I had an email today publicising a competition to celebrate 15 years since 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was released onto an unsuspecting world. I'm an unashamed Harry Potter fan, I discovered him in the summer of 1998 when I was working in a bookshop. People kept telling me I MUST read this book which I thought was nonsense because a) that sort of thing really puts a person off, and b) it was a children's book. Eventually however I gave in and like so many other people was hooked. I have great memories of the various Potter launches after book 3 when it started to get really big - the time I sneaked out of my mum's with a friend in the dead of night (I was there because she was taking me to an airport at 5 the following morning) to go to a bookshop, and the time a neighbour bookseller set up a treasure hunt for my little sister and her friend (and me) to find the books, again in the dead of night, are the highlights.
Back in 1998 when I worked in that bookshop children's writing really wasn't taken that seriously regardless of the quality of the books, I think it's safe to say the landscape has changed somewhat since then and not least because of J.K. Rowling. However you feel about the books there are good reasons to celebrate Harry hitting fifteen - and if you are a fan, well check out the competition here.