Harry Potter and the Hero’s Journey

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Last week, I found a post on Tumblr that analyzed a character from the TV show "Doctor Who" and compared that character's journey to the pattern of Joseph Campbell's "monomyth," or "the hero's journey" (the original post can be found here). Monomyth, as conveniently explained by Wikipedia, "is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world." Essentially, it is the theory that many great literary heroes have all gone through the same seventeen stages of adventure (i.e., their stories all follow the same pattern). After researching this for a while, I was inspired to make my own comparisons between Harry's journey in the "Harry Potter" series to see if it matched up with Joseph Campbell's pattern. Read More »

Book Review: The Monster by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

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The second book in the Troubletwisters series finds the small seaside town of Portland threatened by a fragment of The Evil that menaced it in Book 1. At least, so the Shield twins suspect. Jack and Jaide are still a bit jumpy after their narrow victory in their first adventure. The wards are all intact, protecting Portland, and the world, from the all-consuming hunger that lurks outside our universe. But Jack can never forget how ... Read More »

Fan of the Week: Olivia – April 27, 2014

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OLIVIA Age 12 – Boston, USA HUFFLEPUFF How did you become a Harry Potter fan? When I was 7, I barely read any books. My parents begged me to read the popular books that other kids my age read, such as the Narnia series, but I just didn’t get into them. One day, my mum bought me Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone. I forgot about it, until one day I picked it up and started ... Read More »

Re-Watching “Potter” as a Television and Film Student

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I'm a communications student. I like to think that explains me pretty much to the fullest. I have always watched movies more carefully then all my friends because that's what I'm interested in. Every DVD I get I have to get the one with the most special features and behind-the-scenes footage. I love to see how things are created to come alive on the screen. Since I've been studying communications for the past two years in college, these habits have escalated. Last semester I even wrote my final paper for my cinema and digital technology class on the cinematography within the "Harry Potter" movies and how it changes from film to film as the directors change. Read More »

Book Review: Troubletwisters by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

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The cover art of this book gives a misleading impression of what kind of trouble the “troubletwisters” specialize in. The fact that the book actually does feature several tornadoes and a hurricane may add to that impression. So you may be surprised to learn that the term “troubletwisters” in this book does not have anything to do with cyclones, as such. Troubletwisters are kids who have started to manifest powers—powers which, if brought under control ... Read More »

Book Review: Darksolstice by Sam Llewellyn

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The second book of Lyonesse concludes this most unusual variant of the Arthurian legend, based on the folklore of the author’s native Isles of Scilly, off the southwest tip of Britain. It follows up on The Well Between the Worlds, which seemed such an engaging and original work of fantasy that I had read half of it before I realized that the resemblance between its characters’ names and figures associated with King Arthur was more ... Read More »

Book Review: Alien on a Rampage by Clete Barrett Smith

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Alien on a Rampage by Clete Barrett Smith Recommended Ages: 12+ In his second summer at the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, David (formerly “Scrub”) Elliott expects to enjoy his time with Grandma, his sweetheart Amy, and a houseful of extraterrestrial tourists. But things get off to a disappointing start, and get worse from there. First, he suspects that the new alien handyman is up to no good. But far from being able to convince anyone ... Read More »

Book Review: Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney

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Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney Recommended Ages: 16+ Siobhan Quinn is a runaway, a junkie, and a tough chick, living by her wits in the streets of Providence, R.I. Things start to get really dark for her when she sees her girlfriend being eaten by a ghoul. She kills it, of course. Under the patronage of a flamboyant character whom she calls “Mean Mr. B,” she soon sets out on a career as a slayer ... Read More »

Knowing Harry, Knowing Yourself: Discover Your “Potter” Personality

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Who needs a stuffy personality test? Let's find out what our "Potter" personalities are! Read More »

Exploring Animal Cruelty and Mistreatment in “Potter”

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It’s a well-known fact that throughout the "Potter" series we’re introduced to a number of different animals, both “Muggle” and magical, each of which are uniquely portrayed by Rowling in their own way. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Rowling expressed that she typically liked to derive many of these creatures from folklore and mythology, and many, even the seemingly “normal” ones, exemplify magical properties (think owls delivering mail). Further, though, I think it’s important to recognize that a lot of the different creatures in the "Potter" series haven’t necessarily been given happy endings, or stories for that matter. Read More »