Harry Potter and the Encouragement of Critical Thinking

New Year's Sale 2021

FROM JANUARY 11th-JANUARY 31st SELECT TITLES WILL BE 20% OFF WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST.

Your Harry Potter announcement of the week: Along with our Harry Potter fanfic open mic (sign up here!), we'll be having Harry Potter trivia! And now, on to today's blog post from Bookseller Sarah...

Back in the day, I was part of the Harry Potter for Grownups mailing list. (I wasn't technically an adult at the time, but close enough. Unlike Rebecca and Jessica and Shana, I didn't grow up on the series.) These were the days before the midnight parties.

I was a lurker, mostly, devouring everyone's interpretation of the books (and the occasional flame wars). There was one list member in particular I gravitated to, Ebony Elizabeth. I loved her perspective, I loved her insights, and I loved that by writing fanfiction with Angelina Johnson as the central character, she offered a new angle for looking at the books. (And she was a generous beta reader when I published some Angelina-focused stories of my own.1)

I moved on from fandom to other things, and didn't stay in touch with anyone from the list. But the bookish corner of the internet is a small one, and I kept running into a familiar name. Ebony is now a professor, studying children's and YA literature, with a focus on SFF and representation.

And she's just a bit brilliant. On the subject of diversity among critics. On how the conversations about diverse books are framed. On why it matters that Hermione is black in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Once again, I'm learning new ways to look at familiar books, and new perspectives for making sense of literature, all thanks to a once-upon-a-time connection built on HP fandom.

1 They still exist. Google will find them if you're so inclined. They're not terrible, but they were clearly written by a teen, which is why I'm not linking to them now.