20 Years of Harry Potter

Platform nine and three-quarters from Harry Potter

On June 26, 1997, struggling author J.K. Rowling’s first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was finally published by Bloomsbury in the UK after multiple rejections from other companies. It was published the next year in America by Scholastic under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Today marks 20 years since Harry Potter was officially introduced – 20 years of the scrawny, black-haired, green-eyed, bespectacled boy enchanting readers all over the world.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

With the newest entry in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J. K. Rowling has once again proven herself a master of imagination. However, it’s important to remember that there are now two books bearing this same title: the screenplay which is the basis for the movie starring Eddie Redmayne, and the Hogwarts Library edition that serves as a facsimile of Harry Potter’s text book. Both are available through the Chesapeake Library, and both are quick, entertaining reads, but make sure you know which version you’re looking for. (Click on the book covers to go to that item’s catalog page!)

fantastic-beasts-screenplay       fantastic-beasts-text

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Finally, it’s my turn to read and review the eighth Harry Potter book!

This was one of the biggest surprises out of the Harry Potter world. I personally wasn’t expecting anything else after the last movie, and definitely didn’t think another book was coming. This new story picks up right where the last one left off, focusing on new characters, namely the children of Harry and Ginny Potter, Ron and Hermione Weasley, and Draco Malfoy. You’ll see the first generation quite often, but the time period and point of view are completely different. However, the setting–Hogwarts students navigating their way through school and the social heirarchy, one of whom is coping with everyone else having prior expectations about him due to circumstances entirely beyond his control–is very familiar.

The reactions so far have been extremely mixed. A number of my friends have loved it, hated it, or just been confused by it. My mother described it as “disturbing.” Now, honestly, I wasn’t that troubled by this, because I like disturbing stories. However, since so many have been wary of diving into this particular volume, I wanted to give as honest a reaction as possible. Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Rule Breaker: Whispers Under ground by Ben Aaronovitch

whispers underground

I miss the Harry Potter series.  But fortunately I have found a new magically series about Peter Grant, an English police officer (constable), who is training in the ways of magic, a sorcerer’s apprentice.  Peter is part of a secret branch of the police that investigates crimes where magic is involved.

This series is a nice way to start your summer reading, the plot is light and even though murder is involved the story isn’t depressing or heavy.  Mainly, because Peter doesn’t take himself seriously.  This book is the third in the series and it does mention situations and characters from past books but it will not take too much away from the story.  There is a bit of foul language and if you are not up on British slang you may have a bit of a problem but overall a nice read.  What I enjoyed most was Peter’s wicked sense of humor.

If you must read a series from the beginning, the first book is, Midnight Riot, but for those who use the Chesapeake Public Library System, we don’t own Midnight Riot.  But don’t worry we can get it for you, go to www.infopeake.org,  click Services, click Interlibrary Loan Request, and fill out the form.