Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released in the US in 1998. I first heard of Harry Potter in fifth grade, in 1999 or 2000. I was ten, turning eleven, Harry's same age. My fifth grade teacher read it aloud to us.
I was hooked from page one.
I went home to my mom and we bought the first book together. My mom loved the books, as she is from England and found the British humor appealing. My dad got in on the HP action, and was always the one to pre-order the books for me. He also got me an HP Quidditch board game, and HP bookends. My mom and I would buy HP themed candy at Christmas (Bertie Botts, Chocolate Frogs, etc.). I don't remember necessarily counting down the days until the first few movies came out, but I do know I saw them semi-soon after and that I loved them. Kyle got me the set of #1-6 the Christmas we were engaged.
I wrote a fan fiction in junior high, all about Harry's younger sister, Allison Potter. (She was secretly raised by Dumbledore, no big.)
I literally grew up with Harry Potter. He was my age. We went through friend drama, school, teenage angst, etc. together. He was a best friend. A constant. Multiple times I have pictured Hogwarts being real, I have pictured myself there as a student, I have pictured myself receiving an acceptance letter of my own.
My love for Harry has grown throughout the years.
I feel lucky to have been able to be a part of the Harry Potter generation.
Not only have the books and movies been great entertainment, there is just so much to learn from the books.
I'm not a great writer, so I'm going to end with a link to a well written blog post from a blog I follow.
And thanks, Harry.