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July 29, 2014

Harry Potter Tribute --- Stephanie Burgis

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Stephanie Burgis --- author of the Kat, Incorrigible series --- knows a thing or two about magic; in the first book, 12-year-old protagonist Katherine Ann Stephenson discovers that she inherited her mom's magical powers. Therefore, we thought there was no better person to pay tribute to another series that focuses on all things enchanted! Below, Stephanie talks about reading the last book, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, all in one sitting, and why the series as a whole is so special.


The final Harry Potter book came out with perfect timing. My husband was out of the country and my youngest brother --- a fellow Harry Potter fanatic --- was staying with me. There would be no distractions from totally leaping into the book we’d both been waiting for for so many years. Neither of us could wait.

There was only one problem: which one of us would get it first?

We finally agreed on a compromise, in the days leading up to the book’s release. We knew the book would be delivered at 7 a.m, and I usually went to bed at around 11 p.m.. So, my brother would get it from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m….but then he’d have to hand it over to me, each of us keeping it for an equal number of hours in the day. Of course, I’d have to hand it back to him the next day for him to finish it…

Or at least, that was the plan. Actually, my brother finished the whole 600-page book just five minutes before three p.m., after doing nothing but read (and occasionally eat while reading) all day until then.

I leapt on the book and carried it off to my room like a lioness carrying off her prey. And then I just sank into it. I love the whole Harry Potter series so much, but HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS is my absolute favorite of them all, and it was the perfect way to first experience it, uninterrupted by any reminders or distractions from the outside world.

There was a whole world in that book. It was totally absorbing --- it sucked me right in. It was scary. And it was exciting. And it was funny --- there were moments when I laughed out loud as I read it. There were other moments when I cried. At the climax, I was sobbing. Then I felt filled with light, as I read the ending. By the time I finished it  --- that same night, at just about 11 p.m. --- I was completely wrung out, emptied and refilled by joy.

I wandered out of my room, shaking my head in sheer amazement. My brother looked up from the couch in the living room, where he’d been watching a movie. He saw my face, as I held up the book.

“I know,” he said. “I know!”

I can’t remember any other book I’ve experienced in quite that way. I don’t know any other book that could have made me feel so much --- seven books’ worth of feelings --- all in one.

But I can’t wait for my kids to experience it, too, when they’re old enough. And when they get to Book 7, I’ll let them have the whole day or weekend off. I won’t make them do chores or eat at the dinner table.

That book deserves a day to itself.


Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, hopelessly addicted to the novels of both Jane Austen and JRR Tolkien. As she grew older, she added Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Peters and Emma Bull to her list of all-time favorites. Now she's writing a series of novels that mix Regency romantic comedy with fantasy adventure for smart, adventurous girls.
 
On her way, she studied music history and performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and won a Fulbright scholarship to work and study in Vienna, Austria. She lives with her husband, son, and crazy-sweet border collie in Wales, where she loves to visit Regency-era houses, medieval abbeys and local castles for inspiration. To find out more, please visit her website: http://www.stephanieburgis.com .