For several years I’ve been trying to get M to read the Harry Potter series. She loves reading to begin with, and is especially fond of lengthy series, so it seemed like a perfect match. However, each time I recommended the books to her, she said she wasn’t interested. I would point out other kids her age, or even younger, who had read them, but she always said no.
That finally changed a couple months back. When S was packing to bring the girls back to Missouri for my stepdad’s funeral, S was looking for ways to keep them occupied in the car. They all got a new book and toy, but she thought they needed one more thing. So she picked up the audio edition of Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone. That was an inspired purchase. All three girls loved the limited amount they were able to listen to on the drives to-and-from mid-Missouri. When we got back to Indy, they immediately asked me to put the CDs onto their iPods so they could listen to them on their own.
Soon all three girls were walking around with headphones on most of their waking hours. M especially would pop them on as soon as she woke in the morning, wear them all the way to school, then put them back on as soon as we got home in the afternoon. C, who has the newest iPod with bluetooth, beams it to her bluetooth speaker in her room. L would fall asleep each night with her headphones on.
Both C and L decided to go ahead and read the series, as well. C went to book 2, but L decided she wanted to read The Sorcerer’s Stone first. M just wanted to listen, so I’ve been going to the library every week or so to pick up the next audio book to rip and then import it to their iPods.
I never read the series. I figured one day M would read it and I would read along with her. However, since the sisters were all listening/reading with her, she was more interested in talking about it with them than me so I’ve stuck to my own books. We did watch The Sorcerer’s Stone a few weeks back, so S and I have some idea what is going on. I still might read the whole series over the summer.
Their obsession goes beyond just physical and audio books, though. They have their own Hogwarts game they play quite a bit. M, of course, is the instructor while C and L are students. They’ve harvested sticks from the backyard for wands, C carries our broom around as her magical broomstick, and M prints up lessons for them to follow. Like every game that involves all three, it has become contentious at times. They’ve argued about how to play and where to play. Over the weekend they were acting especially jackass-like and we had to temporarily ban the game. But even yesterday, which was probably the most beautiful day of the year so far, they stayed inside after school playing their game.
It only took three years of cajoling, but perhaps we just needed to wait until all three girls were ready to tackle the series. Which adds an extra level of coolness to their interest. I think this is the first big-kid obsession that they’ve all shared together. It’s certainly better than when they used to play My Little Ponies together all the time!