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1. Lumos Releases a New Video Message from JK Rowling

Lumos has released a new video message from J.K. Rowling about the dangers of institutionalization of children, and the hope that Lumos provides. Just as in the previous video, J.K. Rowling narrates an animated video that tells of 8 million children in orphanages, 80% of which who are not orphans.

This video doesn’t give specific statistics on suicide, prostitution, and crime that institutionalized children are more likely to be prey too, as the last video did, but the video is still amazing. Please watch this wonderful video below, and at the Lumos Website.

 

 

Once again, we thank and support J.K. Rowling for bring a voice to the voiceless, and raising awareness for 8 million children who would otherwise go unnoticed. If you would like to make a donation to Lumos, or find out how to be come more involved, please visit wearelumos.org.

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2. Are We Graduating from Hogwarts?

As September 9th approaches, Pottermore posted on both Facebook and Twitter that Pottermore students are leaving Hogwarts.  A printable certificate is available to mark the occasion.

As we prepare to move beyond the gates of Hogwarts, we want to thank you for sharing the Pottermore experience with us…

Posted by Pottermore on Thursday, September 3, 2015

The owl notifications say more about what will happen to the site this month:

Part one of Pottermore’s story, in which you have enjoyed the depiction of Harry’s story through illustrated ‘moment’ art work and experienced life within Hogwarts, is ending. We are now preparing for part two of Pottermore’s story to begin. As J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World expands, so too will Pottermore, becoming a place to imagine more and share in a world beyond the seven book series.

If you haven’t finished visiting the moments of the seven books, it’s time to do it.  That part of the site will be gone, along with the previously announced House Cup.

What will happen if we must now become adults in the Wizarding World, as so many of us already are in the real world?

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3. Emma Watson’s New Focus on Fair Fashion

As we know from her recent social justice endeavours, Emma Watson is eager to use her celebrity status to make a positive impact on the world.

Watson, who is the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, is working to promote ethical, socially conscious fashion, reports Vanity Fair:

The actress, who has made Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed List for the past few consecutive years, has embarked on her own fashion challenge during the current press tour for Alejandro Amenábar’s Regression. Her goal: encouraging a green carpet, rather than red, full of stylish ensembles from designers who do not use fur or chemicals that could harm the environment.

Inspired by Andrew Morgan’s recent documentary, The True Cost, which explores the disturbing underbelly of “fast fashion,” Watson began the challenge with the following message posted on Instagram: “Inspired to consider the whole process of creating a fashion look, we are thinking about all the people, pieces and moving parts! This rack includes designers that are considering local craft and production, artisan skills, the environment, sustainability and the longevity of fashion!”

In a review of The True Cost this May, the New York Times recounts the horrors that the documentary uncovers in the fast-fashion industry including “zealous pesticide use,” underpaid factory workers who are abused to meet America’s affordable demands, and clogged landfills. The review ends as follows: “The True Cost stirs and saddens. Not least because it’s unlikely to reach the young consumers most in need of its revelations.”

Hearteningly, Watson wants to use her celebrity to reach that exact demographic.

Watson has an active Twitter presence, and has posted several tweets about her new cause:

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You can read the full article from Vanity Fair here.

 

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4. Harry Potter Limited Edition PEZ Collector Set Now Available in U.S.

Warner Bros. and PEZ Candy Inc., have announced a limited edition collector set of Harry Potter PEZ figures, report Snitchseeker and Mugglenet. Only 100,000 sets will be released with each set having its own number indicated on the box.

potterpez

The set will consists of six Harry Potter character PEZ dispensers, including Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Lord Voldemort along with two six-packs of PEZ candies. Christian Jegen, the CEO and president of PEZ has stated:

“We are very excited to welcome Harry Potter to the line of PEZ Collector Sets. Harry Potter has been a recurring request from fans, young and old, for quite some time … We know this set will be on top of their holiday wish lists!”

The 100,000 sets are currently shipping to retailers in the United States and the set will hit the shelves later in 2015 with a suggested retail price of $17.99 USD.

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5. First Official Promo of Daniel Radcliffe in BBC2s ‘Game Changer’, set to air in September

The first official promotion picture of Daniel Radcliffe as the Grand Theft Auto creator Sam Houser in Game Changer was published in the August issue of Edge Magazine and the article can be accessed from Snitchseeker. The BBC2 production is set to air sometime in September.

Game Changer focuses on the rising prominence of the Grand Theft Auto series as well as the efforts of activist Jack Thompson (played by Bill Paxton) in attacking GTA for its violence and sex. The BBC2 production is written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris.

gamechanger

When talking about the process of getting into the character of Houser, known for his shunning of publicity, Radcliffe states:

“Normally when I go to approach a character, the concerns are: where is he from? What was his upbringing like? And how different was it from mine?”.

Radcliffe also points out to the similarities he shares with Houser – upbringing in the same part of London and at least one parent in the entertainment industry – saying that he feels like his sensibilities are similar to Houser’s.

Despite the legal action taken by Rockstar to shut down the production of Game Changer, claiming BBC is using its intellectual property without a warrant, the film is set to premiere at some point in September at BBC2.

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6. Micky Moran Visits the Stately Beat Manor Staff Pull for 9/2/15

Team Comics Beat, the world’s most important comic book website ever to grace the internet, sought out adventure and fun after a hard work week.  However, we were graced with the appearance of Micky Moran. As soon as he entered the halls within the residence of the Stately Beat Manor we knew that he was none-other-than […]

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7. ‘Harry Potter’ Stars to attend Fan Expo Canada 2015

Fan Expo Canada has confirmed that Tom Felton, Rupert Grint and the Phelps twins will be attending their convention this weekend, and taking part in a ‘Hogwarts Reunion’ panel running this Saturday (September 5th). This will mark the first fan convention that Grint has attended.

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The actors will also be participating in autograph and photobooth sessions, and SnitchSeeker has confirmed that they will be attending and reporting on the actors panels.

The convention has a great guest list, with Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones), Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) and Amy Acker (Angel) among the dozens of great names set to appear. Bonnie Wright was also in the line-up, but unfortunately will no longer be attending.

Fan Expo Canada will be taking place from the 3rd-6th September, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. There is an on-site box office, and tickets can be purchased here until 16:00 EST today.

Thanks for the tip, Snitchseeker!

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8. New Realistic Hermione Figurine!

Your eyes are not fooling you.  This figurine (doll) by Star Ace for Sideshow Collectibles must have taken some polyjuice potion, because it looks just like 11-year-old Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The Hermione Granger figurine is the latest addition to a collection of dolls based on characters from the Harry Potter films.  The series also includes Ron, Voldemort, Sirius Black, Mad-Eye Moody, and Harry.

The dolls are scale models of the actors, complete with accurate costumes and accessories.  The Hermione Granger figurine comes with interchangeable hands for holding her wand, schoolbag, Magical Theory book, Hogwarts: A History book, learning broomstick, and writing quill.  It also has a bottle of ink and a doll stand.  The images below are based on the prototype.

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The Hermione doll is now available for preorder for around $210 USD from Sideshow Collectibles.  Thank you, Gizmodo Australia, for the tip!

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9. Harry Potter Lipsticks cast Makeup Magic

LA Splash, a cosmetic company in Los Angeles, has created a line of Harry Potter inspired liquid lipsticks. The vibrant colors of the lipsticks are named after many of our favorite characters in Harry Potter, as well as shades for Nagini and “Spellbound.”

The collection is composed of the most wild colors, as well as some classic deep reds and nudes. Since introducing the collection through their Instagram, LA Splash has been filling up their Gringotts vaults. Huffington Post reported:

The collection includes deep reds and nudes, but in true Potter fashion, also boasts some wild colors, like a sky blue and lavender (appropriately named, well, Lavender).

As with anything the HP series touches, the lipsticks have turned to gold, selling out on the brand’s website and prompting it to “frantically increase capacity.” 

And at $14 each, they won’t break the Gringotts Wizarding Bank, either. 

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From the LA Splash Instagram and website, here is a look at this magical makeup.

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These lipsticks are selling out rather quickly, but LA Splash is doing their best to meet the high demand. Bellatrix seems to be a particularly colorful shade, and is currently sold out. We have no doubt more Bellatrix will be available soon. If you wish to purchase these lipsticks you can find them on the LA Splash website, here.

To see more photos of real models wearing the lipsticks, please visit the LA Splash Instagram page.

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Model sporting the “Alastor” lipstick shade.

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10. See Tom Felton in New “Risen” Trailer!

A new trailer for the movie, Risen, starring Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been released. Tom Felton retweeted the news from MovieFone, with a picture of Tom Felton’s character, Lucius, grappling over a sword with Cliff Cutris’s character, Yeshua.

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Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) was quick to tweet about the new Risen trailer, saying that he was “Psyched for this, pal!” The two are currently tweeting back and forth about their weekend plans–throwing in Harry Potter references, of course, because the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is still very real.

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J.K. Rowling has just joined the conversation–expressing the same pleasure at seeing our Harry Potter boys banter between their respective houses.

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Risen is a biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the views of non-believers, attempting to find the body of Christ after it has risen, leading the worlds largest and most important man-hunt. IMDB shares Sony Pictures description of the movie:

“Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.”

 

 

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11. It’s Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday…why not give to the Hero Initiative today

Jack Kirby, the titanic force of US comics, would have been 98 years old today. While it makes you wonder what exciting things we'll be doing for his centenary, it's also a reminder that it's a good day to contribute to The Hero Initiative, as Kirby's granddaughter Jillian suggests in the above video. For several years, Jillian has promoted the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise funds for the charity which aids creators in need. I can attest to the many people that this organization has helped, and in a field where 401ks are non existent, it's sometimes the only safety net poplar have.

1 Comments on It’s Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday…why not give to the Hero Initiative today, last added: 8/28/2015
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12. Friday roundup

Round-UPIn a week when everybody is supposed to be away at the beach, the Horn Book has been cranking out stuff for you to read. Beach reading, it’s maybe not, but nevertheless useful and even entertaining, we hope.

Lolly’s Classroom is talking about STEM books and inexpensive sources for classroom libraries.

–over on Out of the Box, Siân has a moving essay about seeing yourself in the books you read and also explains the difference between a maze and a labyrinth. WHO KNEW? Katie defends Beatrix Potter’s virtue and Shoshana talks about boogers.

–the Magazine has begun posting articles from our September issue, including Jack Gantos’s Zena Sutherland Lecture, which was just as peripatetic as he says it was.

Talks With Roger has been busy, with Lisa Graff interviewed last week and Lois Ehlert coming up next Wednesday. I’m also interviewing Eric Carle for the next issue of Notes from the Horn Book. You can sign up for all that here.

–a subscription to Notes (which is free) also brings you our latest newsletter, the quarterly What Makes a Good… ?, which debuted this week with “What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction?” Have a look.

–And today I’m told is National Bow Tie Day, about which I have made my feelings known, in language not fit for a family website, over on Facebook.

–Finally, Katrina and Cathie Mercier and I are busy building this year’s Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, “Transformations,” which will feature a keynote address by the best friend the Horn Book ever had, Susan Cooper. Sign up now to get the early bird discount.

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13. YALSAblog Tweets of the Week - August 22, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between July 24 and July 30 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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14. LeakyCon.com and Social Media Updates!

In preparation for the exciting LeakyCon 2016, LeakyCon is updating their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. These sites are currently veiled under an air of mystery, as they are being rebuilt from the ground up. With constructing a new theme, LeakyCon promises new and exciting details about the relaunch of LeakyCon in Los Angeles in 2016.

Next Tuesday, September 1, is the “start of term” and the day LeakyCon will unveil it’s new sites. Are you ready to go to Hogwarts?

Please watch the LeakyCon website, Twitter, Facebook page, and Tumblr for more exciting news coming soon! Sign up for newsletter updates on LeakyCon.com.

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15. Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location

2016 Flame Con will be held for TWO days this time. And that's not all: they're moving to a bigger location too

1 Comments on Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location, last added: 8/26/2015
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16. Very excited to have had the opportunity to create concept art...





















Very excited to have had the opportunity to create concept art for animated biographies at the Smithsonian’s ‘American Enterprise’ exhibition - featuring leaders, thinkers & do-ers from the onset of industrialization through the Labor Rights Movement. Written/produced/animated by Benjamin Goldman Pictures. See the online version (soon) & get more info here





















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17. Happy Birthday, Rupert Grint!

Today is the birthday of one of our favorite gingers, Rupert Grint.  Born on August 24, 1988, Grint turns 27 today.

Earlier this year, Rupert Grint felt it was time to trade in the old ice cream truck for something faster, so here’s a video about the 1980s Ferrari Testarossa in tribute.

Please join us in wishing Rupert Grint a happy birthday– and enjoy the new ride!

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18. Uglies Audiobooks

The Uglies series has a new set of audiobooks out, with a new reader, Emily Tremaine. (Wolf of Wall Street)

Here’s a sample from Uglies:

And here’s a sample from Pretties. It’s the scene in which Tally and Zane first kiss!

Download your copies here:

Uglies
iTunes
Audible

Pretties
iTunes
Audible

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19. Evanna Lynch in new “Danny and the Human Zoo” Trailer!

Danny and the Human Zoo, a new BBC drama that stars Evanna Lynch, has released it’s first trailer. Evanna plays the love interest of the protagonist, an actor/comedian growing up in 1970’s Dudley, England. The Independent reports:

Written by Lenny Henry, it’s a fictionalized account of the actor and comedian’s life growing up in Dudley in England in the 1970s.

Newcomer Kascion Franklin plays Danny while Lenny Henry plays his dad Samson, and Lynch is his love interest in the drama.

The official synopsis reads, “Danny’s world is a series of complex minefields which he has to negotiate: his home life – which his ebullient mother rules with an iron fist in an iron glove; his love life – where the Irish girl he’s in lust with won’t give him the time of day until he wins his first competition; and finally the ups and downs of his emerging career.”

 

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20. “Victor Frankenstein” Trailer Released

Twentieth Century Fox has released the trailer of James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in Victor Frankenstein.  With a personal introduction by McAvoy and Radcliffe, the YouTube trailer shows high drama and intense special effects.  Igor (Radcliffe) seems to have sincere doubts about the duo’s monstrous experimentation, but Frankenstein (McAvoy) has no qualms.  When the monster finally lives, it is frightening.

Victor Frankenstein is set for a November 25 release.  Read more at Fox Movies, here.

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21. Wind’s in the East

My blog has a new home!

It’s here at story-monster.com.  I liked my blogspot–a lot–and had it for nearly 9 years!  But blogger is getting a little old, so I dusted up and moved here.  Fancy, eh?  If you go to the original site, it will forward you here quick fast like a bunny.

These blog posts will also crosspost to tumblr!  So if you’re reading this from tumblr–glad to have you on board!Little Mary_01

Even better news is that I’ll be posting more often!  So stay tuned!

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22. Pottermore Announces Final House Cup

Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s official website for all things Harry Potter books, made a startling announcement on Facebook.  The final House Cup for Pottermore members will be awarded on September 9.

This is the latest in a series of changes to the Pottermore website that began in April 2015, with the closure of Pottermore Insider and the end of chat, status updates, and drawings. While some of these changes were made for child safety reasons, the end of the House Cup is completely unexpected.

On September 9, we’ll be awarding the House Cup, so keep duelling and brewing and help lead your house to glory. Some…

Posted by Pottermore on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Many fans of Pottermore are understandably upset and venting their frustration in Facebook comments.  They are concerned that the end of the House Cup will mean the end of the friendly competition and house rivalry in Pottermore.  They don’t understand why Pottermore is encouraging anyone to compete for the final House Cup, when it isn’t going to continue.  Others think Pottermore has done nothing but improve, and there is something good coming soon. (Is there finally going to be a Pottermore app?)

So, we will keep watching the Pottermore Facebook page, and we will wait for September 9.

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23. Week in Review, August 16th-21st

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

From the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Kwame Alexander’s excellent — and timely — CSK Author Honor Award acceptance speech, “A Thousand Winters”

2014-2015 Yearbook Superlatives: Cutest Couple, Class Clown…Biggest Potty Mouth?…and more accolades for some of our favorite characters

Ashley Bryan Talks with Roger

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger: Oh look, another newsletter

Out of the Box: “What do you think of my labyrinth?” part 2

Lolly’s Classroom: Trimming down a classroom library

Events calendar

Summer Reading 2015

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

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24. Vacation Packages Now on Sale for Universal Orlando Resort’s A Celebration of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando Resort’s beloved fan event, A Celebration of Harry Potter, will return from January 29th-31st 2016. Vacation packages are now on sale at the theme park’s official website, and this is the site’s official description of the event:

Be a part of A Celebration of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando® Resort. Take part in all-new experiences as well as returning fan favorites such as film talent Q&A sessions, special panels and demonstrations, A Celebration of Harry Potter™ Expo, and more.

Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®and Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios®. Dine at the Leaky Cauldron™ and the Three Broomsticks™, see a wand choose a wizard at Ollivanders™, then ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ and other thrilling attractions. With your park-to-park admission, you can even ride between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ on the Hogwarts™ Express°.

A Celebration of Harry Potter™ is an unforgettable event where the magic of Harry Potter™ continues, and it’s only at Universal Orlando Resort.

The premium  vacation packages sold out quickly, but not to fear: you can still experience the magic as several types of vacation packages are still available. They went on sale August 19th, though, and it is recommended that you buy soon if you wish to attend. Click here to view the packages on offer.

The film talent for the 2016 event has not yet been announced, but here are some of the stars who have attended the event in past years: Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins), and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley). (via Orlando Informer, a great tool for planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort. I’ve used it myself.)

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to attend, there’s a short video about A Celebration of Harry Potter 2015 on the aforementioned event page.

 

 

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25. Happy Birthday Percy Weasley!

Today marks the 39th birthday of previous Gryffindor Head Boy, Percy Weasley.

After the Second Wizarding War, Percy became Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, married a woman named Audrey and had two daughters – Molly and Lucy.

Percy was spotted at the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup by Rita Skeeter, who noticed (via a Daily Prophet article on Pottermore) that he had “aged considerably since the Battle of Hogwarts” and was “greying and balding“.

Please join us in wishing Percy a very happy birthday!

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