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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Fans all ages identify with lives of Potter characters

 •  'Potter' film raises little local ballyhoo
 •  Hip, hip, Harry!
 •  Not everyone cares for series

By Esme Infante Nii
Advertiser Assistant Features Editor

Harry Potter fan Kourtney Wong, 10, of 'Aina Haina, predicts she'll see the upcoming film five times.
That "wild about Harry" phrase just doesn't cut it to describe certain Harry Potter fans. More like "obsessed."

That was evident from the letters nearly 100 people, ranging in age from 6 to "60 plus," sent in response to The Advertiser's invitation to expound on the appeal of Harry Potter. They were asked to describe how big a fan they were (or weren't, to be fair), and what they found so appealing about that bespectacled young wizard-in-training, the subject of the hugely popular novel series by J.K. Rowling and a movie coming to theaters Friday. They also were encouraged to send pictures.

"I've read and got all of the books. I also love to collect Harry Potter merchandise," said Laurel Ramiro, 13, of 'Aina Haina. "I've got a Web site dedicated to him, and chat about him at chat rooms." She's even written an HP song.

Breanna Paikai, 7, of Kaimuki, dresses as the snowy owl Hedwig, Harry's messenger and pet.
Many raved about the adventures and "heart-pounding" suspense, and the way the stories remind them of their own lives.

Although the hero of the tales is a boy, girls and women writing letters raving about the books easily outnumbered boys and men. Many who said they never liked reading until they picked up a Potter book included kids and adults. Some grownups admitted that before Harry, they hadn't read a book to the end in years. Letter excerpts follow.