NPR recently did a story called: Does Reading Harry Potter Have an Effect on Your Behavior?
The story is based on a study titled “The Greatest Magic of Harry Potter.” Researchers in Italy measured the attitudes of children and teens before and after they read Harry Potter books or watched Harry Potter movies. They found that the stories changed the kids’ attitudes toward people from disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically refugees, immigrants and gay people.
A quote from the article says: “So it turns out “Harry Potter” may be an effective tool against prejudice.”
While I’m a HUGE fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, I don’t think this phenomenon begins and ends at Hogwarts. I believe ALL stories have the power to create empathy and change attitudes. Stories give us the chance to step into the minds and hearts of other human beings. It doesn’t matter if they’re fictional or not. We get to experience what they’re experiencing and see the world through their eyes. I think Harry, Ron, Hermione, and even J.K. Rowling herself would agree, stories are the real magic. Accio book!