Bio On J.K. Rowling

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Joanne Kathleen Rowling has done things that would make her a hero. She didn't solve the greenhouse problem. She didn't invent a cleaner fuel for cars. She didn't bring peace to the whole world. But she did open the doors for reading for millions of children and adults around the world. She has written books so popular that it is printed in fifty-four different languages. She has inspired people to write and to read. She went from being a single struggling mother to a woman who is a role model for millions of people. She truly went from zero to hero.

The books Joanne wrote are a series of books about a young boy named Harry Potter with magic in his blood. The books follow his life around the wizarding academy he attends, named Hogwarts. With four books, Joanne Rowling creates an entire world, full of good and bad people, full of people to despise, to laugh at, and to love.

With her books, titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, she has won the British equivalent of the Newberry Awards, called Ever since she was a child, Joanne loved to write. Her first story was about a rabbit (naturally, at age six, the book was called Rabbit.) The book was about a rabbit who got measles and was visited by a number of creatures, including a huge bee named Miss Bee. She enjoyed telling stories to her little sister, Di. The stories would range from Di being dropped down a rabbit hole and being fed strawberries by rabbits to stories about fairies granting wishes to the wrong people. Di encouraged her, begging her to tell more stories. Joanne loved each of her stories, but she couldn't remember them all. So, at age six, she sat down and recorded her first story. From then on, every time she told a story to Di, she would write it down, in case Di wanted her to tell it again.

During her life, Joanne moved many times all over England. Her first move was when she was about six. She lived in Chipping Sodsberry, and moved to a small town named Yate, because they needed a bigger house. Shortly later, Joanne's parents decided that they liked the scenery on the other side of Bristol, again moving to a small town called Winterbourne. She adjusted well to the moves, making friends wherever she went. Her best friends were the Potters. Together, they would play dress up and tell stories. While she loved playing with her friends, she always found time to read. Her favorite authors were Elizabeth Goudge, author of The Little White Horse, and Paul Gallico, the author of Manxmouse. She also enjoyed reading C.S. Lewis books, especially the Narnia series.

Though Joanne was wonderful at reading and writing, her math was something else. After another move, she went to a school that was taught by Ms. Morgan. Ms. Morgan, well, wasn't the nicest teacher. She taught by the book. Her seating arrangement went smart on the left, dumb on the right. Ms. Morgan gave a test on the first day Joanne arrived. The test was on fractions, which Joanne had never covered before. With a lot of effort, Joanne managed to get a zero. She was seated as far right as possible. This upset Joanne a lot. She knew she wasn't stupid. After that experience, she studied very hard. She also found time to make a small but loyal group of friends. By the end of the year, her efforts paid off. She got to sit on the left side of the room. It did not come without a cost, however. She had to switch spots with one of her friends. After this, the rest of the time she spent at elementary school was uneventful. As she moved to middle school, she became aware that she would attend the school with people older than her. This idea made her insecure. It took her a while to fit in. She was short, near-sighted, had glasses, freckly, smart (which, to kids not as smart, would look like showing off), and very shy. Eventually, she found a cliché of friends, who were like her. During middle school, she eventually got over her shyness and started sharing her stories with her friends. They loved them, and encouraged her to write more. After a while, she got over her fears of speaking in front of the class, and was quicker to answer the teachers' questions. Near the end, she proved to be quite bright. In her last year, she earned the title of Head Girl. It was what all girls aspired to be, and the position that Joanne got. She graduated with high honors. All of her teachers predicted a bright future for her.

Though Joanne Rowling loved to write, she was afraid to share it with anybody. She was afraid of rejection. She instead went to collage and studied French. She then moved to France to use it practically. She lived in Paris for a year, and that year she grew up. She learned to be self-dependent, and felt she could take on the world. She moved back to England and took a number of jobs. A couple jobs she was a secretary (a not very good one at that.) She was a researcher also. She had quite a commute for some of her jobs, and would use this time for writing. One day, during her commute, the train broke down. The conductor announced that there would be a four-hour delay. Joanne planned to use this time as time to continue a novel. Without paper or pen however, she looked idly out the window. Looking at a herd of cows, she got the first idea for Harry. Ideas spun into her mind, plots stirring, character names appearing out of nowhere. She had no pen to record her ideas, so she tried to hang on to all her thoughts. During the starting period of Harry Potter, Joanne was once again forced out of work. After her twenty sixth birthday, she decided to teach English abroad. After she packed her clothes and her boxes of stories, she left for Portugal. She adjusted quickly, and found a job almost immediately. The students at the school were very quick to bond with her. While they joked with her, calling her "Rolling Stone", they listened attentively while she taught them English. After her class, she continued to write about Harry. While in Portugal, she also met a man. Within months, they married. Two years later, Joanne discovered she was pregnant. She hoped it would save their failing relationship. It didn't. After her daughter was born, she divorced and moved back to London. She had no idea what she would do though. She ended up moving back near her family. She survived on welfare for a while. With Harry Potter as her only joy (besides her daughter, Jessica) she shared it with her sister, Di. Di loved it, and Joanne was inspired to continue writing. She finished the book around 1994. She then typed two copies of the book, which she named Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and sent them to her top two agents. One day, she received a letter from them. It told her that it accepted her story. Her and her agent began sending copies to book companies. There were many rejection slips, but finally one company accepted her story. As soon as they hit the stores, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was a success. Book orders from around the world poured in. They began to be translated into different languages and sold. With her newfound popularity and money, she continued to write Harry Potter books and published Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. All of these were best sellers, selling millions of copies.

Though the books were written for fun, they each have a deep meaning. Many children have been able to relate to Harry and everything he has been through. The books have encouraged children to carry out their dreams. The books told them they could do what ever they set their minds to.

Joanne has opened the gate to reading to the children who were hesitant. They have grown to like reading; instead of being forced to read, they want to read. Joanne had opened the gates not only to her books, but also to every fiction, fantasy, and thriller books as well.