The magic of Harry Potter for children in care

Peer reviewed book chapter in Transmedia Harry Potter: Essays on storytelling across platforms

Available for pre-order at McFarland Books here.

As a foster carer, I have witnessed first-hand the therapeutic benefits of Harry Potter for children in out-of-home care. My husband and I read the series to our eight-year-old foster child, who revelled in the vitality and vividness of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world: the sights and sounds of Diagon Alley, the excitement of a quidditch match, and the awe-inspiring grandeur of Hogwarts castle. But for him, and the hundreds of thousands of children like him living in care around the world, Harry Potter is more than just an engaging literary experience: it is salvation. Children in care personally identify with the character of Harry Potter in a way that the average reader cannot: they identify not only with his more broadly understandable challenges like fitting in at school and forming new relationships, but with his abuse and subsequent early childhood trauma during his life with the Dursleys. The Harry Potter series helps to show children that they are not alone in their circumstances, and provides a valuable means for them to deal with their trauma.

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