I love the fact that Harry is a down and out kid, unloved, unwanted and unnoticed, who finds friends in the most strange and wonderful circumstances. I also love that he then has to prove himself and overcome challenges that help him grow. Simply brilliant stuff.
I loved all the books, some more so than others, but each one was a revelation. This series more than any other brought me back to reading middle grade/YA fantasy again.
Being a slow starter, it took a year or so until I actually hit upon something I liked. When my son Christian was born early in 2002, I decided that the time had come, and began writing what would become The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel. At the beginning, I had some vague idea of a series, but I just wanted to see if I could write an entire novel. I did, and now I'm working on book 3!
These books are proof that children still love to read, even in this age of smart phones, video games and the internet. Of course, I daresay that any teacher could have to me that, but I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to J.K. Rowling for reminding the general public that books are still the best way to get our kids' imagination soaring.