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According to BBC News, a group of more than 60 scholars have congregated at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to discuss the literary merits of the Harry Potter series over the next two days.
The conference, entitled "A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature," will feature over 50 lectures about the series with topics ranging from the role of paganism, British national identity and how death is dealt with in the books. A complete anthology based on this conference is expected to be published in 2013.
Conference organizer, Professor John Patrick Pazdziora, had this to say about putting together such a conference:
"We can't avoid the fact that Harry Potter is the main narrative experience of an entire generation - the children who literally grew up with Harry Potter.
"The Harry Potter novels are simply the most important and influential children's books of the late-20th and early 21st Centuries."
"For very many people, this is their first experience of literature, and of literary art. So they want to think about it, and analyse it, and talk about it."Add a Comment
J.K. Rowling will receive the Freedom of the City of London on Tuesday, May 8 for her services to children's literature, according to a press release from the City of London.
The ceremony will take place at the Mansion House, the official residence of London's Lord Mayor. She will read aloud the Declaration of a Freeman and be presented with a framed parchment certificate.
In a statement, Ms. Rowling spoke of what the award means to her and some special perks:
“Both my parents were Londoners. They met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station in 1964, and while neither of them ever lived in London again, both their daughters headed straight for the capital the moment that they were independent. To me, London is packed with personal memories, but it has never lost the aura of excitement and mystery that it had during trips to see family as a child.
“I am prouder than I can say to be given the Freedom of the City, which, on top of all the known benefits (and few people realize this), entitles me to a free pint in The Leaky Cauldron and a ten Galleon voucher to spend in Diagon Alley.”
The Freedom of the City of London can be traced back to 1237. Today, people are presented with the award because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.Thank you to In Honor of Rowling for the tip! Add a Comment
The official Pottermore shop was launched this morning, marking the first time that the Harry Potter books are available to buy in an eBook and digital audio book format.
This will be the only place to purchase digital copies of the Harry Potter series, which will be available in all formats for eReaders, tablets, smartphones and mp3 players.
The eBooks for Years 1-3 are available for $7.99, while Years 4-7 are priced at $9.99. Or, the complete series can be purchased for $57.54.
Digital audio books for Years 1-3 will cost $29.99, and Years 4-7 is priced at $44.99. The complete Harry Potter audio collection can be purchased for $ 242.94.
Even though the Pottermore shop is now open, Pottermore remains in beta. It's expected to open to everyone in April.
Harry Potter. What comes to mind when you hear that name? Hogwarts, Magic, Wizard. Let me throw another in to the mix that, perhaps, you didn’t think of: Longevity.
Four years: That’s how long it’s been since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. To this day, J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter is as much a part of our culture as he was than. Actually, in many ways, his reach has grown exponentially.
The growth that I speak can be solely contributed to Pottermore. The creation of this “unique online Harry Potter experience by J.K. Rowling” is, without question, a rebirth for the series. Nothing signals that more then the timing of its release — after the publication of all seven books but before the release of the final movie. Fans didn’t have to say goodbye to their beloved friends after all.
To make certain that wouldn’t change anytime soon Pottermore entered the social media arena. Why? Well, that’s precisely where Potter fans spend their time. In fact, Pottermore took it a step further by launching a corresponding blog, Pottermore Insider, and a Twitter account, @pottermore. Harry Potter has progressed from books to movies to fansites and now taken over social media. And in doing so, ensures that both fans and readers are never far away from tapping in to the magic.
The character of Harry Potter is now an entity that commands attention with the least amount of effort. The mere mention of the name can turn heads. Now that speaks volumes of what he has come to mean to the masses.
Harry Potter may have started out as “the boy who lived” but has quickly become the boy who will live on.
Last weekend I, like many of you, saturated myself with all things Harry Potter. Even after seeing the amazing, wonderful,…Display Comments Add a Comment
Finally! We’re thrilled that Spotify, the music service beloved by Brits (has made its way across the pond at last. Starting today — following a deal on Wednesday with Warner Bros. Music to secure all four major labels — users can sign... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Another good friend and faithful follower has written to us. She's Warnell, a librarian, and she also has a Harry Potter Giveaway:
As readers will recall on Tuesday, July 7th, Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter series, will at long last release a paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As part of the event, the main Scholastic Store in Soho, New York City will be the site of a release party. Starting at 10:00 am there will be Harry Potter trivia, potions and wand making events, plus fans c... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Just in time for all those summer holidays and vacations, the paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now available here in the US. Released today by Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, you can now find the paperback edition of the final book in the Harry Potter series at retailers everywhere. The special paperback box set from Scholastic is also now a... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Two years ago today, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling was released. As readers will recall, several weeks ago in the midst of the flurry of the HBP movie release, Scholastic, US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, released the paperback edition of Deathly Hallows. Given the date today, we thought you might enjoy this fan report and photos below from TLC reader hpboy13 wh... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Hey, reader guys, our old friend Lord Vader has sent us another review:
I just finished the last book in the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was full of action from beginning to end. It was very good and I would recommend this book to other people. The last battle in this book was awesome. I loved the book, but I'm kind of disappointed it was the last book in the series. At least I can look forward to the movie. Mikie (a.k.a. Lord Vader) P.S. I haven't seen the Half Blood Prince yet but hopefully will soon.
Thanks, Lord Vader! A lot of people liked this one (including Zack), but Bill would disagree. He called it "Harry Potter and the Endless Camping Trip!" If you want to see what he, Zack, and other reader guys said, click on the tab underneath this post.
And don't for get to vote in The Battle of The Bums. You have until 6:00 PM today. We'll announce the "winner" on Monday.
UK newspaper The Telegraph has compiled a series of lists of things that defined this decade. One such list involves the top 100 books, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling taking the number one spot. Quotage:
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"If you don’t know what a Muggle is by now, you’re either Rip van Winkle or enormously stubborn. This is the seventh and final instalment in Rowling’s record-brea
A young man in Florida is efforting to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and his local Sarasota Habitat for Humanity with a new auction of a special Harry Potter book. Author J.K. Rowling contributed a signed book plate for a special Deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which also features a new sketch of Harry Potter by artist Mary Grandpre which you can see here.... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
No Country for Old Typewriters: A Well-Used One Heads to Auction
Christie’s will auction Cormac McCarthy’s Olivetti typewriter that he used to type every book he has written, including three not published.
First look: Harry Potter enters real world in ‘Deathly Hallows’
USA Today offers a first look into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh, and last, book in J.K. Rowling’s series which is being broken into two films, the first part coming out in November 2010.
DailyLit Announces Move to All Free
DailyLit, a site that offers books in installments via email or RSS, is now offering its service free of charge!
Neil Gaiman Asks: Heard Any Good Books Lately?
In this NPR piece, Gaiman ponders the future of audiobooks and talks to David Sedaris and Martin Jarvis about what makes a great audiobook — and a great reader.
And it wouldn’t be the end of the year without lots of booklists! Take a look at these:
100 Notable Books of 2009
The New York Times features a number of booklists to help you with your holiday shopping. Take a look at this list of the 100 notable books of 2009.
Books of the year: what kept you turning the pages?
The Guardian asks novelist, actors, critics and other notables what books kept them reading throughout 2009.
As the year draws to an end, Scholastic, US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, have a reminder for us today of the remarkable decade that was, and the amazing impact of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The sales figures are staggering, but as publisher Arthur A. Levine and VP of Scholastic reminds us, the true magic has been in the reading:
... Read the rest of this post Add a Comment
"What the numbers leave out is the singular
As newspapers continue to take stock of this past decade, the books and films of the Harry Potter series make an appearance on a number of new end of the year lists. First, the Globe and Mail names the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, their Book of the Decade. The Canadian newspaper writes that the book was not only "...the single most awaited, debated and anticipated volum... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
My name is Sara Dobie … and I’m a Harry Potter addict. It started sophomore year in college, when I first discovered the books. For years, I would be one of the only college kids in line at midnight outside Barnes and Noble, waiting for the newest release. Kudos to JK Rowling—a modern day rags-to-riches story; the kind of story that keeps writers like me writing—who created a world so easy to sink into and long to be a part of.
My literary addiction transferred to the movies, which is why I’m writing this blog entry: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, comes out Friday. I’ll get into all the hype about the newest flick later. For now, I’d like to take a look back at Harry Potters past. It’s jarring to watch all the movies in one week (which is exactly what I’m doing). It’s easy to forget certain details of each film, which dwindles the Harry Potter 7 experience. And I would hate to do that. So here we go …
2001. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This film introduces the world of Hogwarts to an unlikely, lonely kid named Harry Potter. Everything is new and shiny—for Harry and for the viewer. Voldemort is trying to come back from “the dead,” after an infant Harry seemingly sent him there. Hidden deep within Hogwarts castle is the sorcerer’s stone—exactly what Voldemort needs to come back. Harry and his new friends, Ron and Hermione, have to stop this from happening. The special effects were mind-blowing. Everything looked just as I’d pictured in the books, including the Hogwarts sport, Quidditch. (Damn, that was thrilling.) The kids couldn’t really act in this one. Yet, they each looked the part, and so my fondness for Daniel Radcliffe began …
2002. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Holy crap, the boys hit puberty. All of a sudden, they had deep voices. Weird. Anyway, in this one, Dobby (not to be confused with “Dobie”), a house elf, appears to Harry and tells him not to go back to school. Harry doesn’t listen, of course, and soon, students at Hogwarts end up petrified by some monster from the so-called “Chamber of Secrets.” Harry realizes he can speak parseltongue—or speak to snakes, just like Voldemort. AND Kenneth Branagh makes an excellent cameo as Gilderoy Lockhart. At this point, the Harry Potter movies still have happy endings. Not so for much longer.
2005. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
My favorite book. Yessir. Darn good m
I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I on Saturday, because I’m too old to stay up for the midnight show and too impatient to fight crowds on opening night. My general review: Loved it. Quite in touch with the book, and creepy as ever. For more details, read on. (And don’t worry; I don’t give anything away, unless you haven’t seen the other Harry Potter movies, and if you haven’t … well, why would you go see the seventh one without seeing the other six?)
As you may have noticed on the trailers, the seventh movie does not take place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry—a challenge for director, David Yates, to be certain. The very first scenes are downers, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione prepare to say goodbye to the lives they know and go off on their own, in search of Voldemort’s hidden horcruxes (since the only way to kill Voldemort is to kill his horcruxes).
Directly following these downer moments, however, there is comedy. The Order of the Phoenix arrives to take Harry to a safe house, but in order to so, they must use polyjuice potion to become Harry. The Weasley twins, Fred and George, represent the comic relief, and at times, the movie theater sounded as it would during a comedy, instead of a drama—which Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 definitely is, without question.
In regards to the dramatic, somewhat depressing content of the film, don’t worry—you won’t leave the theater with your head hanging low. For instance, I only cried ONCE (and that’s saying something for me). Seriously, though, the screenwriter did a masterful job of weaving comic moments within the darkness. Just when you think the characters are going to burst out in tears, someone says something that makes the characters and audience giggle and realize that it’s all going to be okay … hopefully.
That being said, this is not a kids movie. For one thing, it’s scary. I mean, like, really scary. I jumped a couple times and screamed once. The action sequences are thrilling, but people do die. Oh, and my favorite part? Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, literally comes slithering out of a woman’s dead body. The special effects made it feel real, and in the realness, it was creepy. I would not bring a small child to this movie; I don’t care if it’s Harry Potter. There’s also a random bit of sexual content. (Didn’t see that coming.) It’s in Ron’s nightmare, but I swear, I saw some Hermione side-boob. It wasn’t necessary, I don’t think, and would just confuse the young ones.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is admittedly very clever. With Voldemort in power, the Ministry of Magic takes it upon themselves to hunt down muggle-borns. In one scene, there’s a book called When Muggles Attack in a desk drawer. In this way, the movie felt like an historical look at America’s Communist red scare of the 1940s and 50s. Also, the retelling of the story of the Deathly Hallows is brilliant. Told not with actual actors, it is instead relived via what resembles a moving, breathing black and white story-board. It sounds simple, but with the expert computer graphics, it was one of the most visually stimulating parts of the film.
And the film is visually stimulating. The filming locations look like dreams. The magic / spell-casting sequences are mind-bending. The special eDisplay Comments Add a Comment
'Harry Potter' makes more box office magic than ever before (the first half of the finale scored the franchise's biggest opening-weekend yet [$125 million in the US alone], thanks largely to loyal fans who have grown up with the Hogwarts crew and... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Just because we work for HarperCollins doesn’t mean that we only read our own books – we frequently exchange books with our colleagues in other publishing houses. That being said, there are some die-hard Potter fans here in our office (Me! Me! Me!) and we’re all completely psyched for the upcoming HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART II.
So while I’m waiting with bated breath for the last movie to come out (July 15th!), I have a few suggestions of Harry Potter read-alikes (click through to read synopses and additional info). Feel free to share this with the kids in your library!
What do you recommend for kids who have devoured the Harry Potter series and are looking for more of the same?
Also, check out these Harry Potter Read Alike booklists from your colleagues in libraries around the country:
And because we’re just THAT excited, here’s the preview for the last movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART II:
Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, will be releasing a new box set of the series this summer. This new collection, which you can see here in our galleries, is available for pre-order via Barnes and Noble, as well as Walmart. Included in the collection are the set of US paperback editions of books one through seven, with the box to feature the Deluxe cover from Harry Pott... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
The Tales of Beedle the Bard written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling have been nominated this year at the Galaxy British Book Awards. Beedle the Bard is on the shortlist for "Children's Book of the Year," along with a few others including: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, Captain Underpants & the Preposterous Plight by Dav Pilkey, Artemis Foul & The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer, Horrid He... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, have updated their website with a lovely new poster called "Celebrating Harry Through the Years." The poster, available for download via this link (PDF), features a montage of artwork by Mary GrandPre as well as photos of each of the seven books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Also on the sit... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Hey gang, it's the Great and Forgetful CARLMAN. I got a comment yesterday from Kurtis Scaletta, our good friend and author of that terrific book Mudville. He wrote and said that I had forgotten to mention the fourth Tripod book: