Holmes Junior High School
Cedar Falls, IA
Dear J.K. Rowling,
I am a self-critical, self-conscious girl who is very quick to judge myself. I am a perfectionist and I will settle for nothing less than my best, even if my "best" is something unrealistic to ask of myself. To add insult to injury,! have had nothing exciting or life changing happen to me. Ever. I have always wanted to be special, magical. I think those are reasons why your wizard hero, Harry Potter, immediately appealed to me. Harry's journey from lowly orphaned boy to wizard world hero in your Harry Potter books, has helped me realize the magic that exists in me, even when I can't see it.
When I look back on my short life so far, I see nothing momentous that has happened to me. I haven't had any serious illness, my parents haven't divorced, and I haven't even had the excitement of welcoming a new-born sibling (although my twin brother and I have always been very close). I have always felt insignificant and unimportant to the world because I am just a muggle, a non-magical, ordinary person. I relished reading books set in the magical world because I could put myself in someone else's shoes and through them be something great and celebrated. Harry Potter's magical adventures and prevailing victories drew me close. When he slayed the mighty beast of an ogre using the ogre's own primitive club. Or when Harry caught his first snitch, winning the match against all odds. Seeing Harry's battle against the probability to fail has shown me I am no mere muggle on the inside. I am a chosen wizard.
I think another reason I've loved Harry Potter and gravitated to those books were because Harry and so many of the other characters at Hogwarts had a confidence about them. The confidence that maybe, just maybe, I only pretended to have. I try to project an image of confidence and no self-doubt. However, inside feel that I am not good enough compared to the people I see splashed in the media, but also compared to kids at my school and others in my community. I see brilliant writers and mathematicians in class that I can't possibly compare to with my meager brilliance. I observe the shallow things like beauty and popularity both in the media and in school, and feel insecure about who I am and where I stand.
Harry Potter has made me see the only thing you have to compare yourself to is... you. At Hogwarts, everyone is jealous of Harry's popularity, even his best friend Ron. Nobody ever seems to remember the trials Harry went through to get to where he stands. When Harry fights of the basilisk as a second year student he shows that he has a fighting heart and he didn't go fight the basilisk to get glory he fought it to save someone that he cared about. And when Harry is drafted for the Quidditch team he's not trying to be anything special, he just tried to help defeat a bully. Harry is just doing the right thing, not what will make him popular or famous.
The magic that Harry has is literal magic, but the lessons he has learned can be applied to us. Like when Harry learns to put trust not just in himself but in his friends and the people he cares about. He also learns to judge fairly and not make assumptions on the basis of looks. At the very base and building blocks of Harry's story, I see that I have to believe that I can do anything and that nothing can stand in my way of being great. Harry Potter has transformed me into a stronger person in every way imaginable. After reading your book I felt as if I no longer had to hide under an invisibility cloak, but I can be seen for who I truly am. Even if this world is filled with imperfect Muggles, we are all magical and have something to offer this world.