The Reading Magic of Harry Potter

From the Washington Post this June, the story of a High School graduate with learning disabilities whose life as a student was going nowhere until he met your favorite boy wizard:

A major breakthrough came in middle school. Thaller’s mother would read him chapters from the Harry Potter series at night. He was so impatient for her to get to the next chapter that he started reading ahead, pushing himself to understand the vocabulary and follow the story.

After years of unsuccessful attempts, he could read. “From that point on, he blossomed,” said his mother, Kate Thaller.

Now he loves to read. A plush chair in his room is his favorite spot to thumb through science-fiction novels and history books. “I could sit here for hours every day,” Josh Thaller said.

He continued to struggle mightily with math and science but he graduated “on time” and has been accepted at Lynchburg College, where he will major in history, his passion.

What’s your favorite Potter Reading Renaissance and Rebirth story? Please share it here, especially if you are the subject of the story or know the reader turned on to a life of reading by Harry Potter. The theme of Harry Potter’s Bookshelf is that these books are the Gateway to a Life of Edifying Reading; the real world makes the case as forcefully as does my survey of the Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures.


  1. Arabella Figg says

    While I have no dramatic story, I have begun to understand what I’ve vaguely sensed about the books I love, and even those I haven’t loved. I’m reading books in a new way, and have read classics I never considered or knew about. I even plan to give Pride and Prejudice another try.

    For this I have to thank Rowling for writing books that inspired John to write his books. Through my participation here (and at the Hog’s Head), I’m getting a years-spanning literary education I never expected.

    I encourage everyone to get Harry Potter’s Bookshelf–it’s fantastic.

  2. Lily Luna says

    I have to say that my daughter became a much more eager reader with Harry Potter because she, too, was impatient that we couldn’t read aloud to her 24/7. Now she always carries an “emergency book” (as she calls it) with her in case she’s stuck somewhere and is bored.

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