Elizabeth Low is no longer a 12-year-old Minnetonka Middle School student dazzled by flying broomsticks and the elusive snitch.

But her affinity for "Harry Potter" didn't depart with her adolescence.

Low, 21, is one of three then-youngsters who reviewed the first film in the series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," for the Star Tribune back in November 2001. Then, she gushed about the quidditch special effects.

Since then, she found herself re-reading the books during stressful times in high school and college.

"Every once in a while I would just escape back to the Harry Potter books," said Low, a recent graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. "It reminds you why you love reading in the first place."

Chelsea Theilmann, who as a 9-year-old was the only panelist who preferred the first movie to the book, said the films helped her imagination grow.

Now 18, the recent Benilde-St. Margaret's graduate will attend the University of Denver in the fall to study biology.

"You know it's not real, but I just think about if that could happen in real life, and it makes my creativity a lot stronger," she said.

As an 11-year-old, Meg McConnell cautioned readers: "Read the book first." Now 21, she's advising the children that she nannies in La Jolla, Calif., to do the same.

"It's fun watching them read the books I loved as a kid," she said.

"Harry Potter brought magic to my life, in a sense. I wish it would never end."