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

Hip, hip, Harry!

 •  Fans all ages identify with lives of Potter characters
 •  'Potter' film raises little local ballyhoo

'I can identify with his world'

Tyler Amina, 10, of Waipahu, has been a Potter fan since he was in the second grade.
"You find a bit of yourself in there. A Dudley Dursley or a Draco Malfoy has tormented or bullied us before. We may have relatives who are as evil as Harry's aunt and uncle. Who can forget the teacher who tormented you, like Professor Snape, who seems to live to torture Harry? ... We've gone through things together where, afterwards, we've had no choice but to stay friends, much like what happened to Ron, Hermione and Harry after their bout with a troll. ... I can identify with his world, almost as if I was a witch myself!"

— Shireen Garcia, 20, Leeward Community College student

Caught up in the suspense

"What I enjoy about Harry Potter is that it's the kind of book that, when you read it, you just sort of get lost in it, like you're actually watching them, because the words are so descriptive that you can picture the story like you're watching the movie. ... Once you get into it, it's like you lose track of time and you never want to stop reading it..."

— Joann DeVirgilio, Kawananakoa Middle School student

Story of good versus evil

"I'm almost embarrassed to be an avid Harry Potter fan at my age, but these books really hook you! I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when my son first expressed interest. ... There was so much hype about the author promoting witchcraft that I wanted to make my own determination as to whether it was appropriate for my children. Harry's story is simply one of good versus evil. ... The accusations of satanism are absurd — Harry is a wonderful example of Christian values, decency and fairness. ... His friends are likewise honest and true to him; I would love for my son to have friends like Ron and Hermione!"

— Susie Nunez, 37, 'Aiea

Urge to learn Quidditch

"My favorite book is 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.' I really LOVE it! I really want to feel the fascinating things of magic. I wish I could learn the fun and magical thing of the game Quidditch — to me it is like a wonderful pleasure, perhaps. That's why I can't wait to see the wonderful motion picture ... This is a FANTASTIC story."

— Phillip Esera, Dole Middle School student who lives in Kalihi Valley Homes

'Adventure of the best kind'

Victoria Holt, 11, a Dole Middle School student, dresses as her favorite character: Hermione, the brilliant wizard-school student who is one of Harry Potter's best friends.
"My children and I are all big fans of Harry Potter. ... It's all high adventure of the best kind that has children about the world reading every word. What is not to like about that? When I hear adults going on about how dangerous these books are and how they are corrupting their children, I just want to shake them until they see some sense. These books are fiction! Your children seem to know that. Why can't you?"

— Julie Bordwell, Wahiawa

Creating desire to read

"I assure you that Harry Potter has brought an incredible desire to read to my students. Many students have never been 'hooked' by reading until they were introduced to the Harry Potter series. They can relate to a boy their age who is living a tough life, but gets a break when he becomes a part of the wizard world and finds out that the parents he never knew are icons in this special world. J.K. Rowling creates magic as she writes. "

— Marie Coudrier, seventh-grade teacher, Kawananakoa Middle School

Fan of the characters, spells

"I like Harry Potter books because Harry Potter books are creative. I like the characters, spells and Quidditch. I like the characters because they do lots of fun stuff and go on lots of adventures. My favorite characters are Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I like the spells because of the words they say. My favorite spell is Expelliarmus (a charm that disarms your opponent). I like the spell Expelliarmus because I could use it for a duel. ..."

— Scott Sakima, second grade, Holy Nativity School

'The friend I never had'

"Harry Potter seems to me like the friend I never had. ... When I first read Harry Potter, I was amazed. It seemed that he had all the feelings I had. He did all the things I knew I wanted to do. He was a hero, just as I hoped to be one. ... He wasn't trying to be famous; he was just trying to touch something he couldn't reach. ... I feel like Harry Potter is real. He lives inside me."

— Helene Korich, 14, Honolulu

More letters:

 • Not everyone cares for series