4, 224 pages. 3 years, 3 months. And we’re done.
If you’ve read my last Harry Potter review, you know that I’ve been reading the series aloud to my daughter. I decided when she was born to wait to read them until she was 8, and then we’d read them together. We started them the summer after she turned 8. We finished last night. She’s 11. Today was her first day of middle school.
It would be absolutely impossible to write a review that would bring new understanding or insight about Harry’s journey. In this final installment, Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue on the quest to destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes, leading to the final showdown we’ve known was coming. Neither can live while the other survives. It was breathtaking, tear-inducing, laugh-out-loud funny, and incontrovertible evidence that Rowling is a narrative genius.
What I can bring to the review table is a plug to repeat this same experience with a child in your life. Yes, my voice is raspy and sore (these last few days have been very long reading sessions!). Yes, I had to read the series slower than I would have liked (we took breaks to give my girl a chance to mature a bit more). And yes, these are heavy themes to read with a child…there were plenty of times that I was crying and she didn’t understand why. But I’m certain that I’ve given her a gift she will always remember. What better series to show your child the value of friendship, bravery, selflessness, tenacity, and love? What better literary hero for a little girl than Hermione Granger? What better display of familial love than the Weasleys? Trust me, the magic of this series goes beyond the page.