I have always loved reading and getting lost in stories and so, as a young girl, the Harry Potter series, like for so many other children, provided a great escape from the ‘real’ world. With this also came multiple role models and life lessons for children like me to follow. Even today, 21 years after The Philosophers Stone was first published, J.K. Rowling’s words still inspire children to pick up a book and read in our world of technology. For this J.K. Rowling is my girlhood heroine.

However, the inspiration doesn’t end there. Before Harry Potter, Rowling was living on state benefits, trying to balance single motherhood with developing a career, leaving her suffering with depression and contemplating suicide. Yet this didn’t stop her trying and, even after multiple publishing houses rejected the first manuscript of Harry Potter, she did not give up.

Finally, after years of despair, poverty and failure, in 1996, Bloomsbury agreed to publish her book. She subsequently went onto become the world’s first billionaire author, and Harry Potter is currently the best-selling book series in history. Her story of grit and determination is such an inspiration to women of all ages, encouraging us to keep going and never to give up even through the darkest of times. In the words of J.K. Rowling herself, ‘’it is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’’

-Jessica Eykel
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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