It turns out there’s a lot more to the books than good story-telling.
Certain books make such a powerful impression on you when younger, they influence you even in the smallest of ways as an adult.
How many of us still secretly wish the back of our wardrobes lead somewhere like Narnia? Maybe you even still furtively prod the back of yours occasionally…
Charlotte’s Web, too, may not have inspired a deep love of arachnids , but nor do you squash every spider you encounter with the nearest object to hand.
The magical world J.K. Rowling weaved for us was full of whimsy, and, as the stories progressed, as flawed and frightening as our own.
And it’s the Harry Potter series which, according to scientific research, will make you a better person.
n fact, children who read the books and identify with Harry are more open-minded and less likely to be prejudiced against minority groups, according to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
As any die-hard fan will tell you, the books are about friendship and morality as much as they are a classic tale about the battle between good and evil.
The research looked at three different groups of children and adolescents from age 10 upwards.
In each of these groups, the participants who both understood and could discuss the more complex themes within the books were more likely to be sensitive to the plight of minority or marginalised groups (like immigrants).
There are plenty of social issues depicted in the books which have echoes in our own history.
There are marginalised and persecuted groups of magical being, such as giants and centaurs.
Terms such as Pureblood and Mudblood bring to mind Nazi Germany, as well as any country or regime which has enforced a caste system.
Identifying with Harry is indicative of an accepting nature because of what he’s like.
While he doesn’t have Hermione’s brains, nor is his appearance that of a classical hero, he treats everyone as an equal – perhaps because he knows all too well what it’s like to be treated badly.
It’s his kindness and acceptance of others which makes him a hero as much as his deeds, and inspires adults to be as much of a hero as possible.
But considering the author behind the books, perhaps this is no surprise.