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Reading Harry Potter in English

Have you read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series? Let me ask this again. Have you read the Harry Potter series in English? Many English learners on MyEC name Harry Potter as their favourite book. The 7 part fantasy series has attracted millions of readers of all ages from all over the world.

Why do so many people love Harry Potter?

  • Harry is an orphan. Many popular tales start out with the main character losing one or both parents. Think of all of the popular Disney movies. Most of them start this way!
  • Harry is loveable. For a book to be successful, the main character has to be adored by the readers. The average human can relate to Harry Potter despite his abnormal life.
  • Harry is magic. Humans love to read about worlds of wonder. Perhaps this is a form of escape from our own reality.
  • Harry has his fair share of trouble. Conflict is the key to a good story. The Harry Potter books are page turners. Once you are hooked you can’t put them down.

The Harry Potter books are available in over 60 languages. However, if Harry Potter is truly your “favourite book” why not read it in English? Reading a translation is not the same as reading the original. In fact, it is a little bit like watching a movie adaptation. You lose part of the author’s true vision for the book.

Will you accept the challenge to read Harry Potter in English? You can use the comments below to motivate each other. You can also ask questions about vocabulary from the books. Why not start a Harry Potter reading group on MyEC?

orphan: a child whose parents have died
relate to: understand because it is familiar
fair share: as much or more than the average person
page turner: a book that you can’t stop reading
hooked: convinced to continue reading (or using)
vision: a plan in one’s imagination

Did you know J.K. Rowling taught English as a second language? English learners truly are an inspiration!

Image: celticblade via flickr

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub | March 2010
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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