Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverOne of the most meaningful moments of my childhood happened on a trip to the library. On this specific visit I discovered a book that would go on to play a huge role in my life. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first book that I read that featured a character who wore glasses. I wore glasses. I was the only girl in my class who wore glasses. I needed varifocals, which in the 90s had two different lenses melded together, so basically my glasses looked broken. A point which the other kids pointed out a lot. I didn‚Äôt want to be different. What child does? Celebrity culture wasn‚Äôt a huge part of my childhood so my role models mostly came from TV and books. There were no characters on TV that wore glasses and those that did always got made fun of/beaten up.

This changed when I started reading the Harry Potter series. I related to Harry because not only did he wear glasses but in the beginning he doesn’t have any friends. The fact that someone similar to me was the hero of the story made me realise that sometimes being different is good. Harry ended up having a life filled with friends, love and fun and as an 8 year old it gave me hope that my life could have the same things (it did!)

I’m sure I had other significant moments in my childhood but this one sticks out to me because it is still important to me today. Now when I read Harry Potter I take different meanings from it but I always remember the impact it had on me when I was a young girl.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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