So it got me thinking about popular children's book series (like, HARRY POTTER, THE HUNGER GAMES and TWILIGHT) and what makes them universally loved and/or respected.
I think it's a whole mish-mash of things, including:
1) Fantastic World-Building. When I read the seven Harry Potter books, I was right there, at Hogwarts, with those characters. I could see, taste, touch, hear and smell all of it. THAT, my friends, is why J.K. Rowling is amazing.
2) Universal Themes. Everyone can relate to loss, love, rage, and redemption. You really felt for Harry when he returned to his aunt and uncle's home in the summer. And when Rowling killed off some of our beloved characters (how DARE she?), my heart was ripped open too.
3) Character Development. Harry Potter was written in third person, limited. So everything was told through Harry's eyes. But most of the time I never realized it. I grew to love all of those characters, because they were fully developed: Hermione, Ron, Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, etc.
4) Story-Weaving. Rowling knew how to tell a good story. Her ideas were completely captivating AND fascinating--the wizarding classes (Defense of the Dark Arts), the Death-Eaters, Gringott's, Diagon Alley, The Leaky Cauldron (butter beer), on and on. She ramped up the suspense and made you want more and more!
I cannot WAIT until my six-year-old can read them with me!
HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEKEND, MUGGLES!