Dear JK Rowling

My daughter, Melzor(her “art name,” mind you), is eleven, and a straight A student. She’s also the one who’s always hanging out with the new kid, or the kid that’s looked at as “weird” if they have a disability or anything that makes them different from the other kids. She never wants anyone to feel left out or alone. Melzor is a rule-follower, and a helper.

Her little sister struggled to read for some years. I tried to help her, reading with her every day, but she just wouldn’t catch on. All it took was one time for Melzor to explain how letters make sounds and when you put them together, they make a word. (for the record, it’s the same way tried to explain it to her, but it was different coming from her sister instead of her mom, apparently.)

But Melzor wasn’t always this way. She was a nightmare as a toddler (I say it with love!). She was stubborn and moody, all the time.

She would vomit up her food when she didn’t get what she wanted, the way she wanted it.

She would throw tantrums in restaurants and grocery stores just because.

She was scared of everything. From a dog’s bark, to the metal threshold of a door, she was terrified of it all.

She would have total meltdowns when I closed the door for some privacy in the bathroom.

Get water on her head? Noooo way. You’d think she was being eaten alive or something.

Fast-forward to Melzor, age 7. I was cleaning out and reorganizing my bedside drawer, and had a copy of the first Harry Potter book that I was gifted when I was in the 7th grade on the bed. She picked it up and went, “huh. Is this the Harry Potter book? With wizards?” (we talked about it before)

“Yeah,” I replied as I continued my reorganizing. Melzor was silent besides another “huh,” so I asked, “what did you need?” She didn’t reply, so I turned and found her with her nose in the book, turning the corner as she left the room.

Four hours later, she finished the book.

{SIDE NOTE: at this point in time, I was trying so hard to get her into reading. She would read because she had to, but not out of sheer enjoyment. I told her that if she would read enough, she’d start seeing the story play out in her mind like a movie–and she loved movies. At some point that day, she ran downstairs saying, “Mom! IT’S HAPPENING! I can see it happening in my head! This is so cool!”}

She asked if there was another book. I told her there were several. The next day, while she was in school, I went to the book store and bought the next two books for her. She disappeared for two days after that, besides meal times, and finished the books.

Ron is her favorite. Not only because he’s a redhead like her, but because he’s funny and caring. I always say she’s drawn to him because she’s so much like him, personality-wise.

Now, all of this is sweet and cute and all, but there is more to this story. More that means a lot to me as a mother and a woman.

I was raised in a fundamentalist church. Growing up, my household was not so strict when it came to books, which was great. I knew kids who had to hide books from their parents because they thought everything led to Hell. If there was a fairy on the cover, it wasn’t human, so it was a “demon.” If there was a dragon, it was like a snake, which automatically equates to Satan so…hell. Ridiculous things like that. (I am not exaggerating either! These are actual complaints other girls at my church had!)

I was into fantasy. I wonder sometimes if my parents even bothered giving it a second thought. With 5 kids and a full-time job, they were busy people! Not to mention, they built their life and careers without speaking English when they first came to America– which was a day before I was born! It would be a wonder if they even noticed what I was reading! 😉 Not that I ever read anything inherently bad.

Melzor was raised in a similar community, but there were more parents around us who were extremely against certain books. More specifically, against Harry Potter. I saw the movies before I read the books and knew what they were all about, so I had absolutely

Melzor – 2013 – age 7 – Reading HP on the way to church

no issue with the story. Some mothers called me out for allowing my daughter to read it (Hello! I encouraged it!) because she would carry her current read with her everywhere–even to church. Their daughters saw and *gasp* asked questions!

Truth be told, none of those mothers knew anything about the story, and probably still don’t. A lot of religious people actually assume the books to be a “manual on witchcraft.” I’m sorry if I can’t help but laugh at the thought. Anyone can open a book and figure out real quick that the book is not that. But I suppose people just follow the herd sometimes and don’t bother looking beyond the bull in front of them. (hehehe see what I did there? Maybe not…dumb American humor, I guess 😅)

Life happens, and I have since left that community. While Melzor has since read the entire Harry Potter series a number of times over the years, she has asked questions about things I didn’t think kids ever thought about. Like language. She saw the “b-word” in one of the books and was shocked, since to us that’s a swear word. She asked about it, so I explained how language is different in different parts of the world and how it’s changed over time, and she understood. Simple as that. She’s asked about relationships with family, relationships with a “crush,” school questions, how to deal with mean teachers, etc. And all of the questions have come from reading your books. They’ve brought to attention things that most kids gloss over in life until they’re teens because their minds are elsewhere.

I tend to think the Harry Potter series plays a major part in who Melzor is as a person. She has the natural tendency to think things through and put others before herself, but I think seeing her favorite characters get through their struggles in the way they do, she’s come to accept herself even more. She has wonderful self-esteem and an amazing way of seeing the world. And these are all things I see her passing onto her younger siblings, which just makes my heart swell!

Melzor asks me all the time to tweet you and tell you hello, and let you know how much she loves your books. Several times, I’ve written out a tweet and realized it’s just not enough. I want to share on a more personal level what your books have done for her. She’s learned so much about life and herself by experiencing these stories. And not only Harry Potter. Her mind opened to reading immensely since finishing your series, which is more than any parent can ask for. It’s helped her loads in school.

She’s a good kid, and I love seeing her so happy over something like books. Seeing her worry about what her next read will be is so much better than seeing her worry about silly things that will never do anything for her, or teach her anything.

So, in 1318 words, I want to pass on her hello’s and thank you’s and I love you’s, as well as my own. You are a person she’s always excited to talk about, and an inspiration in more ways than we can count.

Hello. Thank you. We love you.


Lilian and Melzor

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Melzor at 4 and 11. You can see how she’s changed 🤣

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