@jk_rowling I’m a single parent, broke as can be, and reading the Harry Potter series together has become one of the biggest sources of bonding for us.— Matt Burke (@mattburkephoto) June 7, 2018
Doubt you’ll come across this or read this piece, but I just wanted to say thanks for the assist. 🙏🏻https://t.co/hkX0q5HSCX
Matt Burke, a single dad from Tallahassee, FL, has only just recently discovered the magic of the world of Harry Potter in his mid-30s, thanks to reading the books with his 9-year-old daughter. The dad, who wrote an essay titled "Being the Broke Parent," explained that because he's unable to afford internet and doesn't have a TV, finding ways to bond with and entertain his daughter without "real screen time" had been a challenge — until the pair dove head-first into Harry's world together.
"Despite my inability to pay for the long distance trips, the theme parks, or what-have-you, I've made up for by using my head and making attempts at being constructively creative with our time together," Matt wrote in his essay. "The main thing that occupies us these days . . . is reading books together. Through my own recent love of reading, I acquired a library card for myself, as well as one for her, so that we can check out all of the books we want and read them as wanted over their 21-day checkout period. This has led us to some absolutely incredible times, even better conversations, as well as memories that I wouldn't change for the world."
Although Matt admits he felt "too cool" for Harry Potter when the initial craze came around in his 20s, him and his daughter are all in now. "At the time of this writing, we're halfway through the second book, and we're having an absolute BLAST reading them together."
Because the dad is so grateful for J.K. Rowling's incredible novels and the amazing times him and his kid have had reading them together, Matt reached out to the author on Twitter with a link to his essay, just to say thank you — but he never thought she'd see his message.
"I'm a single parent, broke as can be, and reading the Harry Potter series together has become one of the biggest sources of bonding for us," his tweet reads. "Doubt you'll come across this or read this piece, but I just wanted to say thanks for the assist."
.@mattburkephoto The gifts you’re giving your daughter are priceless and I’m truly honoured that Harry & co are playing a part. DM me your address for a set of signed Potters x https://t.co/EAcIKvwJwb— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 7, 2018
Matt responded to the author's kind tweet in complete awe: "Oh my, my head is about to explode. You are too kind, thank you so much. I'll DM you my address ASAP." And let's just say that the rest of the internet is feeling pretty emotional over the whole thing, too.
Wow. Just when I think you can't be any more of a force for good, you go and pull a stunt like this. Glad you're in the world with us, J.K. We need warriors.— SPortz (@_SPortz) June 10, 2018
I can’t even imagine. Enjoy it, man! I loved your article. I’m just as moved by your words as @jk_rowling’s gesture. If you’re ever in need of more books, I’ll gladly send you some.— Keith Blenman (@keithblenman) June 8, 2018
Such a magical and kind gesture.— Ayla Carter (@mikaelahcarter) June 9, 2018
...and THAT’S why I have loved Harry Potter all these years. It’s you. You are a lovely lady.— Dr. Kris Schuler (@KrissySchuler1) June 8, 2018