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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: harry potter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. J.K. Rowling Confirms That a Jewish Wizard Has Attended Hogwarts

.@benjaminroffman Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 16, 2014

Has Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry ever admitted a Jewish student? Yesterday, J.K. Rowling confirmed that the answer is “yes.”

In response to a fan’s message on Twitter, the Harry Potter series author revealed that a Jewish wizard named Anthony Goldstein belonged to Ravenclaw house. We’ve embedded the tweets above—what do you think?

In addition to coming to her fans rescue via social media, Rowling has been a busy bee with adding new content on Pottermore. For the past few days, several new details about Potions Master Severus Snape has been unveiled. (via BuzzFeed)

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

(more…)

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2. J.K. Rowling Shares New Severus Snape Story On Pottermore

Snape Riddle

Harry Potter enthusiasts will be counting down the 12 days of Christmas with new stories on Pottermore. Over at the Pottmore Insider blog, fans were tasked with cracking a riddle (embedded above) about “a house in Spinner’s End” to unlock the first piece. Perhaps J.K. Rowling decided to continue challenging her fans with Ravenclaw-style puzzles as she did on Twitter earlier this year.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

(more…)

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3. Scoring loss across the multimedia universe

Well known is music’s power to stir emotions; less well known is that the stirring of specific emotions can result from the use of very simple yet still characteristic music. Consider the music that accompanies this sweet, sorrowful conclusion of pop culture’s latest cinematic saga.

When the on-set footage begins, so does some soft music that is rather uncomplicated because, in part, it simply alternates between two chords which last about four seconds each. These two chords are shown on the keyboard below. In classical as well as pop music, these two chords typically do not alternate with one another like this. Although the music for this featurette eventually makes room for other chords, the musical message of the more distinctive opening has clearly been sent, and it apparently worked on this blogger, who admits to shedding a few tears and recommends the viewer have a tissue nearby.

music_blog

This simple progression has been used to accompany loss-induced sadness in numerous mainstream (mostly Hollywood) cinematic scenes for nearly 30 years. This association is not simply confined to movies, yet inhabits a larger media universe. For example, while the pop song “Comeback Story” by Kings of Leon, which opens this movie’s trailer, helps to convey the genre of the advertised product, the same two-chord progression—let’s call it the “loss gesture”—highlights the establishing narrative: a patriarchal death has brought a mourning family together (for comedic and sentimental results).

Loss gestures can play upon one’s heartstrings less discriminately; they can elicit both tears of joy as well as tears of sadness. Climaxes in Dreamer and Invincible, both underdog-comes-from-behind movies, are punctuated with loss gestures. As demonstrated at 2:06 in the following video, someone employed by the Republican Party appears to be keenly aware of this simple progression’s powerful capacity for moving a viewer (and potential voter).

Within the universe of contemporary media, the loss gesture has been used in radio as well. The interlude music that plays before or after a story on National Public Radio often has some relation to the content of the story. A week after the Sandy Hook school shootings, NPR aired a story by Kirk Siegler entitled “Newtown Copes With Grief, Searches For Answers.” Immediately after the story’s poignant but hopeful ending, the opening of Dustin O’Halloran’s “Opus 14” faded in, musically encapsulating the emotions of the moment.

How the loss gesture works its magic on listeners is a Gordian knot. However, it is undeniable that producers from several different corners of the media world know that the loss gesture works.

The post Scoring loss across the multimedia universe appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. J.K. Rowling to Share Christmas Surprises on Pottermore This Month

pottermoreHarry Potter fans are getting a nice gift this Christmas. Author J.K. Rowling is giving out holiday surprises this year on the website Pottermore.com, a destination for all things Harry Potter.

From December 12-23, the site will be releasing a new surprise every day at 8am EST. Among the gifts on the list include new writing from Rowling. The site is running a social media campaign on Facebook with the hashtag #PottermoreChristmas where can check in for daily updates.

Here is more from Pottermore’s emails:

A Wonderland of New Writing by J.K. Rowling
From Florean Fortescue’s ghost plot to J.K. Rowling’s thoughts on the sneaky Slytherin Draco Malfoy, there’s a wealth of writing to discover.

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5. Warner Bros. Launches the ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ Holiday Tour

Hogwarts in the SnowWarner Bros. Studio plans to lead visitors on a special holiday-edition of the Harry Potter movie set tour. “Hogwarts in the Snow” will run from November 14, 2014 to February 01, 2015.

Here’s more from The Mirror: “Special effects experts that worked on the films have transformed the tour into a snow-sprinkled taster of how the festive scenes in the family flicks were achieved. The showpiece of the tour is a spectacular scale model of Hogwarts Castle, built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But if you’re tempted to let a snowflake fall on your tongue, you should think twice, because it’s made from salt.”

Eight giant trees will be set up and adorned with 200 gold stars. The dining tables will feature colors from each of the four Hogwarts houses and sumptuous banquets. Follow this link to watch a time lapse video. Are you planning to visit London this winter?

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6. VIDEO: The Harry Potter Alliance Requests That Voters Don’t Elect Umbridge

It’s Election Day! The Harry Potter Alliance recruited The Boy Who Lived to make a special request: “don’t elect Umbridge” and don’t forget to vote. We’ve embedded the entire video message above—what do you think?

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7. J.K. Rowling Surprises Fans By Publishing 6 New Essays On Pottermore

rowlingIn October, the Pottermore team announced that J.K. Rowling wrote a new 1,700-word essay about Dolores Umbridge. On Halloween, Rowling surprised fans by not publishing just Umbridge’s back story but also 5 additional pieces.

According to Vulture, Rowling has shared extensive details about Professor Sybill Trelawney, thestrals, the Minister of Magic position, wizard and witch names, and  the Azkaban prison. Fans learned several details about the Harry Potter universe including Umbridge’s involvement with the Death Eaters in the last book, the men who have held the head position of the magical community’s government, and how the infamous penitentiary of the wizarding world was operated.

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8. ‘Sesame Street’ Team Parodies ‘Harry Potter’

The Sesame Street gang stars in a Harry Potter parody called “Furry Potter and The Goblet of Cookies.” Cookie Monster plays the title role; he is guided by the wise Professor Crumblemore.

We’ve embedded the funny clip above–what do you think? In the past, the team behind Sesame Street has created parodies inspired by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Les Miserables, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (via Bustle)

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9. Can You Compare Dolores Umbridge to Lord Voldemort?

Dolores UmbridgeFor a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has published a new essay on Pottermore about the infamous witch Dolores Umbridge.

Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.

According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

(more…)

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10. Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying On

  • A stumper to begin the day. I got this message from my aunt and I simply do not know the answer. Librarians of the world, do you know? Just to clarify beforehand, the answer is unfortunately not Are Your My Mother? by P.D. Eastman:

“… seeking info on a children’s book that was [a] favorite at least 30 years ago about a baby bird (with goggles) who is having trouble learning to fly.”

  • CatherineCertitude 210x300 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying OnHere’s a new one.  Apparently the 2014 Nobel Prize winner for literature is a French author with a children’s book to his name.  And the book?  According to Karen MacPherson it’s Catherine Certitude.  Now THAT is a title, people!
  • Me Stuff: Pop Goes the Page was very very kind and did a little behind-the-scenes interview with me about good old Giant Dance Party.  Ain’t Dana swell?  Meanwhile my favorite transgender children’s librarian Kyle Lukoff just posted a review of Wild Things on his blog.  I’ve been very impressed by his reviews, by the way.  The critique of A is for Activist is dead on.
  • On the one hand, this may well be the most interesting board book I’ve seen in a long time.  On the other, why can’t I buy it through Ingram or Baker & Taylor?  Gah!
  • Movie news! Specifically Number the Stars movie news. Read on:

Young readers and their families enjoyed an afternoon celebrating the 25th anniversary of Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars  at Symphony Space in New York on October 19th.  Actor Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) was on hand to read from Lowry’s work,. He and his wife Christine have secured the rights to adapt the book for film.

The event was one of the Thalia Kids’ Book Club series at Symphony Space. The next event is a celebrity-studded tribute to the work of E. B. White on Wednesday, November 19th, with proceeds benefiting First Book Manhattan. (Link: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8497/Family-Literature/thalia-kids-book-club-terrific-tails-a-celebration-of-eb-white

Lowry event PHOTOS just posted via Getty Images: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/lois-lowry-and-sean-astin-attends-number-the-stars-25th-news-photo/457520190

  • Aw heck.  Since I’m just reprinting small press releases at this point, I’d be amiss in missing this:

ASK ME ANOTHER WITH MO WILLEMS

  • Date: Wednesday, November 5
  • Time: 6:30 doors, 7:30 show
  • Price: $20 advance, $25 door
  • Location: The Bell House, 149 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • Ticket Link: http://www.thebellhouseny.com/event/699477-ask-me-another-brooklyn/
  • Blurb: Join NPR’s Ask Me Another, along with host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton, for a rousing night of brainteasers, comedy, and music. This week’s V.I.P. (that’s puzzle speak for Very Important Puzzler), is acclaimed children’s book author Mo Willems. Willems is known for titles like Knuffle Bunny, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and the Elephant and Piggie series. See how he fares in a trivia game written just for him. For more information and tickets visit www.amatickets.org.

DuckDeathTulip 300x180 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying OnAs a children’s materials specialist I have a little file where I keep track of my 80+ library branches and the types of books they want.  One of the topics you’ll find on my list?  Death.  We’re always asked to provide books about the bereavement process.  Now The Guardian has done a nice little round-up of some of the more recent ones.  Note, though, that death books all have on thing in common: They’re all about white families.  Finding a multicultural book about death isn’t impossible but it is harder than it should be, particularly when we’re discussing picture books.  Thanks to Kate for the link.

  • There is a tendency online when a story breaks to write a post that comments on one aspect or another of the situation without saying what the problem was in the first place.  That’s why we’re so grateful to Leila Roy.  If you found yourself hearing vague references to one Kathleen Hale and her article of questionable taste in The Guardian but didn’t know the whole story, Leila makes all clear here.
  • Hm. I like Harry Potter as much as the next guy but the Washington Post article Why the Harry Potter Books Are So Influential All Around the World didn’t quite do it for me.  Much of it hinges on believing that HP is multicultural.  I don’t suppose I’m the only person out there who remembers that in the original printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Dean Thomas was not mentioned as black.  That was added for subsequent editions.  Ah well.  Does it matter?
  • Daily Show Head Writer and fellow-who-is-married-to-a-children’s-librarian Elliott Kalan recently wrote a piece for Slate that seeks to explain how his vision of New York as a child was formed by Muppets Take Manhattan and Ghostbusters.  But only the boring parts.  Yup.
  • Fountas and Pinnell have a message for you: They’re sorry.  Thanks to Colby Sharp for the link.
  • Daily Image:

They’ve finally announced the winner of the whopping great huge Kirkus Prize.  And the final finalist on the children’s side turns out to be . . . Aviary Wonders, Inc.  And here’s an image of the committee that selected the prize with the winner herself.

Left to right: E.K. Johnston (author finalist), Vicky Smith (Kirkus Children’s Editor), Claudette McLinn, Kate Samworth, John Peters, and Linda Sue Park.

Screen Shot 2014 10 27 at 11.25.19 PM 500x389 Fusenews: Bemoaning, Lamenting, and Generally Carrying On

They mentioned the prize money but they never mentioned that the winner also gets a TROPHY!!  That’s big.  We don’t get many trophies in our business.  Well played.  And thanks to Claudette McLinn for the photo.

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11. Georgia House Opens 2 ‘Harry Potter’-Themed Hotel Rooms

Wizarding Chamber (1)Georgian House, a London-based bed and breakfast, has opened two Harry Potter-themed “Wizarding Chambers.”

The rooms are decorate with trunks, potion bottles, cauldrons, and books. Follow this link to see pictures from the Wizard’s Chamber Launch Party photo album on Facebook.

Here’s more from The Independent: “Along with the authentic Hogwarts experience, the rooms also come with added extras as guests are offered a full Harry Potter package. You get a walking tour of central London landmarks from the films and a trip to the Warner Bros Studio for The Making of Harry Potter Tour.” (via BuzzFeed)

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12. J.K. Rowling to Post New Essay About Dolores Umbridge on Pottermore

J.K. Rowling (2)J.K. Rowling has penned a new essay about the antagonist Dolores Umbridge.

It’s scheduled to be posted on Pottermore this forthcoming Halloween Day. According to the press release, “the new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,700-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.”

Throughout the past year, Rowling has written pieces on the history of quidditch, reports about the 2014 quidditch world cup, and a profile on the “singing sorceress” Celestina Warbeck (a minor character). Recently, she revealed on twitter that she has been writing a new novel, tweaking a screenplay, and working on some campaigns with with her charity, Lumos.

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13. Warner Bros. to Shoot At Least 3 ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Films

Fantastic BeastsWarner Brothers has made several announcements about the Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them project.

The first film, scripted by J.K. Rowling, will hit the silver screen in 2016. According to Deadline, the studio intends to create at least two more movies for this franchise; the second one will be released in 2018 and the third one will follow in 2020.

David Yates, the director behind the final four installments of the Harry Potter movie franchise, will helm Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. In addition to her duties as the screenwriter, Rowling will serve as a producer along with David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.

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14. Fusenews: “Red Nine doth here stand by”

  • Me stuff.  You have been warned.  So the first thing to know today is that this coming Saturday I’ll be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum about Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  It will prove to be an amusing talk and if you live in the area I’d desperately love it if you could attend.  I’d like to see your smiling faces, rather than the sea of empty chairs that greets me whenever I close my eyes and imagine worst case scenarios.  It will be at 1 p.m.  In other news, the panel I conducted on Native Fiction was summarized at Tu Books as well as a rather in-depth write-up in Publishers Weekly.  So well done there.  Finally Jules and I were interviewed in conjunction with our book by Cynthia Leitich Smith over at Cynsations.  Woohoo!

HogwartsPoster Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

  • And for those of you who know who Suzuki Beane is, enjoy this little GIF of her dancing up a storm.  If I were ever to get a tattoo it would be one of those images.  Or this one.  Thanks to Sara O’Leary for the GIF.
  • Monica Edinger was kind enough to field some questions from Jules and me about obscure Alice in Wonderland facts.  I thought I’d heard them all, but that was before I learned about Harry, Alice Liddell’s older, forgotten brother.  A boy who existed before Alice?  There’s a book in that . . .
  • Okay.  So we all know that we need diverse books.  Understood.  Done.  But where precisely do you find lists of such titles?  Check out the all new Where to Find Diverse Books site.  Everything from books on disability to Islam to LGBTQIA is included.  Think something’s missing?  Let ‘em know!
  • Things I Didn’t Know: So when we talk about podcasts of children’s literature we rarely consider the academic side of things.  Imagine then my delight when I discovered the Raab Children’s Literature Podcasts created for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection and the Teachers for a New Era Project.  Quite the listing!
  • And speaking of Things I Didn’t Know (a topic worthy of its own post, I suspect) Jules recently discovered that there is such a thing as a Coretta Scott King Book Awards Fair out there.  Did you know that?  I, for one, did not.  The event “celebrates the Coretta Scott King Awards, those authors and illustrators who have received the award, and books that (as the Award states) demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture.”  Jules interviews the organizer and founder of the event, Collette Hopkins.  Interested in bringing it to your city?  Read on.
  • So I was moderating a panel at a Penguin Random House teacher event this past Monday (I’m just dropping the “Me Stuff” left and right today) and one of the giveaways was Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  I’m sure you’re familiar with it.  It seemed like a cute gimmick and I thought maybe to snag a copy and give it to my brother for Christmas or something.  Little did I realize that it’s actually a rather brilliant piece of work.  From R2-D2′s soliloquy placing him squarely as a trickster character in the vein of a Puck, to Han Solo’s line after shooting Greedo (“[To innkeeper] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the mess. / [Aside] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!”) I was hooked the minute I read it.  My husband’s been on a bit of a Star Wars kick himself as of late.  First there was his three part series on “Why We Like Luke Skywalker”.  Matt posed the question to James Kennedy and got an epic response that is worth reading in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.  Then there was Matt’s post on what Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Star Wars have in common.  There are other Star Wars posts as well that are worth discovering but I think these make for pretty in-depth reading anyway.
  • Daily Image: With Halloween on the horizon it’s time to start thinking about costumes.  For inspiration, why not check out BuzzFeed’s 31 Amazing Teacher Halloween Costumes?  Lots of children’s literature references in there.  Three of my favorites included:

MadelineCostumes 500x500 Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

MsFrizzleCostume Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

BadCaseStripesCostume Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

Thanks to Kate for the link.

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15. Bloomsbury UK to Host Harry Potter Book Night in 2015

Harry Potter Book NightBloomsbury UK will be hosting the first ever Harry Potter Book Night on February 05, 2015.

Public celebrations will take place all throughout the United Kingdom. More information will be unveiled as the date draws closer.

Here’s more about this event: “Bloomsbury Children’s Books is inviting schools, bookshops, libraries and community groups to host early-evening events in celebration of Harry Potter Book Night. We’re creating a complete Harry Potter Book Night Kit – available for free download – offering you everything you need to plan and host an unforgettable evening. The only missing ingredient is your own ideas and flair!” Click here to sign up for alerts about the event kit. (via The Guardian)

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16. Harry Potter Halloween

Happy HalloweenHalloween is an important holiday in the Harry Potter books. Have you ever noticed that important events always seem to happen in October in those books? Here are some memorable events from the Harry Potter books that took place in October along with a question for you to ponder:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: On October 31, a mountain troll attacks Hermione in the girl’s bathroom at Hogwarts. After Ron and Harry help her fight it, the 3 of them become inseparable friends. Would you rather fight a troll or a Dementor?
  2. October 4 is Professor McGonagall’s birthday. Would you rather have Professor McGonagall as your head of house, or Professor Snape?
  3. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: October 31 is Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th Deathday party. Also, the basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets petrifies Mrs. Norris. Would you rather have as your house mascot Nearly Headless Nick or the Bloody Baron?
  4. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban: On October 31, Sirius Black attacks the Fat Lady. Would you rather be a ghost flying around Hogwarts, or a person in a Hogwarts portrait?
  5. October 17 is Professor Flitwick’s birthday. Would you rather take Charms or Transfiguration?
  6. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire: The Goblet of Fire chooses Harry as one of the Tri-Wizard champions on October 31. Would you rather be a participant in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, or just a spectator?
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Hogsmeade on October 5, and Dumbledore’s Army is formed. Would you rather go to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley?
  8. October 30 is Molly Weasley’s birthday. Would you rather be in the Weasley family or be in the Black family?
  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Harry has his second lesson with Professor Dumbledore sometime in October when he sees Dumbledore’s memory of going to meet Tom Riddle for the first time at the orphanage. Would you rather take Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape or Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons with Professor Quirrell?
  10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Lily and James Potter are killed on Halloween, but Voldemort lost most of his powers and there was much rejoicing in the wizarding world. There is no would you rather question for this. It’s too awful and I need to go have a little cry. Please excuse me. *sniff*

Here are some more Would You rather questions from EnergeticGriffin20 while I’m gone. Would you rather . . .

  1. Be a Slytherin or Gryffindor
  2. Be a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw
  3. Get stuck in the Chamber of Secrets for 10 minutes or get stuck in a closed room with Dementors for 10 minutes
  4. Be Professor Dumbledore or Professor McGonagal
  5. Be a Quidditch player or not
  6. Study Charms or Potions
  7. Have a detention with Professor Snape or Professor Umbridge
  8. Live with Harry Potter your whole life or live with Hermione your whole life
  9. Be a professor at Hogwarts or a student at Hogwarts

Leave your answers in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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17. J.K. Rowling Works On Tweaking Her Screenplay

Very busy at the moment working on a novel, tweaking a screenplay and being involved in @lumos campaigns. Back when I’ve finished something!

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 5, 2014

J.K. Rowling may be nearing completion on the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We’ve embedded the Harry Potter series author’s revealing tweet above.

Here’s more from CinemaBlend: “Though she doesn’t outright say that the screenplay she’s working on is Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, it’s probably safe to assume that’s the project she’s tweaking. If we’re interpreting use of the word ‘tweaking’ correctly, it sounds like she might be finalizing the script, adding updates, tightening up the story and/or working in whatever magic Rowling has access to that makes her stories so great.”

(more…)

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18. Fan Claims World Record For Largest ‘Harry Potter’ Memorabilia Collection

harry potter logoA Harry Potter fan named Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has claimed the world record for biggest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia.

Vargas owns 3,097 pieces of merchandise inspired by J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular book series and the film franchise. The Mexican lawyer devoted almost 15 years to acquiring items for this hobby.

Here’s more from The Guardian: “Guinness World Records officially recognised it Monday as the world No 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807. Silva Vargas said he began collecting without any intent to amass a huge collection. But soon it was like being under a spell.” Follow this link to watch The Telegraph‘s interview with Vargas. (via The Los Angeles Times)

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19. Happy birthday, Harry!

harry birthday cake Happy birthday, Harry! Happy birthday to one of kidlit’s most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He’d be thirty-four this year. Holy hippogriff.)

The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here’s a roundup of reviews, articles, and blog posts about the series, including Roger Sutton’s breakdown of how it’s changed publishing.

 

Book reviews

Movie reviews

Editorials

mj12 Happy birthday, Harry!Articles

Blog posts

Recommended read-alikes list

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The post Happy birthday, Harry! appeared first on The Horn Book.

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20. Fusenews: This. That. Those. (A Trilogy)

  • NDWilsonVid1 300x167 Fusenews: This. That. Those. (A Trilogy)As per usual there are some Wild Things links I’d love to share today.  Lemme see here . . . Well we got a real stunner of a review over at Chapter 16.  That’s some good and gorgeous stuff going down there. Phil Nel called us “Punchy, lively, and carefully researched.”   The blog The Boy Reader gave us some serious love.  And today on our blog tour we’re at There’s a Book.  And then there’s the video at the Wild Things blog.  N.D. Wilson sent us a vid of the true behind-the-scenes story of Boys of Blur.  It’s kicking off our video series “Wild Things: Sneaky Peeks” where authors reveal the stories behind their books.

Aw heck.  I’ll save you some time.  Here’s the video.  This guy is amazing:

Don’t forget to keep checking back on the site for a new author a day!

  • It’s one thing to notice a trend.  It’s another entirely to pick up on it, catalog the books that represent it, and post accordingly.  I’d noticed in a vague disjointed way that there was a definite uptick in the number of picture books illustrated with photographs this year.  Trust Travis Jonker to systematically go through and find every last livin’ lovin’ one in his The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 post.  In his comment section I’ve added a couple others I’ve seen.  Be sure to do the same!
  • Since I don’t have school age kids yet I’m not in the school loop at the moment.  So it was a BIG shock to me to see the child of a friend of mine having her First Day of Kindergarten picture taken this week.  Really?  In early August?  With that in mind, this may seem a bit late but I care not.  The melodic cadences of Jonathan Auxier can be heard here recommending truly fantastic summer children’s book fare.  The man has fine fabulous taste.
  • In other summer news I was pleased as punch to read about the Y’s Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program.  You know summer slide?  Well it’s good to see someone doing something about it.  Check out the info.  Check out the stats.  Check out the folks trying to combat it.
  • It’s interesting to read the recent PW article Middle Grade and YA: Where to Draw the Line? which takes the issue from a bookseller P.O.V.  Naturally librarians have been struggling with this issue for years.  I even conducted a panel at NYPL a couple years ago called Middle Grade Fiction: Surviving the YA Onslaught in which MG authors Rebecca Stead, N.D. Wilson (he’s everywhere!), Jeanne Birdsall, and Adam Gidwitz discussed the industry’s attempts to brand them as YA (you can hear the full incredibly painful and scratchy audio of the talk here).  It’s a hot topic.
  • This.  This this this this this.  By the way, and completely off-topic, how long until someone writes a YA novel called “This”?  The sequel could be named “That”.  You’re welcome, publishing industry.
  • Harry Potter fan art is near and dear to my heart but in a pinch I’m happy to consider Harry Potter official cover art as well.  They just released the new British covers (and high bloody time, sayeth the masses).  They’re rather fabulous, with the sole flaw of never aging Harry.  What poor kid wants to look the same age at 10 as he does at 17?  Maybe it’s a wizard thing.  Here’s one of the new jackets to chew on:

HalfBloodPrinceBrit Fusenews: This. That. Those. (A Trilogy)

That might be my favorite Dumbledore to date.

  • There are whole generations of children’s librarians that went through graduate school reading and learning about educator Kay E. Vandergrift.  I was one of them, so I was quite sad to read of her recent passing.  The PW obit for her is excellent, particularly the part that reads, “Vandergrift was one of the first professors to establish a significant Web presence, spearheading the use of the Internet as a teaching tool. Her website, a self-declared ‘means of sharing ideas and information with all those interested in literature for children and young adults,’ was considered an important resource for those working with children and linked to more than 500 other sites.”  If you need to know your online children’s literary history, the story isn’t complete without Kay.  I always hoped she’d get around to including a blog section, but what she had was impressive in its own right.  Go take a gander.
  • I don’t consider myself a chump but there are times when even I get so blinded by a seemingly odd fact on the internet that I eschew common sense and believe it to be correct.  Case in point: The Detroit Tigers Dugout Librarian. Oh, how I wanted this to be true.  Born in Kalamazoo, a town equidistant between Detroit and Chicago, my baseball loyalties have always been torn between the Tigers and the Cubs (clearly I love lost causes).  So the idea of the Tigers having their own librarian . . . well, can you blame me for wanting to believe?  I WANNA BEE-LIEVE!
  • I’ve a new pet peeve.  Wanna hear it?  Of course you do!  I just get a bit peeved when popular sites create these lists of children’s books and do absolutely no research whatsoever so that every book mentioned is something they themselves read as children.  That’s why it’s notable when you see something like the remarkable Buzzfeed list 25 Contemporary Picture Books to Help Parents, Teachers, and Kids Talk About Diversity.  They don’t lie!  There are September 2014 releases here as well as a couple things that are at least 10 years old.  It’s a nice mix, really, and a great selection of books.  Thanks to Alexandria LaFaye for the link.
  • So they’re called iPhone wallpapers?  I never knew that.  Neil Gaiman’s made a score of them based on his children’s books.
  • Daily Image:

Maybe it’s just me but after seeing the literary benches cropping up in England I can’t help but think they make a LOT of sense.  More so than painting a statue of a cow or a Peanuts character (can you tell I lived in Minneapolis once?).  Here are two beautiful examples:

Wind the in the Willows

WindWillowsBench Fusenews: This. That. Those. (A Trilogy)

Alice Through the Looking Glass

AliceWonderlandBench Fusenews: This. That. Those. (A Trilogy)

Thanks to Stephanie Whelan for the link!

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21. YouTuber Creates ‘Harry Potter’ & ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Mash-Up Trailer

What happens when you cross Harry Potter with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World?

The comedian behind “The Unusual Suspect” YouTube channel tried to answer this question with his “Harry Potter vs. The World” mash-up trailer. The video embedded above features scenes from all eight Harry Potter films.

Thus far, the video has drawn more than 607,000 views. Two days ago, The Unusual Suspect announced on his Facebook page that filmmaker Edgar Wright (the Scott Pilgrim movie director) complimented this project. What do you think? (via io9)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. J.K. Rowling Writes Letter to Shooting Survivor

Last month, Texas teen Cassidy Stay witnessed her entire family die in a violent shooting. At the funeral, she quoted Harry Potter as a source of solace. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light,” she read.

Author J.K. Rowling has responded to this act by writing the teenager a letter in purple ink from the voice of Dumbledore.

The Telegraph has more:

A spokesman for the 49-year-old author said: “We can confirm that JK Rowling was in touch with Cassidy Stay, however, the contents of the letter remain private.”

Asked whether a meeting between the two is on the cards, she added: “We wouldn’t comment on that but [Cassidy’s] is a remarkable story.”

 

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23. J.K. Rowling Pens 500-Word Piece on Minor ‘Harry Potter’ Character Celestina Warbeck

J.K. Rowling has written a 500-word piece about Celestina Warbeck, a character nicknamed the “singing sorceress” in the Harry Potter books. Rowling has called Celestina “one of my favorite ‘off-stage’ characters in the whole series.”

Fans will find this new content on pottermore.com. In addition to the essay, Pottermore visitors will also have access to one of Celestina’s tracks, “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart.” This project marks the first time a song has been posted on the website.

Here’s more from the press release: “Celestina is referenced in three of the Harry Potter books.  The first mention is in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) when Harry hears her name on the Wizarding Wireless Network (wizard radio) while visiting the Weasley home.  She’s referenced again in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) when she appears on a wizarding radio Christmas broadcast and once more in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7).”

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24. Hermione Would You Rather

Hermione illustration by Mary GrandPreWould You Rather Be Hermione Granger?Hermione’s

adventures!

Would You Rather . . . 

  1. Fight a mountain troll OR a Dementor?
  2. Go to the Yule Ball with Victor Krum OR Ron Weasley?
  3. Be the smartest kid in the class like Hermione OR the “chosen one” like Harry?
  4. Have a cat like Crookshanks OR a rat like Scabbers?
  5. Be in Ravenclaw OR Hufflepuff? (If you couldn’t be in Gryffindor!)
  6. Learn spells from Hermione OR learn practical jokes from Fred & George?
  7. Use a Time-Turner to take extra classes OR just take the normal amount of classes?
  8. Have a scar on your forehead OR crazy-frizzy hair?
  9. See Hermione marry Ron OR see Hermione marry Harry? (even J. K. Rowling has mixed feelings on this one!)

Leave your answers (and birthday wishes to Hermione!) in the Comments below!

Ratha, STACKS Writer

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25. Fusenews: Properly vicious

MinistryofMagic 318x500 Fusenews: Properly viciousThere comes a time when I have so much news for a Fusenews that it paralyzes me and rather than write one up I just let my files accrue more and more schtoof until the vicious circle ends with a massive deletion.  Today some of this stuff will strike you as a bit out of date, but the bulk is pretty darn fun.

  • Anytime I write a post that involves race in some way I gird my loins and prepare for the worst.  The worst did not occur yesterday, however, when I wrote about moments of surprising racism in classic children’s books.  Perhaps everyone was distracted by Jonathan Hunt’s post on The Present Tense.  Now THAT is a hot and heavy discussion!
  • Oh, Cotsen Children’s Library.  Is there anything you can’t do?  Because, to be perfectly frank, I think even the prospect of interviewing Philip Pullman would render me effectively mute.  And then there was that AMAZING piece on the woman who makes Harry Potter miniatures.  Seriously, this is your required reading of the day.
  • Because I love Kalamazoo in all its myriad forms, this caught my eye.  For you Michiganders out there:

In February 2014, 95 youth librarians, youth library workers, and students gathered at Clinton-Macomb Public Library for a truly excellent day of professional development, idea-sharing, networking, and learning, unconference style. In 2015, we’ll gather April 24th at Kalamazoo Public Library. Hosted by Lisa Mulvenna (Clinton-Macomb PL), Anne Clark (Alice and Jack Wirt PL, Bay City), and Andrea Vernola (Kalamazoo PL), the MI KidLib Unconference will feature relevant and engaging sessions decided on by participants at the conference. And as is typical of an Unconference, it’s FREE to attend. Registration begins in January 2015.

Here are the session notes from last year in case you want to see what we learned together. We hope you’ll join us and spread the word to anyone who’s interested in youth services in libraries!

  • If you had told me even two years ago that I would be the de facto mathematics librarian, ideal for moderating events like the Science & Mathematics Panel of Jordan Ellenberg, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, and Benedict Carey at the Penguin Random House Author Event for NYC Educators, I would have been utterly baffled.  And yet here we are.  Know any teachers in the NYC area?  Because the whole kerschmozzle appears to be free.
  • Things That I Didn’t Know Existed Until Recently: Apparently the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center created a site called BookDragon that seeks to create a site for multicultural children’s literature.  And not just of the Asian Pacific nature either.  It’s a true multicultural site and a fun one to scroll through.  Check it!
  • This came out a while ago so I’m sure you already saw it, but just in case you didn’t, the Marc Tyler Nobleman Kidlit Mashups are nothing short of inspired.

TonyStark 300x216 Fusenews: Properly viciousOh man. Iron Man as a goodnight picture book done in a homemade cut paper style.  Not a real book.  Should be though.  Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.

One of my favorite illustrators, Aaron Zenz, wrote me the following message you would be very wise to read it, oh those amongst ye with an artistic bent.  This art gives light and life and meaning to my day:

We play this game on our second blog every three years or so, and I believe you’ve made note of it in the past.  So I thought I’d let you know this time around also that we’re letting professional illustrators and artists dip into the 8 year archive at Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty to reimagine Z-Kid art once again:http://www.isaacgracelily.blogspot.com/2014/08/8yearcelebration.html

There have been some great kid lit contributors in the past like Nathan Hale, Charise Harper, Jarrett Krosoczka, Renata Liwska, Adam Rex…   And even though the call just went out for this new round, kid lit folks Julie Phillipps and Doug Jones have already hopped on board (both of them have also played all three times!)

Go!  Play!

  • My sister wrote me the other day to ask for a recommendation of a great children’s book about a jellyfish.  I complied then found out why she wanted to know.  I love it when she succeeds in her crazy plans on her blog but truth be told she’s awfully hilarious when she fails.  It’s a Jellyfish in a bottle [FAIL].
  • Daily Image:

It’s nice to have friends who know boats.  Particularly when they start critiquing classic works of children’s literature.  My friend Stefan Driesbach-Williams recently posted this familiar illustration:

MaxBoat 500x373 Fusenews: Properly vicious

Then he wrote, “I’m seeing a cutter with a loose-footed staysail and a boomkin.”

But it was the response from his nautical friends that made my day.  One Levi Austin White responded with the following:

“Aye! Captain Max has only got his smallest storm stays’l aloft like a prudent mariner, although his main looks really drafty and dangerously powered up.

He seems to have his main trimmed in all the way, but headed dead downwind. That seems like a disastrous combination considering his mains’l tuning. I don’t see any reef points on his main though, so perhaps he’s outta luck.

Any news on his journey? Did he survive the storm? The way the seafoam is scudding across the wave tops, I’d say that he’s on the lee shore of a low lying island, with 50-70 kts windspeed. Looks properly vicious.

Best of luck, Captain Max. May the seas be forever in your favor.”

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