, it is still a popular genre today, and will probably stay popular. Harry Potter will become a true classic, if it isn’t already so, because of how quick the wizarding phenomenon happened. It’s hard to pinpoint how Harry Potter became one of the greatest book series of our time. It’s easy, however, to pinpoint that because of the wonderful wizarding phenomenon, Harry Potter has changed literature in many ways and will continue to do so.

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