Harry Potter set this teacher on a lifetime of reading

Lindsay Behrens is a teacher and learning specialist in Raleigh.

Recommended read: The Screaming Staircase” by Jonathan Stroud. It’s part of the suspenseful YA Lockwood & Co. series that immerses the reader in an alternate modern world that is filled with ghosts. The cover does not do the book justice and makes the book look more childish than it really is. I recommend this book for lovers of YA fantasy, magic and ghost fiction, who are not afraid of a little scare. The story takes place in a world where ghosts are a common nuisance and people must hire agencies of children and teens to remove them. ... Stroud is also author of the more widely known Bartimaeus series.

Currently reading:Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

Who or what taught you to love to read? I think this is true for a lot of readers my age, but J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter taught me to love to read. I was in middle school when “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released and I really grew up with Harry Potter as the new books were released over a 10-year period. I found a new genre with an incredible fandom. These were the first books that I can remember really talking about at length with friends and the only books for which I have been to a midnight release at a bookstore to buy! Harry Potter introduced me to a genre (that has exploded and expanded since) that provided me with a magical escape into an alternate world. Years later, I find that I still look for the same magical escape in books. I continue to enjoy the simple themes of YA fantasy, magic, etc., books that provide an exciting read with just enough supernatural to separate them from the stresses of daily life.

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The Screaming Staircase

Jonathan Stroud

Disney-Hyperion, 416 pages