The Harry Potter series was partly inspired by a peculiarly British literary genre: stories of boys’ adventures in public1 school. If J. K. Rowling had been American, perhaps she would have been inspired by a peculiarly American sort of educational drama, and come up with this.
1 George Bernard Shaw once remarked that the US and Britain are two nations separated by a common language. A British “public” school is an American “elite private” school. Also, a British “boot” of a car is an American “trunk”, British “trainers” are American “sneakers”, and a British “hat” is American “underpants”. OK, I made that last one up.
via a comment in slacktivist