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1. 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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2. 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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3. 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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4. 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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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. 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)

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16. 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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17. 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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18. Harry Potter read-alikes

These titles — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine — offer a mix of magic, adventure, humor, and suspense that will enchant Harry Potter fans.

duane so you want to be a wizard Harry Potter read alikesSo You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane [Young Wizards series] (Delacorte, 1983; reissued by Harcourt, 2003)
A splendid, unusual fantasy tells of the efforts of two young wizards, Nita and Kit, to keep the world from being overcome by the Prince of Darkness. This twentieth-anniversary edition of the first book in the series contains a new afterword and a short story about Nita and Kit, originally published in Jane Yolen’s anthology Dragons and Dreams.

jones charmed life Harry Potter read alikesCharmed Life, The Magicians of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Mixed Magics: Four Tales of Chrestomanci, Conrad’s Fate, and The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones [The Chrestomanci Chronicles] (reissued by Greenwillow, 2001)
This series is linked by the character Chrestomanci, a magician with nine lives, whose charge is to maintain the balance of magic among parallel universes.

jones merlin conspiracy Harry Potter read alikesThe Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow, 2003)
The story is narrated in alternating chapters by Roddy (a girl) and Nick. Roddy and a friend summon Nick, an unknown helper, when they discover that the Merlin (in charge of magic) has been murdered. Writing on an epic scale, the author deftly creates a fully realized fantasy universe with a series of worlds that resemble one another and our own but with distinct differences. This is a vastly absorbing story of good battling evil.

nix sabriel Harry Potter read alikesSabriel by Garth Nix (HarperCollins, 1995)
A compelling fantasy has for a heroine Sabriel, the daughter of the necromancer whose duty it is to protect the Old Kingdom: unlike other mages, he has the power to bind the dead as well as bring the dead back to life. The story is remarkable for the level of originality of the fantastic elements and for the subtle presentation, which leaves readers to explore for themselves the complex structure and significance of the magical elements. The story continues in sequels Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr and Abhorsen; a prequel, Clariel, will be published in October 2014.

prineas magic thief Harry Potter read alikesThe Magic Thief written by Sarah Prineas; illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo (HarperCollins, 2008)
Precocious pickpocket Conn becomes an apprentice to Nevery Flinglas, a wizard trying to stem the loss of magic from the city. Readers will find the familiar character types and straightforward plotting of this amiable tale (akin to that of another well-known boy wizard) easy to grasp, while the evolving conflicts and distinctive setting will draw them on.

rutkoski cabinet of wonders Harry Potter read alikesThe Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski [Kronos Chronicles series] (Farrar, 2008)
Petra Kronos’s father has magical abilities to construct creatures out of tin and to make a wondrous weather-controlling clock. When the prince of Bohemia blinds Kronos, cutting out his eyes and magicking them for his own use, Petra resolves to steal them back from the prince’s Cabinet of Wonders. Rutkoski’s bucolic old-world atmosphere keeps her workmanlike plotting feeling fresh and fortuitous. The story continues in sequels The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash.

stephens emerald atlas Harry Potter read alikesThe Emerald Atlas by John Stephens [Books of Beginning series] (Knopf, 2011)
Siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma discover a book that transports them back fifteen years in time. Thus begins their adventure with the Atlas, one of three Books of Beginning–powerful magical volumes whose secrets brought the universe to life. This imaginative and enjoyable series starter explores the bonds of family and magic while setting up an inevitable good-versus-evil showdown. The story continues in The Fire Chronicles.

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19. Favorite Scenes from Harry Potter

Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPreCelebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with us all week long!live readathon/ virtual birthday party

on Thursday, July 31. Please come if you can and bring a friend. You’re TOTALLY invited!

Let’s start the week with this Writing Prompt from Skyelark Moon

on the Harry Potter Message Boards who is obviously a fan of the Harry Potter series, as you can tell from this question . . .

**Spoilers from ALL

 the books follow!**

Which scenes are your favorites from each of the Harry Potter books? Here are my answers.Skyelark Moon STACKS Profile

  1. The Philosopher’s Stone (a.k.a. The Sorcerer’s Stone)
: I have always loved the scene in Diagon Ally especially when Harry is in Ollivanders. Something about it is so . . . magical. :DThe Chamber of Secrets: The moment when Harry and Ron are figuring out the secret to the Chamber of Secrets has always been one of my favorite parts. I love mysteries, so this was a great part to me. :DThe Prisoner of Azkaban: I love the chapter “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” The Marauders are some of my favorite characters, and seeing them interact with each other is fantastic.
  • The Goblet of Fire:
  • I have always liked the section in between the first and second tasks: namely the scene where Harry opens the egg in the water. ;)The Order of the Phoenix: The Room of Requirement is one of my favorite places in Hogwarts, so naturally all of the Dumbledore’s Army parts are my favorite. :DThe Half-Blood Prince: I really like the part when Harry first uses the Half-Blood Prince’s book to brew the Draught of Living Death. :PThe Deathly Hallows: I love the ending of The Deathly Hallows, especially when they seem to be figuring out where all the Horcruxes are. As I mentioned previously, I really love mysteries, so this part was great, in my opinion. :Dreadathon on Thursday

    !

    Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré

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    20. Harry Potter Theme Parks

    Harry Potter StampDiagon Alley in Florida, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in JapanHarry Potter movies,

    complete with all the shops and spots like the Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and more. Guests can get their fill of Nosebleed Nougats, butterbeer ice cream, and other Diagon Alley specialties. The main attraction, of course, is the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The other attraction is . . . THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!

    The Hogwarts Express is actually a shuttle between 2 different theme parks inside of Universal Studios. You need a “Park-to-Park” ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express which costs $136. For $96, you can see either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade (but not both).

    This Diagon Alley is the first of its kind in the (Muggle) world, but the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open outside of the U.S. is now in Osaka, Japan. It opened on July 14th and it is almost identical to the original one in Florida. Tom Felton

    (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) and Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood in the movies) greeted fans on opening night and led lucky visitors into the new park the following morning!
    Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment shop

    Universal Studios Japan

    Another Wizarding World is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in California in 2016.

    So much Harry Potter

    coming to life! It’s so exciting . . . and also kind of overwhelming. What do YOU think? Would you go to Diagon Alley? What other parts of Harry Potter’s world would you like to see made real for us Muggles? (Well, to be honest, Harry Potter has always felt very real to me!) Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

    En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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    21. Harry Potter Personality Quiz

    Harry Potter illustration  by Mary GrandPre

    Personality Quiz: Which Harry Potter character are you?

    Have you ever wished you could go to Hogwarts after reading one of J. K. Rowling’s books?! OK. Stupid question. OF COURSE YOU HAVE! Whether you’ve read the series or watched the movies, all the characters are so relatable that there always seems to be that one character you have a lot in common with.

    Which Harry Potter character are you most like? Take this quiz and find out!

    1. While working on a group project you . . .  A) tend to get wrapped up in your own work and are quick to correct others. B) are very well organized and take your responsibilities very seriously. C) are the natural leader but take everyone’s thoughts and ideas into consideration. D) hate doing the work if it doesn’t involve you totally being in charge.
    2. Your favorite subject at school is . . .  A) Arithmancy (Mathematics). B) History of Magic (History). C) Defense Against the Dark Arts (English). D) Charms and Potions (Science).
    3. You notice that someone has left a bag in the corridor so you . . . A) give it to a professor. B) bring it to the main office hoping the person who lost it will look there first. C) try to figure out whose bag it is and return it. D) take it back to your room and rummage through it.
    4. You spend your time after school . . . A) reading and studying in the library. B) supervising  a group activity or club. C) playing on your school’s Quidditch (sports) team. D) challenging your friends to duels in the schoolyard.
    5. You usually come across to others as . . . A) intelligent and goal-oriented. B) responsible and reliable. C) brave and loyal. D) overly confident.
    6. Your tragic flaw is . . . A) sometimes acting like a know-it-all. B) judging others too harshly. C) getting too absorbed in your own personal pursuits. D) being conceited.

    Ready for the moment of truth? Count up your answers and find out which Harry Potter character you are!

    If you answered mostly A’s:  You are Hermione Granger!

    Like Hermione, you are a smart, natural born thinker. You love problem solving and learning, and you tend to get caught up in your own studies.

    If you answered mostly B’s: You are Minerva McGonagall!
    Like Professor McGonagall, you are very well organized and always get the job done. People come to you to help solve their problems or give them advice. You have a very strong set of morals and always try to do the right thing.

    If you answered mostly C’s: You are Harry Potter!
    Like Harry, you are very easy to get along with. You are a loyal friend and are very independent. People look up to you and trust you to lead the way. You learn best by doing and taking things apart to figure them out.

    If you answered mostly D’s: You are Draco Malfoy!

    Like Malfoy, you are quick-thinking and adaptable. You are sometimes pessimistic, but you are also strategic and usually predict how things will play out. You are intuitive and very confident in yourself and your abilities.

    PS. You are invited to celebrate Harry’s birthday with us at a live readathon

    on July 31. Happy birthday, Harry!

    —Amanda, STACKS Intern

    Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré

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    22. Harry Potter Name Meanings

    Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPreHarry Potter Name MeaningsHarry’s birthday on July 31

    , we’ve compiled a list of Harry Potter name meanings! Whether you’re a seasoned Harry Potter fan and honorary member of Dumbledore’s Army, or you’re just starting your first year at Hogwarts, you’ve probably noticed J. K. Rowling’s characters have some quirky names. From Hermione to Bellatrix, it turns out their names might signify more than you realize. Check out the following Harry Potter name meanings to see just how much thought went into naming our magical friends of the wizarding world.
    • Harry means “army leader.” Fitting, yes?Hermione means “well born” (Take that, Malfoy!) and “stone,” which is also appropriate considering her run-in with a certain serpent in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.Ronald means “mighty counselor.” Now that sounds like a reliable friend!Albus means “white” in Latin. Wait, what color is the headmaster’s hair?Sirius means “dog star.” You can say that again!Argus means “bright.” Perhaps she was being sarcastic here? But then again, as Hogwarts’ caretaker, Filch is always walking the halls with a lantern at night!Tom means “twin.” Ponder this one when you get to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! We might also consider the relationship between Harry and Tom Riddle’s wands . . . Bellatrix means “warlike.” No surprise there!Cedric means “kind and loved.” He does try to stop the other fourth-years from wearing the buttons that make fun of Harry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!Draco means “dragon.” He does, after all, use words like he’s spitting fire . . . Cho means “beautiful.” Plenty of Hogwarts fourth-years would agree!Alastor (a.k.a. Mad-Eye Moody) means “man’s defender.” This one, too, will be clear if you’ve read the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!Dolores means “sorrow.” That’s definitely what I felt when Umbridge arrived at Hogwarts!Severus means “stern” or “severe.” Okay, fair enough – the meaning of Professor Snape’s name was probably the most obvious!Sybill means “prophetess.” There couldn’t possibly be a more perfect name for the Hogwarts professor of Divination!Arthur means “strong as a bear.” That’s the head of the Weasley clan, thank you very much!Minerva means “goddess of wisdom” or “wise” – as any Gryffindor head of house should be! Add a Comment
    23. July Books of the Month

    Recommend me!It’s time for Books of the Month!I asked you all what books you were reading

    . Then I made a word cloud to show which titles are most popular. As he has been for some time now, Percy Jackson leads the pack in popularity, but some other titles have been steadily rising in rank over the months. (Percy had better watch his back! Dork Diaries is sneaking up there!) See for yourself:July books of the monthHarry Potter Readathon

    !!!

    Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading now? What books do you absolutely, positively love and think everyone in the whole wide world should read? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments below. I can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!

    See ya,

    image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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    24. Harry Potter Book Covers Revealed

    Bloomsbury Children’s Books will publish new editions of JK Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter books on September 1st.

    Artist Jonny Duddle created the new covers for each of the seven books. In advance of the new releases, the publisher has revealed the updated covers for the new books. Check them out after the jump.

    (more…)

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    25. Harry Potter Birthday Cake Bake-Off

    Harry Potter StampVote for your favorite Harry Potter birthday cake.Harry Potter Birthday Cake

    Which birthday cake do you vote for as the best fan-made Harry Potter birthday cake?! Leave your vote in the Comments.

    Marisa, STACKS Intern

    Birthday cake image credits: Daniel Drexler, woodleywonderworks, Two Kings Confections, TipsyCake Chicago

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