I cannot believe I have finished reading what J.K. Rowling promises was the last of the Harry Potter books. It feels like the beginning of my empty nest phase of life. My kids and I have read every book out loud and then silently to ourselves since the very first one was published when my oldest was about six years old. I loved this book - all 759 pages - and even loved the ending, which I will not spoil for those of you who have not finished it. Beware, there will be tears - four of my favorite characters are killed in this, the bloodiest of all books.
I think that there is probably not another series of books that so carefully captures the teenage years of human beings. In these seven books J.K. Rowling has described all of the phases teens move through - sweet openness & excitement, rebellion, self-hate, courage, daring, self-pity, romance, and even selflessness. We have watched the main characters learn, love, play, succeed, fail, hate, and develop an understanding of society and the circle of life. The three main characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine shine in this book, and their challenges are the greatest they have ever faced. Add to that the fact that they are all human, make mistakes, and hurt the people they love, and everyone can identify with at least one of them.
If you have not read the Potter series, it is not too late. Winter will be upon us soon and you will have plenty of time to make your way through seven books and seven years of teenagerhood. Enjoy!