There are not many authors around that I can complemint by saying I have read all their books. J.K. Rowling however is one of those on the list and she has taken yet another step on the ladder of respect in my opinion. Perhaps other authors have done the same thing and it has either never come to light or I never read about it, I cannot say for sure which is true.
J.K. Rowling began her tremendous rise to success with her series of books about Harry Potter. They have pride of place on my bookcase and the DVDs are part of my collection too. The books, I feel I can safely say, became a dream world for many readers … a means of escape from the day-to-day drama, stress and sadness that we all meet at one time or another. The antics of the wizarding trio composed of bespectacled Harry, the red-headed Ron Weasley and the sensitive yet obnoxious (at times) brainiac Hermione Granger keep you turning pages, not wanting to put the books down. The bullying of Draco Malfoy and his 2 sheepish cohorts, add a sad realism to a fictional fantasy world. The teachers, whom I am sure we all wish “our” teachers had been like, show care even through grumbling and snapping as in the way of Professor Severus Snape.
One young girl who read and absorbed these books was Cassidy Shay, of Houston Texas, who at the young age of 15 went through a tragic event that no-one should ever have to experience. Cassidy survived an attack by playing dead but her mother, father, two younger sisters and two younger brothers were all murdered by her Aunt’s ex-husband who shot each member of her family, execution style in the back of the head on July 9, 2014. Not only did Cassidy survive after being wounded and then feigning death, she also identified the murderer to police.
On the following Saturday (July 12th), this brave young girl spoke at a memorial for her parents, brothers and sisters. In her speech, she quoted Professor Albus Dumbledore – played by Sir Michael Gambon – the character who is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Harry Potter’s mentor as he addresses the pupils of Hogwarts in the Great Hall at the start of the film The Prisoner Of Azkaban, saying:
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph reported that pleas via an online campaign were made to J.K. Rowling asking her to make contact with Cassidy in writing “through the voice of Professor Dumbledore.” The note of comfort, written in purple ink, was accompanied by a wand, an acceptance letter to Harry Potter’s school Hogwarts, a list of school supplies and a signed book, however the contents of the letter remain private, as they should.
Thank you to J.K. Rowling, not only for her books but for caring.