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 »

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver Recommended Ages: 13+ Heather and Dodge are two sides of the same coin, just two kids looking to rectify the problems of their unpleasant home lives in the middle of Carp, population 12,000. And when Panic starts ups again, an annual summer contest for graduating high school seniors that pushes their fears and limits to the brink, both of them realize an opportunity to get themselves out of their respective troubles. ... Read More »

Fan of the Week: Ben – April 20, 2014

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BEN Age 13 – Wyoming, USA RAVENCLAW How did you become a Harry Potter fan? When I was in 2nd grade, my brother was really into Harry Potter, so one day,  when I was in the school library, I decided to read it. I remember quite clearly (which is strange for me, because I have an absolutely terrible memory, my parents actually think I suffer from short term memory loss) picking up a hardback cover of ... Read More »

Book Review: Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell

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Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell Recommended Ages: 13+ The legend says that the great hero Sorahb will return when his country has need of him. If ever Farsala needed a hero, it is now. The Hrum Empire has destroyed its army and taken possession of most of its major cities. They still have most of a year to meet their deadline, when they must either subdue all resistance or abandon their plan to ... Read More »

Book Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

It's Kind of a Funny Story

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini Recommended Ages: 13+ At the risk of sounding too much like a trailer warning for the newest episode of Law & Order, I would like to preface this discussion by noting that the themes of It’s Kind of a Funny Story may be of a more sensitive nature for some people out there. Craig Gilner is a fairly typical American teenager living in New York trying ... Read More »

Book Review: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

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Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith Recommended Ages: 12+ “Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast” is the name of the series, as well as the place young David “Scrub” Elliott finds himself visiting over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. It isn’t that Scrub is into science fiction, so much. His main interest is basketball. He would rather be back in Florida, trading insane dares with his best friend and training for the all-star team. ... Read More »

Book Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Untold

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan Recommended Ages: 13+ In Book 2 of “The Lynburn Legacy,” a dark ultimatum looms over the outwardly charming town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. The evil sorcerer Rob Lynburn means to return the town to its old ways, in which the sorcerous few held power over the non-magical many—an arrangement whereby good weather and prosperous fortunes were given in exchange for blood sacrifice. Rob and his sorcerers demand a victim—a human victim, mind ... Read More »

5 Reasons Why I Ship Harry and Cho

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No relationship in the "Potter" series was nearly as honest or poignant as Harry’s with his first crush, Cho. I think the series may have come to a more interesting end if Harry had married Cho instead of Ginny. I am a Harry/Cho shipper through and through, and here’s why. Read More »

“Harry Potter” in One (Paragraph, Sentence, Word…)

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There are many ways to describe what "Harry Potter" means to people, but here are three takes on it, each more concise than the next. Read More »

Why Ron is more than “just funny”

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“I get that Harry stands for bravery and represents all that’s good. Hermione represents reason and Voldemort, evil, obviously. But what on earth does Ron Weasley represent?!” I thought about it for a couple of seconds and gave her an answer I’m not very proud of: “He’s just funny.” I felt bad immediately after saying it. Read More »