Remembering the First Harry Potter Movie

I’m off to Africa today so will probably have to wait till I come back to see the last Harry Potter movie, but all the reminiscing has me recalling my experience with the first movie.  It came out ten years ago this coming November and, for me, will be forever linked with something that happened two months earlier downtown from my school. Here’s my letter to the New York Times about it:

Harry Potter’s Triumph

Published: November 24, 2001
To the Editor:

Re ”Harry’s Big Weekend” (editorial, Nov. 20):

No doubt the Harry Potter movie would have broken box office records even before the World Trade Center tragedy. J. K. Rowling’s books were already very special to children, which made the movie’s release an additional form of healing for our city’s children, who are still coping with the events of Sept. 11.

My fourth-grade students had a first day of school they will never forget; they have had field trips canceled and more than the usual evacuation drills; and they have had to contend with the same grief and fears that adults are coping with.

For these children, the Harry Potter movie is better than anything a trauma specialist could provide — not escapist entertainment, but the satisfaction of knowing that good can trump evil.


New York, Nov. 20, 2001

The writer is a teacher at the Dalton School.


Filed under Harry Potter

4 responses to “Remembering the First Harry Potter Movie

  1. Linnea Hendrickson

    Thank you, Monica! Bon Voyage!


  2. Hear, hear! Safe travels, Monica! Have a wonderful time.


  3. Monica, I hope you have wonderful experiences back in Sierra Leone.
    I just awarded you the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. You can check it out at Books of Wonder and Wisdom,
    And if you don’t have time to respond, I enjoy following your blog anyway.


  4. It has truly been great to read all of the recent reflections upon the Harry Potter franchise both as a book and film series lately. And particularly to be reminded of the fact that the first film really did serve as a comfort following the 9/11 tragedy. I was only 13 when the towers fell, so I understand firsthand what you were talking about when you mention the children having to have field trips cancelled, etc. I never got to experience the 7th grade trip to Washington, D.C. because of it…


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