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Joy: Watch a blind girl’s pure happiness when she gets this gift

Screenshot of video posted by "katescookieskc" on Instagram

Sometimes the ugliness of the world might get you down. And sometimes it helps to remind ourselves, to quote Samwise Gamgee in The Two Towers: ‘That there's some good in this world … and it’s worth fighting for.’


In that spirit, we present a video of a blind girl getting Harry Potter books, in braille:

If you aren’t smiling when she shakes her limbs in excitement, you might want to check your pulse.

In fact, a little Googling reveals there is actually a lot more to the story than meets the eye: 

The website she links to provides the following background:

Emrie is a little girl who was born with a very rare gene anomaly that left her without vision. According to her aunt Katelyn Suter, the girl learned braille when she was only 4 years old and now she’s reading years above her age level.

A few months ago, Emrie’s father Jared started reading the Harry Potter books to her every night before sleep. And as one would probably expect, soon enough, Emrie fell deeply in love with all the characters and the magical world portrayed in the books.

That was when the girl decided that she’d like to continue reading the books by herself. Unfortunately, the Harry Potter books in braille are extremely expensive and aren’t easy to find.

This whole situation inspired Emrie’s aunt Katelyn to start a GoFundMe campaign and help raise the money for the braille Harry Potter books that Emrie wanted so deeply.

‘The Harry Potter books range from $8 to $300 for just one single book, this is a shame as everyone should have access to books!’ Katelyn wrote in the description of the fundraiser. ‘I am hoping with a little help that we can give this little girl the gift of magic for Christmas as well as possibly supply the local libraries with a set too. Any donation would help and my family would be so grateful.’

In just one month, Katelyn was able to raise $4,226, allowing her to surprise her niece with braille Harry Potter books for Christmas as well as to donate five full Harry Potter braille series to local libraries and schools.

‘Thank you all so much! We have exceeded all goals and will be able to provide not only Emrie with a full set, but we also raised enough to donate FIVE full Harry Potter braille series to local libraries and schools!’ the aunt commented on the fundraiser campaign after the goal was reached. ‘I am speechless at the kindness we have received over the last 24 hours and I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for contributing! Happy Holidays!’

So, it was not just a generous gift, but untold numbers of people reaching out to make it happen. But we will also say that anything that book publishers can do to reduce the cost of such braille editions would be appreciated.


J.K. Rowling didn’t seem to know that backstory, but based on the video, she was rightfully proud of the whole thing:

And the reference to the ‘anniversary’ in @PianoDentist86’s tweet is apparently a reference to Philosopher’s Stone Day, which is the anniversary of the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And in case you didn’t know, that is the British title of the first book, with the term ‘Philosopher’s stone’ being changed to ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ in America. That anniversary was on June 26.

And yes, many people clearly enjoyed that child’s happiness:


Fair point. Not every person can read for themselves. For instance, we have known people with very severe dyslexia who simply cannot learn to read at all. But if you can read for yourself, we believe that is the best way to experience most books.

ReadingSight tells the world they are a British charity designed to help people who have trouble seeing by sight to find ways to read, such as Braille books.

The reactions included many responding to Rowling directly:

We think this Tweeter might be exaggerating, but certainly the Harry Potter books had a very positive impact on the culture of reading.


Any time you feel a little gloomy, seek out affirmation like this and go back to being a happy warrior.


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