We have just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. My wife was shaking through the climax of this book, and there are news reports that it has had a strong effect on children everywhere.
J.K. Rowlings has created a phenomenon in Harry Potter, in many respects it is very similar to what Star Wars was like when I was a kid. I was the perfect age when Star Wars came out, 10. While I am much older many of the same feelings have come up in reading Harry Potter.
I fully expect Harry Potter to be around in 30 years. It is a classic like few others. I would not be surprised if Rowlings will be up there with Shakespeare in 100 years. It is so incredible to be a witness to history like this.
She writes about strong archetypes, with clear good guys and bad guys. A smart villain and a resourceful hero. Even great role models for girls.
This is a touchstone books series for this generation and it is going to be a bigger effect then she ever could have imagined.
Besides any writer who can write a good sight gag is a really good writer in my book. She has also captured some of the feeling of running a business in Fred and George, though they are more successful then average.
The last book should be a blast. I can't wait.