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Monday night, two beautiful tributes were payed to those we lost in the tragedy that happened at a gay nightclub early sunday morning. One, on Shaftsberry Avenue in London, the other, thousands of miles away, at a theme park in Orlando.
Jo tweeted this photo of the screens outside the Cursed Child theater on Shaftsbury Avenue in London. I am thankful that this fandom is led by such a wonderful women like Jo. The powerful image of the gay flag being flown outside of the theater will surely inspire many to stand up and fight for what we have lost.
That same night, fans gathered and raised their wands outside the Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida, to pay tribute to our fellow wizard, Luis Vielma, who we lost in the shooting (see previous article here). A video was posted soon after the tribute took place, showing people mourning together, hugging each other, and helping each other through this terrible time. When there is no one else to turn to, be thankful we will always have our fellow Harry Potter fans to lean on.
See more about the London tribute here, and more about the Orlando tribute here.
Blog: The Leaky Cauldron
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Natalia Tena (who played the ever-fabulous Hufflepuff and Auror, Tonks, in the Harry Potter films) stars in an animated short film called Fishwitch, previously titled Once Upon an Iceberg. As Leaky reported previously (read here), the short description of the animated short calls the film “an ugly fairy tale with a lot of heart.” The animated short is currently in production, running at about 8 minutes total.
The plot outline reads:
“When Tootega the Sea Witch catches Derek the Singing Merman in her net, she assumes she can use her powers to get rid of him, just like everyone else. Except Derek is not like everyone else, and Tootega soon finds her heart melting under Derek’s influence – quite literally.”
Natalia Tena will be playing the protagonist, Tootega the Sea Witch. Sam Apley, Tena’s partner from her musical band, Molotov Jukebox, will be taking the role of Derek the Singing Merman.
The short film will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, in competition with other short films that will be shown. There are tickets still available to see Natalia Tena as Tootega, more information can be found on the film’s Facebook page, here. The new trailer for the short film can be seen below!
FISHWITCH Trailer from adrienne dowling on Vimeo.
As Leaky stated on all of its social media, we will be honoring J.K. Rowling and the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s wishes to “Keep the Secrets.” We will not be reporting on any content of Cursed Child, but we will share any small details that Pottermore–J.K. Rowling’s website–deems acceptable to share. No spoilers.
Just as the curtains were rising for the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child earlier this week, Pottermore shared a photo of Rose Weasley standing in the middle of the Great Hall, during what appeared to be a sorting ceremony. Read more of Leaky’s report on that here.
In that photo, the world was presented with a new set of House banners! Pottermore tweeted today, revealing a clearer picture of these banners as concept art.
Every house banner incorporates its mascot into the initial of its house, rather than using what became known as “Harry Potter font.” As expressed before, multiple times, the play is a continuation of the books, not the movies (movie canon differs from book canon). Because of this, it is not surprising the banners differ from the movies, but could potentially fulfill the description of house banners in the books.
However, the banners do not seem to support official house colors; unless, differing from both book and movie canon, the house colors are now different. Because book canon and movie canon differ, many fans know that Ravenclaw’s house colors are different in the films than in the books. Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze by book canon, and blue and silver by movie canon. In the movies, the shades of the other house colors don’t stay true to for either. If these new banners are representing house colors, Gryffindor and Slytherin’s colors are the only set of colors that have remained mostly true to both book and movie canon.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Ever read a book where the main character lives with mean relatives because something happened to his or her parents? That’s how Harry Potter’s life has been for all of his eleven years. He must endure life with his aunt’s family, the Dursleys, who make him sleep in the cupboard under the stairs. He only has extremely faint memories of his parents, whom he was told died in a car crash.
One day, he gets a letter addressed to his cupboard. Before he can read it, his uncle tears it up. But the letters keep coming, and Harry’s aunt and uncle become terrified. They run from the letters to a small hut on a small rocky island.
Harry realizes that his eleventh birthday is coming up tomorrow. He counts down the minutes and seconds as he tries to fall asleep.
At midnight exactly, Harry and the Dursleys receive a surprise — a surprise that whisks Harry away to a world of magic. He learns about his parents and so much more.
But there’s a villain on the loose — the man who murdered Harry’s parents. The clock is ticking, and few know his plans.
My mom had trouble getting into the first book, and it took her a few tries. She’s very glad she stuck with it. If you don’t like it at first, just push through the first few chapters. The first time I read this book, I was in first grade. I have read it many times since, and have read all of the books in the series at least once. The last four are a little darker, but I was fine with them.
The book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is amazingly well written, and expresses old concepts in new ways. It brings together bravery, friendship, and knowing whom to trust. This book would be great for anyone who wants to escape into another world.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
Blog: The Leaky Cauldron
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GeekyCon 2016 has just announced that it is creating a large-scale, old-school, Harry Potter release party to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The book comes out on July 31, 2016, the last day of the convention, which means that it will be the site of one of the biggest midnight parties in the country.
And this party is just one of all the cool and amazing events and activities scheduled for the weekend long festivity that is GeekyCon. As GeekyCon was once a Harry Potter-only convention and is planned by the same crew that brought us LeakyCon, it is backed by and attended by some of the biggest Harry Potter fans on the planet. As many of the people who run GeekyCon are still the biggest Potterheads, and have attended more than their fair share of Harry Potter book parties from 2004-2007, they decided to recreate the Harry Potter Book Midnight Release Party experience!
The party will be hosted by classic Potter podcast MuggleCast and PotterCast, and many others with experience and knowledge of Pottermania. The fun will start at 7 PM with the convention’s traditional Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball. Starting at 10:00 PM, festivities will convert themselves into a huge Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight book release . In tried and true Harry Potter Book Midnight Release party fashion, there will be a set of games, activities, and events to take part of–including, but not limited to:
- Costume Contests
- Trivia and other games
- Wizard Chess
- Wizard Rock performances
- Face painting and other crafts
- Video retrospectives
- Appearances from special guests
- Put your name in the Goblet of Fire! (Submit your predictions, and we’ll go through them together at Sunday’s programming!)
- Share in the Pensieve: Submit memories about Harry Potter and your experiences; we’ll be sharing them throughout the night.
- And a lot more!
At midnight, everyone will begin to receive their book copy of the Cursed Child script! You must reserve a copy, and purchase will happen on site. Full, detailed instructions will shortly follow this announcement.
Fans in the Florida area, and maybe those who want to apparate further, can choose to come to just the party (which includes the ball) for $20, to enjoy the night’s festivities. If you are a full registered GeekyCon attendee, you can join us for the whole weekend — during which there will be a lot of Harry Potter related festivities and programming. Sunday we’ll be discussing Cursed Child almost nonstop!
Are you pumped up yet? We are so excited!
For more information about GeekyCon, visit the GeekyCon website. For tickets to this absolutely fantastic geeky convention, please visit this link.
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
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A lot to say and so little time to say it. Let’s get started!
Today, if you are at all feeling blue, I suggest you read The Toast piece Jaya Catches Up: A Little Princess which is a killer breakdown of what is inarguably a problematic book. The Marie Antoinette portions are particularly choice.
Next, the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners were announced. What does that mean for you? It means you should be boning up on your international children’s book knowledge, of course. Commit the names “Rotraut Susanne Berner of Germany” (who won for Illustration) and Cao Wenxuan of China (who won for Writing)” to memory. For more info on the books and the winners, go here.
If you were speaking to the man on the street (or woman, or child, or what have you) and they said, “Boy, those children’s books took the hardest left turn a series ever took”, what series would you assume the person was speaking about? Here is your answer and it’s a heckuva amusing post to boot.
Seven Impossible Things features Gareth Hinds. And all is right with the universe.
Oh. In a weird way this makes sense. They’re turning The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll, the biography of Dare Wright, creator of the Lonely Doll book series, in to a film with Naomi Watts and Jessica Lange. You know what that means, don’t you? Lonely Doll fever is poised to sweep the nation. Be wary. Be warned. And buy stock in frilly underwear.
Remember when J.K Rowling said she had this “political fairytale” that was going to be her next non-Harry Potter children’s book? Looks like it’s kaputski. Which is to say, about 30 years after Ms. Rowling’s death someone will pull it out of that drawer and publish it anyway. So it goes.
This next one’s roundabout three years old but I only just found it. The mom from the Cat in the Hat finally speaks. Quite frankly, I always found that polka-dotted dress of hers rather fetching (to say nothing of her keen shoes) but that may just be me.
If you had the great good fortune to see the NYPL exhibit The ABC of It then you would have noticed one section was dedicated to a fascinating array of Soviet children’s art. I remember helping curator Leonard Marcus locate these books (of which NYPL owns a goodly number) and he picked and chose the best amongst them. But where did they originate? Having recently finished M.T. Anderson’s Symphony for the City of the Dead, I took the little bit of context I’d acquired and applied it to this fabulous piece on tygertale called Revolutionary Russian Children’s Books. Now I’m just beginning to understand. Thanks to Phil Nel (I’m pretty sure) for the link.
Growing up my mom had a machine in the attic that could type out braille. I don’t know why we owned it but I liked it a lot. Braille children’s books available in a mass market context have always been difficult to obtain, though. With this in mind, I’m very pleased to see DK is now releasing a braille board book series. Wow. Way to go, DK!
All right. My four-year-old is upstairs asleep and in her room are all my Harry Potter books. Otherwise I would check this myself. You see, they just released the first look of the new Jim Kay illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And I am staring and staring at this cover and I need your help. Look at the cover right here:
Am I crazy or is that car chock full of Weaselys? And doesn’t Harry drive to Hogwarts with just Ron? At least that’s what the old British cover told me:
So . . . huh? [Note: Interestingly the Buzzfeed article has plenty of comments but no one is pointing this out so I may just be completely and utterly wrong about everything]
In other news, the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy longlist was just released. Frances Hardinge made the cut!!! Wooty woot woot woot!!
Seriously Wicked, Tina Connolly (Tor Teen)
Court of Fives, Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK 5/14; Amulet)
Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace (Big Mouth House)
Zeroboxer, Fonda Lee (Flux)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)
Oh, I absolutely love this. Children’s art. Not art for children, mind you, but art by children and its ramifications when studying history. Again, I think I have Phil Nel to thank for this one. He finds all the good stuff.
The Make Way for Ducklings statues are nothing new (nor are they the only ducklings as my old post on all the public children’s literature statues in America attests). Nor is it new to put hats on them. That said, this recent yarnbombing goes above and beyond the call of duty. That’s some seriously good knitting!
Read more about them here.
Blog: The Children's Book Review
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, Ages 9-12
, Best Kids Stories
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This month’s best selling kids series from The Children’s Book Review’s affiliate store Captain No Beard, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman, is an imaginative picture book series loved by all.
Blog: Barking Planet
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, A Christmas Tale; Planet of the Dogs
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By: Children's Books, dogs, and related matters,
“Harry Potter isn’t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.”
― John Green
The illustration of Hogwarts is by Jim Kay
Opening the Doors to Wonder
Wonder comes in many forms.
Harry Potter swept the reading world and opened the doors to a greater audience. The success of the Harry Potter series renewed broad-based respect for fairy tales.
From the first book and beyond, J.K. Rowling created an alternate world that readers could relate to. People young and old are drawn in to these robust stories and their engaging, fully developed characters. As with the classic stories from the past, the characters, imaginative twists and turns of the stories, and the fully realized details, combined to enable readers to believe in the magic of an alternate reality. The seven Harry Potter books created an enormous worldwide audience. And provided the substance for wonderful films.
Adults have also become fans of the books and movies, creating a record breaking "crossover" market. And the phenomenon continues to grow...
Click the photo for spring wonder.
Contact With The Lives Of Others
"Rowling's books, by arousing curiousity and establishing contact with the lives of others, even if they exist solely within the confines of a literary work, enable children to develop capacities that readily translate into real-life experience. JkRowling never shies away from the great existential mysteries: death and loss, cruelty and compassion, desire and depression. Harry is anything but sheltered from the evils of Voldermort...he is destined for greatness even though he also posseses the weaknesses, failings, and vulnerabilities of all humans."
Maria Tatar -- Enchanted Hunters -- The Power of Stories in Childhood
Harry Began On A Train
JK Rowling: I was going on a train from Manchester to London and I was looking out of the window at some cows, I believe and I just thought: "Boy doesn't know he's a wizard - goes off to wizard school." I have no idea where it came from. I think the idea was floating along the train and looking for someone and my mind was vacant enough so it decided to zoom in there.
Stephen Fry: And you played with the idea in your head…
JK Rowling: Exactly! From that moment I thought: "Well why doesn't he realise he's a wizard?" It was as though the story was just there for me to discover and I thought: "Well his parents are dead and he needs to find out they're wizards" and on we went from there.
From a Stephen Fry Interview with JK Rowling
The illustration, from the Philosophers Stone, is by Jim Kay.
Hermione...an empowered young woman
"Throughout the Harry Potter Tales, Hermione emerges as the beneficiary of three centuries of girls' book identity. At times the plucky youth, at times the serious student, at times the foolish lover, at times the tomboy, at times the blossoming maiden -- taken together, all these aspects of her personality make her the heir to everyone from Jenny Peace in Sarah Fielding's The Governess, to Jo in Alcott's Little Women, to Alice in Carroll's Wonderland, to all the girl guides, or "new Women" or adventuresome or studious females who fill the range of popular writing well into the twentieth century."
From Seth Lerer writing about Theaters of Girlhood, Domesticity, Desire, and Performance in Female Fiction in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter
“I wrote a strong female character with brains”
- J.K. Rowling commenting on Hermione in a video conversation with Daniel Radcliff
Finding the Right Wand -- an adventure in an alternate reality
First, you go to Diagon Alley where Ollivanders is located..."Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C...
A single wand lays on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window."
You will be helped by Mr. Ollivander, a very old man, who remembers every wand he has sold -- and to whom he sold it.
You will be measured in many ways by a tape measure that works on its on while Mr Ollvander explains that, "Every Ollvander wand has a core of powerful magical substance...We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tale feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same..."
You may have to try many wands before you have the right one.
It seems you don't choose the wand, the wand chooses you...
The fully imagined detail in the Harry Potter books plays a major role in their appeal. The fascinating story of Harry finding the right magic wand takes place in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when Hagrid takes Harry shopping on Diagon Alley, and introduces him to the the world of wizards.
The illustration of Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Alley is by Jim Kay
An Alternate Universe
..."J. K. Rowling has created a world as fully detailed as L. Frank Baum’s Oz or J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, a world so minutely imagined in terms of its history and rituals and rules that it qualifies as an alternate universe, which may be one reason the “Potter” books have spawned such a passionate following and such fervent exegesis...."
From the book review by Michiko Kakatani of Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows in the New York Times
Stories That Opened My Mind
"There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons for one to fall in love with the world and characters J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series, the aforementioned being among them. For me, these are the stories that opened my mind to the wonderful world of books, novels and novellas, making them very near and dear to my heart..."
From the BookNerd on her Wonderful World of Writing blog
An Older Harry Potter
...Harry is called back into active duty when evil powers return in force... a new book and a play (opening in London) based on the book - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child -- are on their way, arriving in late July. They are based on a story by J.K. Rowling. Here are two links for more information: Pottermore and NPR
Wizardry Before Harry
The Wizard World in 1920's USA is the setting for a new movie,starring Eddie Redmayne...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in the UK in November 2016... The book about Fantastic Beasts was used as part of the curriculum for young wizards in the Hogwarts classroom. There will be two sequels...all written by J.K. Rowling.
Support For Children
J.K. Rowling spends time and money on helping people...In 2004 she founded Lumos...'No child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children."
Among the many other charities she supports are:Book Aid International, Catie Hoch Foundation, Children with AIDS, Dyslexia Action, Gingerbread...
Who Is J.K. Rowling ?
For the real J.K. Rowling, or as close as we will probably get, I suggest the Oprah Interview... Engaging, interesting, and with some excellent documentary scenes woven in...Also, her candid, heartfelt, Harvard speech.
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The N.R.A. Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales, With Guns
Liam Stack wrote this disturbing article. Here are excerpts...
"The world of make-believe can be a scary place, but never fear: Thanks to a series of reimagined fairy tales published online by the National Rifle Association, classic characters like Hansel and Gretel are now packing heat.
The group has published two of the updated tales on its N.R.A. Family website in recent months, entitled “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)” and “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns).” The stories have outraged advocates of gun control, but their author, Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger, has called them lessons in gun safety...
In the N.R.A. version, Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the forest to visit her grandmother, just like in the original. But the Big Bad Wolf did not scare her this time, because she “felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder.”
When the wolf approached her, “she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and at the ready.” He fled in fear...
Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, calling the stories “a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign.” He said in a statement that the stories were in poor taste in part because nearly 50 children and teenagers are shot each day in the United States, and suicide by gun is a leading cause of death among children over the age of 9..."
Here is a link to read all of this disturbing article:FairyTaleGuns
The photo of a boy with a Barrett rifle at a meeting of the National Rifle Association in St. Louis in 2012. is by Daniel Acker for The New York Times
Save The Children
Save the Children works in 120 countries, including the United States, and has helped more than 166 million children — including more than 55 million children directly. Here are excerpts from the story of one child...
Omar said, 'We have to be here very early in the morning because the tankers arrive early, so I get here at six in the morning and leave late at night so I that I have time to collect as much fuel as possible'..."
Omar was a good student and loved school; he dreamed of becoming an architect. His life is now about survival.
Here is a link to read all of Omar's painful story: Omar
Top photo, courtesy IRF; bottom photo, courtesy Save The Children.
Importance of Children's Books for Most Adults
"But children's books are extremely important. Most adults don't read many books and if they do it will probably be some form of popular fiction. So a children's classic may be the last, or in some cases, the only, piece of serious literature they have read. As such these books are very influential and so I think it is our responsibility to consider them as seriously and carefully as any other great literature."
From a Guardian article by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alison Lurie , professor emeritus of literature and writing at Cornell University, and author and editor of a multitude of children's books.
A Classic Video....Harvey the Dog
The Planet Of The Dogs....An Alternate Reality
Here are excerpts from Chapter One of the book...the story of how dogs came down to Planet Earth to help people...
"Far out in the sky, on the other side of the sun, is the Planet of the Dogs. Dogs have always lived there in peace and happiness.
There are country dogs and city dogs. They live in places like Shepherd Hills, Poodletown, Retriever Meadows, Muttville, Hound Dog Hamlet, Biscuit Town, and Shaggy Corners...
Dogs talk to each other in many ways. They woof, bark, and howl. They use body movement, face licking, smiling, and tail wagging. Dogs can hear what other dogs are thinking. And they always tell the truth...Dogs are very good at sleeping, taking naps, and waiting for someone they love...
Dogs have no worries on their planet because there are no dangers there. There are no bad dogs, no hungry animals, and no mean people. There is plenty to eat, lots of time to play, and all kinds of schools for the puppies to learn interesting things about their planet and each other. It’s a wonderful place to live.
Here is a link to read Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series.
This is the world of Yelodoggie, created by author and dog advocate, C.A. Wulff.
All dogs, deep in their heart of hearts, are yellow. Because yellow is the color of light and joy and happiness, and these attributes are the true essence of dogs. Here is a link to Wulff's Etsy shop where you can see more of these delightful original watercolor paintings and prints celebrating dogs. They make a wonderful gift...
Alternate Realities from Finland
Leena Krohn, a highly regarded writer in Europe, wrote one of my favorite books, Tainaron. I was gratified to see that Joshua Rothman, in the New Yorker, wrote that her newly published book of collected fiction was among " The Books We Loved in 2015". Here is an excerpt:
"I also found myself hypnotized by Leena Krohn, a Finnish writer whose collected stories and novels, rendered into English by many different translators, have just been published as a single volume, “Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction.” Broadly speaking, Krohn is a speculative writer; one of the novels in the collection, for example, consists of thirty letters written from an insect city. (“It is summer and one can look at the flowers face to face.”) Krohn writes like a fantastical Lydia Davis, in short chapters the length of prose poems. Her characters often have a noirish toughness; one, explaining her approach to philosophy, says that when she asks an existential question, “life answers. It is generally a long and thorough answer...”
Here is the link to read all of Joshua Rothman's New Yorker review.
Photo by Mikael Böök.
Under The Sun...two realities
A compelling 5 minute report on DW tv news about a little girl in North Korea brought me a reminder of the power of film. Vitaly Mansky, the producer/director, has made a very poignant film about the life of Zin Mi (the little girl) in both the real world and the manufactured world of North Korea.
Here are excerpts from an informative article by Carmen Gray in the Guardian...
"A new film on life in North Korea has caused a diplomatic row after the director used officially sanctioned shoots to demonstrate how the state manipulates its people.
Authorities are said to have tried to prevent screenings of Under the Sun, a film that follows a North Korean girl as she prepares to celebrate the Day of the Shining Star, the birthday of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il...The film reveals how government representatives seek to construct an image of an “ideal” family, capturing the hectoring of officials as they tell the Koreans what to say, how to sit and when to smile.
“I wanted to make a film about the real Korea, but there’s no real life in the way that we consider,” said Mansky, who spent a year in the country filming. “There is just the creation of an image of the myth of a real life. So we made a film about fake reality.”
Here is the link to the trailer for Under The Sun
"Credit the Disney folks with making what could have been a lecture on stereotypes into one of the more amusing animated kidflicks of recent vintage. When you consider that this is the same zip-ah-dee-doo-dah studio that once made Song of the South ... well, let's just say Zootopia suggests we've all come a long way"...Bob Mondello, NPR
Here is a link to the trailer: Zootopia
The Witch, a low budget (one million dollars), independent production, continues to find an ever-growing audience (over 30 million dollars)...
"The Witch is a scary movie and a serious one, because it lure us into the minds and the earthly domains, of those who are themselves scared, night and day, that they have forfeited the mercies of God. It takes an original movie to remind us of original sin..." Anthony Lane in his New Yorker review.
Stacy Schiffin wrote an excellent article, relevant to this movie, on The Witches of Salem, also in the New Yorker. Here is an excerpt..."In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September; a stark, stunned silence followed. Although we will never know the exact number of those formally charged..."
“Both Rowling and Meyer (Twilight series), they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”- Stephen King
Circling the Waggins by C.A. Wulff
What happens when a group of the most irascible, insane, and ridiculously un-adoptable pets known to man end up being permanent residents in an animal rescuer's home? Challenges abound and chaos reigns!
Here are excerpts from author Tim McHugh’s review…
"Circling the Waggins is a heart-felt and moving story of two women's quest to heal and nurture a wide variety of animals. C.A. Wulff poignantly captures the complex personalities of the mice, dogs, and cats that inhabit her wilderness home as well as the humorous chaos that ensues as they all try to coexist. It is by turns a roller-coaster ride of animal rescue, as well as a keen reflection on the frailty of all life and the healing power of love and letting go."
Tim McHugh, is author of Ivan! A Pound Dog's Views on Life, Love, & Leashes
Dogs Open the Doors to Healing at Good Dog
Good Dog provides therapy dog services to people in health care, social service, educational and community facilities, and at disaster sites around the country. Its highly-trained and fully-certified volunteer teams each consist of a human handler and therapy dog. Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response. For more on the work of these divisions, click here.
As the largest certifying animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast of the United States, Good Dog currently operates in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and at disaster sites around the country. Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response."
Here is a link to the Good Dog Foundation Video
Turning Your Pet Into a Therapy Dog
by Jane E. Brody, Personal Health writer for the New York Times
Here is the link to read all of this fascinating and informative article by Jane Brody: Personal Health
The illustration is by Paul Rogers
We have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at email@example.com and we will send you the books
Our books are available through independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.
The Planet Of The Dogs series is also available in digital format at
Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Powell's, Kobo, Inktera, Scribd, and Tolino.
Librarians, teachers and bookstores ..You can order the Planet Of The Dogs series, through Ingram with a full professional discount.
The illustration from Planet Of The Dogs is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty
Meeting A Dog
If you see an injured dog or a dog in trouble , from puppy mills to poison, Sunbear Squad can help you. Sunbear Squad is a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about meeting a new dog(s)...
"In the western world, we are taught at an early age to greet new people by approaching them with upright posture, looking directly into their eyes and offering a hand to shake or squeeze. It becomes second nature to us, so as a result, many of us animal lovers greet every living thing–except bugs–using those same “good manners...
We must UNLEARN that set of social rules to avoid frightening dogs, cats, and other animals, who will perceive full-front posture, staring, and outstretched arm as rude and threatening (unless they were very well-socialized with humans during the crucial developmental period).
In other words, polite human greetings are bad manners for greeting dogs and cats! In fact the two greeting languages are almost all completely opposite...Here is a link to read all of this article: Meeting A Dog.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
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, A Series of Unfortunate Events
, Bank Street College of Education
, Beatrix Potter
, Carnegie Medal
, censorship issues
, Dana Sheridan
, Eric Carle Honors
, Evan Turk
, Harry Potter
, Kate Greenaway Medal
, New Podcast Alert
, Sharyn November
, Add a tag
- We’re diving right in today. Check out this killer poster:
Now if you’re one of the lucky ducks living in NYC, or will be there on the date of 4/16, you now have your marching orders. This is an event held at Bank Street College of Education and in wracking my brains I can’t think of anything more timely. You can see the full listing of the events here. Wish I were there. Go in my stead, won’t you?
- New Podcast Alert: This one sports a catchy moniker that will strike some of you as familiar. Kidlit Drink Night (which would also make a good name for a band, a blog, or a dog) is the official podcast of one Amy Kurtz Skelding. There’s a bit of YA cluttering up the works, but enough children’s stuff is present to make it worth your pretty while. Do be so good as to check it out.
- Hey! Hey hey! The Eric Carle Honorees were named, did you see? And did you notice that amongst them Lee & Low Books was named an Angel? Such fantastic news. A strong year of nominees.
- So Phil Nel shared something recently that I’d like you to note. There is apparently a Tumblr out there called Setup Wizard which consists of the, “Daily Accounts of a Muggle I.T. Guy working at Hogwarts.” Phil suggests reading them in order. I concur. Thanks to Phil for the link.
- I have lots of favorite blogs, but Pop Goes the Page clearly belongs in the upper echelon. Two posts by Dana Sheridan (the Education & Outreach Coordinator of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University) caught my eye recently. Dana, as you will recall, is responsible for my little toilet paper tube profile picture on Twitter. Well now she’s used her knowledge of all things cardboard to create the world’s most adorable subway system complete with Broadway posters. In a different post Dana, in partnership with The Met Museum’s Nolen Library (the one for the kids), shows a killer display on taking care of your books. It doesn’t necessarily sound interesting, until you see how they magnified a book eating buggy.
- So the other day I’m talking up Evan Turk and his new book The Storyteller, as per usual, and I mention to a librarian that the guy not too long ago did some killer sketches of Chicago blues musicians. Naturally she wanted to see what I was talking about. After all, I practically live in Chicago these days, so if there’s a talented illustrator going about making Chi-town art, it’s well worth promoting. I took her to Evan’s blog and there, beautiful as all get out, is the art. Then I thought I might share it with you as well. This is just a tiny smidgen of what he has up so go to his blog to see more. The sheer talent of it all floors me.
- Do you know who is awesome? Sharyn November, former Viking editor, is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that she has her own brand of tea. You can buy this tea, if you like. I’ll put its description right here:
“sdn tea was created specifically for the punk goddess of children’s publishing, Sharyn November. This deity, who is all sharp angles, quick wit, and extraordinary fashion, is a fiery force of nature–literally and figuratively. She already has her own time zone, so it’s high time she has her own tea. This blend is strong and highly caffeinated. Almost impossibly fruity on the nose, it tastes of warm spice and goes extremely well with a piece of chocolate and a cigarette.”
- Do school librarians yield higher test scores? You may have always suspected that was the case but a recent study out of South Carolina now has some facts so that you can put your money where your mouth is. Are you a school librarian in need of justifying your existence to your employer? You can’t afford not to read this SLJ piece.
- I dunno. I get Neil Patrick Harris playing Count Olaf in the new Netflix series of A Series of Unfortunate Events. That makes sense to me. It’s Dr. Horrible without the songs. Sure. But Patrick Warburton as Snicket? Last time we had Jude Law, and I’m pretty sure that was the right move to make. Puddy as Lemony Snicket seems to lack the right panache.
- In America we have our Newbery and Caldecott Medals. In England it’s all about the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. And unlike the States, they create shortlists. Those shortlists have just been released for 2016 and (also unlike the States) they nominate books outside their nation. So Canadians like Jon Klassen and Sydney Smith have a fighting chance. I agree with Travis Jonker, though. The alternate title for Sidewalk Flowers was a surprise.
- On the old To Do list: Meet Jan Susina, the Illinois State English Professor who also happens to be an expert on children’s literature. In a recent interview he produced this marvelous mention of Beatrix Potter: “Potter once said, ‘Although nature is not consciously wicked, it is always ruthless.’ Peter Rabbit is a survival story, not a cute bunny story.” How perfectly that quote could have worked in Wild Things. Ah well. The entire interview is well worth your time, particularly his answer to the question, “What is the greatest secret in children’s literature?” The answer will surprise you. Thanks to Phil Nel for the link.
- This Saturday I’ve a Children’s Literary Salon at 2:00. Yet a couple months ago I hosted Jeff Garrett who spoke about his work with the Reforma Children in Crisis Project. You can imagine how pleased I was to hear that ALSC will be donating $5,000 to the project as well. Fantastic news.
I was dumpster diving in the donation bin this week when an old book caught my eye. Hate to say it, but this thing seriously disturbs me. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore (phew!).
Run, girl, run!! Or rather . . . skate, girl, skate!
STACKS Book Club: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Welcome back to the magical STACKS Book Club! What an amazing ending to J. K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! This book is filled with so many villains, so many friends, and so much magic, I hardly know where to begin. We’re always welcoming new members, so whether you joined Meeting 1 or this is your first time, please join the conversation!
- What type of mischief would you get into if you had an invisibility cloak?
- Would you be afraid of entering the forbidden forest?
- Hagrid’s giant, three-headed dog is named Fluffy. If you had a three-headed dog, what would you name it?
- What would your reaction be if you discovered your friend was raising a baby dragon?
- What obstacle would you be best at completing: catching a winged key, winning a game of chess, or solving a riddle and drinking the correct potion?
- What would you be thinking if you were face to face with Voldemort?
Post your answers in the Comments below and ask your own questions to the STACKS Book Club! To meet and chat with other Harry Potter fans, join the Harry Potter Message Boards.
–Brian, STACKS Staffer
As fans of Harry Potter know, there are two distinct responses to her "History of Magic in North America" stories. The first story was released on Monday, March 8, 2016. Fans were delighted to have more of her writing to read. Native people--those who are fans of her books, and those of us who study or write about representations of Native peoples in popular culture and children's literature--had a different response.
I'd been deeply immersed in a study of a handful of best selling children's books. This is in the popular Geronimo Stilton's Wild West:
I'd just read Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero
where a main character's dad is Cherokee, making her half Cherokee. She's taunted by other characters who ask her if her dad is an alcoholic and if she'll do a rain dance. Riordan had those words come from what we might characterize as "mean girls." I assume he did that to, in that way, show them to be inappropriate things to say, but far too many people won't pick up on that nuance. I worry that, without a direct push-back on those taunts, people will view them as an affirmation of existing stereotypical ideas, and use those same taunts themselves.
When I read Rowling's story, I was furious. I used the f-bomb in a tweet at her. The emotion it expressed was real. Use of the word wasn't necessary. As I read tweets by Native people, I saw a range of emotion. Anger. And hurt, too. Native people who are my daughter's age grew up reading Harry Potter. This particular group are adults now, in their 20s. She--and they--were huge fans of every book in the series.
But this short story? Their reaction to it was different. They read the first line, with its monolithic "The Native Americans" was bad, but each paragraph of that short story was laden with troubling misrepresentations of Native peoples.
Those who are following the news on this story know that major media is reporting on it, excerpting a few words from a stream of tweets, or, from a blog post. Below are links to items by Native writers. Please read and share them. I'll be adding others as I find them. If you see others, please let me know in a comment.
March 7, 2016: "Magic in North America": The Harry Potter franchise veers too close to home
by Adrienne Keene
March 8, 2016: Yo, @jkrowling, my ancestors...
(series of tweets) by Brian Young
March 9, 2016: When we say...
(series by tweets) by Johnnie Jae
March 9, 2016: Magic & Marginalization: Et tu, JK?
by Tate Walker
March 9, 2016: Why it's more than fiction
by Mari Kurisato
Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint at Scholastic, will publish a hardcover book based on the special rehearsal edition script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II. The release has been scheduled for 12:01 a.m. on July 31; fans will recognize that this significant date is both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday. Pottermore will publish the eBook edition.
Here’s more from the press release: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.”
Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, and Rowling worked on the story for this theatrical production together. Back in October 2015, Rowling announced on Pottermore that this project will serve as the eighth story of her beloved book series. The opening date for the West End show has been set for July 30, 2016.
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS I & II TO BE PUBLISHED IN PRINT BY SCHOLASTIC IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA AT 12:01 A.M. ON JULY 31, 2016
Scholastic will publish a script book based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth Harry Potter story, will be priced at $29.99 U.S. and $39.99 Canada. The script eBook will be published by Pottermore simultaneously with the print editions by Scholastic in the US and Canada, and Little, Brown Book Group in the UK.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.
Author J.K. Rowling has revealed new details about several wizarding schools, in a new post on pottermore.com.
For instance, the name of the North American-based school is Ilvermorny and it is likely located somewhere in the North East. Actress Evanna Lynch revealed the new details by reading from Rowling’s latest piece on Pottermore.com at a Harry Potter event held over the weekend.
“I am assured by Pottermore that more will be revealed on Ilvermorny soon,” said Lynch at the event.
The name of the Brazilian wizarding school, Castelobruxo, is also revealed in the new post. This school is guarded by Caipora, small and furry spirit-beings who come out at night. In addition, students at the Japanese wizarding school, Mahoutokoro, are given enchanted robes which grow as they age. And the African school, Uagadou, is carved out of the mountainside and is shrouded in a mist.
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I noticed Meltdown Comics tweeted a savory picture maple syrup bottles, butter, and waffle makers on Saturday. The image was accompanied with “#Waffle party prepping with @CuddliApp. Singles mingle, 11AM.” Naturally, I jumped from my mattress off the floor and got ready to eat some waffles in 20 […]
Blog: The Children's Book Review
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, Ages 9-12
, Best Kids Stories
, Book Lists
, Teens: Young Adults
, Arnold Lobel
, Arwen Elys Dayton
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, Family Favorites
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, Henry and Mudge
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Arwen Elys Dayton, author of Traveler, selected these five family favorites.
Have you ever wanted to experience a romantic moment at Hogwarts? The movie studio behind the Harry Potter film franchise has decided to host a Valentine’s Day banquet inside the Great Hall of the famous wizarding school.
TIME reports that this event will take place on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. Guests will be greeted with canapés and a special Love Potion cocktail before moving on to a three-course dinner. Click here to download the dinner menu.
According to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London website, dinner will be followed by an “exclusive after-hours access to the Studio Tour with the chance to see sets such as the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, the Weasley kitchen at The Burrow and the Malfoy Manor dining table, before enjoying a drink on Platform 9 3/4. Following a tankard of Butterbeer in the backlot cafe, you will be able to wander up the wizarding shopping street of Diagon Alley, before arriving at the breathtaking Hogwarts castle model for after-dinner tea, coffee and chocolates. The evening concludes when you return to the Studio Tour lobby to collect your chosen wand.” (via Cosmopolitan)
Alan Rickman, the actor who played Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, has died.
According to a family statement: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”
The British actor got his start in acting at the age of 26 at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), after a short stint as a graphic designer, according to IMDB. He worked in theater, film and television for more than forty years. His film credits also include working alongside Bruce Willis in Die Hard and he played Colonel Brandon in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.
Warner Bros. Pictures has unleashed the first trailer for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.
The video embedded above offers glimpses of Eddie Redmayne as the magical zoologist, Newt Scamander. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series will recognize that character as the author of a textbook incorporated into the curriculum at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Other actors who have signed on for this project include Colin Farrell as a wizard named Graves, Dan Fogler as a muggle named Jacob and Jenn Murray in a mystery role. This Harry Potter spinoff, scripted by Rowling herself, will hit theaters on Nov. 18, 2016.
Three actors have been cast for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show: Jamie Parker will play Harry Potter, Paul Thornley will play Ron Weasley, and Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione Granger. Dumezweni hails from South Africa; many have taken notice that a woman of color will hold the role of the clever muggle-born witch.
Here’s more from The Daily Mail:”In the eight films Harry, Hermione and Ron were played by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, ending with The Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011. However, Rowling never made a point of Hermione’s ethnicity, and there’s no textual evidence to indicate that she is, necessarily, white.”
The Guardian reports that the opening date for this two-part play has been set for July 2016. The story takes place nineteen years after the events of the Battle of Hogwarts. Earlier this year, J.K. Rowling revealed at the Pottermore website that this project will serve as the eighth story of her beloved book series. Follow this link to watch a video that showcases artwork. (via BuzzFeed)
Jamie Parker (Harry), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione), and Paul Thornley (Ron).
Recently, the two-part what-happens-next-in-the-Wizarding-World play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced three key cast members: Jamie Parker as adult Harry, Paul Thornley as adult Ron, and Noma Dumezweni as adult Hermione. Congratulations to them all, and I hope the plays are as good as the books, and I really hope they make it to the States in some form. But more than all that…
WOC HERMIONE! WOC HERMIONEEEEEEE! (That’s Woman of Color, or Witch of Color, or however you want to think of it.)
It’s natural to react with surprise to this announcement. After all, we’ve seen Hermione portrayed in eight movies by Emma Watson, who grew into the role and did a lovely job, and who looks nothing like Noma Dumezweni. But the plays aren’t sequels to the movies; they’re sequels to the books. And in the books, Hermione’s race is never specified.
Urban Dictionary gives the following definition for the not-in-American Heritage term headcanon: “Used by followers of various media of entertainment, such as television shows, movies, books, etc. to note a particular belief which has not been used in the universe of whatever program or story they follow, but seems to make sense to that particular individual, and as such is adopted as a sort of ‘personal canon.’”
A lot of people have headcanons about Hermione. After all, she’s a character many a) identify with and b) want to emulate. She’s a little awkward. She doesn’t always fit in. She’s the brightest witch of her age, she’s Gryffindor-brave, she has Hogwarts: A History pretty much memorized, and — let’s face it — the wizarding world would be pretty much screwed without her. She’s a kickass role model for anyone of any background, and if your version of her looks like you, then who says you can’t be like her? (Okay, maybe you can’t create Polyjuice Potion or wield a Time-Turner, but you can be Gryffindor-brave and the brightest Muggle of your age.) That’s probably why lots of fans have already created images of “racebent” Hermione (along with other characters — the practice seems especially common in the Harry Potter fandom.
Hermione of color is there if you want her to be.
The matter of Hermione’s race reminded me of a similarly malleable matter: Anne Shirley and Diana Barry. (Insert your favorite are-they-or-aren’t-they pair here.) The “bosom friends” of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books might have a beautifully devoted, platonic friendship featuring a flowery vocabulary (Anne’s). Or maybe, just maybe, one or both of them is romantically invested in that friendship. Maybe one or both of these creative, caring, widely beloved characters is queer (probably bisexual, since both marry men later), and whether or not that’s the case, they’re still creative, caring, and widely beloved. I’ve read it both ways. I’ve loved it both ways.
Does it matter what the author was thinking? It’s lovely to see J. K. Rowling’s public support of the recent casting (which doesn’t actually discount either reading of Hermione’s race), but if she’d said nothing, either reading would still be equally valid. Was L. M. Montgomery thinking of same-sex romance or attraction so long ago? Who knows? What was in her head doesn’t have to be in readers’ heads. Readers’ headcanons are their own.
All this isn’t to say that it’s unimportant to have characters who are overtly from underrepresented backgrounds. It’s extremely important — without them, it’s way too easy to default to exclusively straight, white (and Christian, and cisgendered, and typically abled) headcanons. But there’s also something special about cases like this where one can choose a headcanon for oneself. And to have this one legitimized after all these years is even more special. There’s no rule that says anyone’s personal view of Hermione has to change with this announcement, but I hope that at least some people who found it surprising asked themselves, “Is there any reason Hermione can’t look this way?” And I hope they answered themselves, “Nope!”
The post Hermione, headcanons, and kindred spirits appeared first on The Horn Book.
For some, the day before Christmas will be devoted to last minute gift shopping. If you still need to find a present for the Harry Potter fan in your life, the Pottermore team has created “a visual guide to buying tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think? The opening date for this London-based theatrical show has been set for July 2016.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling has joined the iBooks Bestsellers List this week at No. 13. New enhanced editions of the Harry Potter books came out this fall.
Apple has released the list of Bestselling iBooks from the week of 12/27/15. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is No. 1 on the list and The Deal by Elle Kennedy held the No. 2 position.
We have the entire list for you after the jump.
iBooks US Bestseller List- Paid Books Week 12/27/15
||The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
||The Deal by Elle Kennedy – 9780994054401 – (Elle Kennedy)
||Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham – 9780385539449 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
||Cross Justice by James Patterson – 9780316407144 – (Little, Brown and Company)
||The Force Awakens (Star Wars) by Alan Dean Foster – 9781101965504 – (Random House Publishing Group)
||The Guilty by David Baldacci – 9781455586417 – (Grand Central Publishing)
||The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
||See Me by Nicholas Sparks – 9781455520596 – (Grand Central Publishing)
||The Martian by Andy Weir – 9780804139038 – (CrownArchetype)
||Tom Clancy Commander in Chief by Mark Greaney – 9780698410619 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
||All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner)
||The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins – 9780062381637 – (William Morrow)
||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – 9781781105849 – (Pottermore)
||Grey by E L James – 9781101946350 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
||Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich – 9780345542984 – (Random House Publishing Group)
||Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill & Lisa Pulitzer – 9780062248497 – (William Morrow)
||Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston – 9780062094735 – (Harper)
||The Crossing by Michael Connelly – 9780316225892 – (Little, Brown and Company)
||Precious Gifts by Danielle Steel – 9780804179645 – (Random House Publishing Group)
||Christmas From Hell by R.L. Mathewson – 9781310090110 – (R.L. Mathewson)
10 Reasons Why Going to Hogwarts Would Actually Be Terrible
Recently, Sonja (the Headmistress of The STACKS) asked me to do the hardest thing I have ever done in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE: “Can you list ten reasons why going to Hogwarts would actually be terrible?”
Of course I could think of one very obvious reason. “Um, because eventually I would have to graduate and NOT ATTEND HOGWARTS ANYMORE!” But that was just one reason. So I racked my brains for weeks trying to think of nine more reasons why. When you think about it, though, a lot of pretty terrifying stuff happened to Harry Potter and his friends while they were at Hogwarts. So behold a list you never thought you would (or should) see: Ten Reasons Why Going to Hogwarts Would Actually Be Terrible.
- Getting detention. Detention at Hogwarts is definitely not like detention at a regular school! Even if you don’t have to repeat Harry’s ghastly “I must not tell lies” ordeal under the cruel watch of Delores Umbridge, punishments at Hogwarts can be very creative . . . and NOT in a good way.
- Accidentally getting attacked by a Hippogriff or one of the seemingly endless number of terrifying (but sometimes cool and nice) creatures on Hogwarts grounds. Ouch!
- Pranks from fellow students. Forget saran wrap on the toilet seat and permanent marker mustaches—can you imagine how terrifying it would be to find yourself the victim of one of Fred and George’s pranks. Imagine being unable to stop hiccuping for hours, or to find your dormitory suddenly filled with the super-gross stench of stink pellets?
- Getting a weird and/or gross patronus. Discovering that your patronus is not an elegant gazelle or noble leopard, but a waddling rat, would be incredibly disappointing. Of course, none of that really matters much when you are being attacked by an ACTUAL Dementor on your way to school!
- Being away from home for so long. Is it just me, or do semesters at Hogwarts seem to go on forever? If your family is really far away, homesickness could be a very real problem.
- Potions class with Professor Snape. He redeemed himself in Book #7, but Professor Snape was still a really strict teacher!
- Being late to class because you fell through a step on the moving staircases. Actually, falling through a step on the moving staircases in general! And if you get motion sickness, moving staircases, period!!
- Rowdy Quidditch fans. Muggle-sports fans can already get wild (and dangerous), but can you imagine how outrageous Quidditch fans get?! I don’t think I want to!
- Taking a Puking Pastille to get out of class, but losing the cure. That’s my nightmare.
- Having to graduate and say goodbye!
And so ends my list of Ten Reasons Why Going to Hogwarts Would Actually Be Terrible. What do you think? Can you think of another reason (or two) why going to Hogwarts might not be 100% awesome (though still totally worth it)? Share your ideas in the Comments below!
En-Szu, STACKS Writer
Hogwarts Castle illustration by Kazu Kibuishi
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A new feature piece has been published on Pottermore called “The Sad History of Merope Gaunt.” This minor character from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has become well-known as the mother of the antagonist, Tom Riddle (a.k.a. Lord Voldemort).
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!
Here’s an excerpt from the post: “It might be argued that Voldemort grew up devoid of love because his mother died for want of it, and that his father’s love was stolen rather than earned. Perhaps if he’d had any understanding of the difference between genuine love and the kind that you compel, Voldemort might have had a better grasp of its power.”
In the past, Rowling has written essays on singing sorceress Celestina Warbeck, the Dursleys, and the symbolism behind Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid’s names. Which character from the Harry Potter universe would you like to learn more about?