Saturday, May 17, 2008

JKR receives 'Author of the Year' award

J.K. Rowling, the author of the popular Harry Potter series received the 'Author of the Year Award' at the first annual Children's Choice Book Awards at a gala in New York City. Over 50,000 votes were made with voting ending on May 4th.

The awards program was created to:

... provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to help develop a reading list that will motivate children to read. The program is a new component of Children's Book Week, the longest running literacy event in the country.

Congratulations to JKR.

Plot of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Main articles: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the extended plot at WikiBooks

On December 14, 2007, Warner Brothers released its official plot summary. It reads:

“Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane's chocolates! And then there's Hermione, simpering [sic] with jealously [sic] but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Film)

From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2008 Fantasy Adventure Film, based on the Novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It will be the sixth film in the popular Harry Potter Films series. Production is in the principal photography stage. David Yates, the director of the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will return as director for this film. David Heyman and David Barron will produce the film, and Steve Kloves, though he did not write the fifth film, will return as screenwriter for this instalment. Filming began on September 24, 2007 and the film is scheduled for a UK and US release on November 21, 2008 and an Australian release on November 27, 2008. Like the previous film, the sixth film will be simultaneously released in regular theatres and IMAX 3-D.


Main articles: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the extended plot at WikiBooks

On December 14, 2007, Warner Brothers released its official plot summary. It reads:

Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn't counted on Romilda Vane's chocolates! And then there's Hermione, simpering [sic] with jealously [sic] but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.”

Before David Yates was officially chosen to direct the film, many others had been offered the job, and previous directors had expressed an interest in returning. Alfonso Cuarón, the director of the third film, stated he "would love to have the opportunity" to return. Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell declined a spot to direct the fifth film, and was not approached for this one either. Terry Gilliam was Rowling's personal choice to direct Philosopher's Stone. However, when asked whether he would consider directing a later film, Gilliam said, "Warner Bros. had their chance the first time around, and they blew it."

Matthew Vaughn and James McTeigue were reportedly approached, and M. Night Shyamalan also declined. Shyamalan stated that he would like to try his own hand at writing an adaptation of a book before attempting to take on Harry Potter, despite his having written the screenplay of 1999's Stuart Little. Access Hollywood reported that Michael Hoffman was in talks to direct, though the rumour was quickly denied. It was not until May 2007 that Yates was announced as the director, making him the second director to helm two films in the series.

Yates has retained composer Nicholas Hooper, costume designer Jany Temime, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, creature and make-up effects designer Nick Dudman, and special effects supervisor John Richardson from the fifth film. Since February 2007, Stuart Craig, the production designer of the first five films as well, has been designing sets, including the cave, and the astronomy tower, where the climax of the film takes place. Academy Award nominated Bruno Delbonnel is the film's cinematographer.

Yates and Heyman have noted that some of the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows may influence the script of the film, and that there will not be as many memories in the film as in the book. Yates noted: "We're making a decision right now to compress those a wee bit, but we've still got some really cool ones." Quidditch will also be featured, much to the annoyance of Radcliffe and other cast and crew members. Steve Kloves, who wrote the first four films but opted to pen The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time rather than the fifth film, returned for the sixth adaptation. Rowling has read Kloves' script and crossed out a passage in which Dumbledore recalls a past female love, penning in the margin "Dumbledore is gay."


Filming began on 24 September 2007, with one week of rehearsals, and is about to end as of May 2008. Some sources stated that filming may move from the UK, where all of the previous five films have been shot. This is North Scotland reported filming will take place in New Zealand, due to the "more agreeable economy and climate" and lack of Scottish funding. The Sunday Business Post in Ireland has noted that the film's producers and WB executives have been scouting there, specifically Leinster and Munster because they "believe they have now exhausted possible locations in Britain." They are "particularly keen on Ireland, as the landscape is similar to Britain and will appear similar to the settings of the previous films." The crew also scouted around Cape Wrath in Scotland, for use in the cave scene. Filming is scheduled to return to Glen Coe and Glenfinnan, both locations that have appeared in the previous films, to preserve the continuity of the landscape.

On the weekend of 6 October 2007, the crew shot scenes involving the Hogwarts Express in the misty and dewy environment of Fort William, Scotland. A series of night scenes have been filmed in the village of Lacock and the cloisters at Lacock Abbey for three nights starting 25 October 2007. Filming took place from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, and residents of the street were asked to black out their windows with dark blinds. On set reports indicated that the main scene filmed was Harry and Dumbledore's visit to Slughorn's house. Further filming took place in Surbiton railway station in October 2007, Gloucester Cathedral, where the first and second films were shot, in February 2008, and at the Millennium Bridge in London in March 2008.

Though Radcliffe, Gambon and Broadbent started shooting in late September 2007, some other stars started much later: Watson did not begin until December 2007, Rickman until January 2008, and Bonham Carter until February 2008.


Further information: List of Harry Potter cast members

* Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, who is now entering his sixth year at Hogwarts, with the wizarding world at war. Radcliffe has insisted that he will not be on autopilot while filming.

* Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, one of Harry's two best friends. He develops an on-off relationship with Lavender Brown, although his true affections lie with Hermione.

* Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, one of Harry's two best friends. Watson considered not returning for the sixth film, but eventually decided that "the pluses outweighed the minuses" and could not bear to see anyone else play Hermione.

* Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore. The legendary wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts. The revelation of Dumbledore's sexuality prompted Gambon to "camp up" around the set when off camera, but his on-screen performance is expected to remain unchanged from the previous films.

* Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn, the newly appointed Hogwarts Potions master. Broadbent described his costumes as "tweedy", and his character as "comic", while Radcliffe noted that "[Slughorn's] tragedy will outweigh the comedy".

* Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, the former Potions master, who finally achieves his goal of becoming Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

* Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, a classmate of Harry, who Harry suspects of carrying out a task for Voldemort across the year, and son of Narcissa Malfoy and nephew to Bellatrix.

* Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister in her fifth year, for whom Harry develops intense romantic feelings. She dates Dean Thomas for most of the year.

* Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, a friend of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny.

* Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, a friend of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny.

* Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher.

* Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall, the Hogwarts Transfiguration teacher, deputy headmistress and head of Gryffindor.

* David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, a member of the Order of the Phoenix and former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

* Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks, a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

* Helen McCrory as Narcissa Malfoy, Draco's mother and younger sister of Bellatrix. McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in Order of the Phoenix, but had to drop out due to pregnancy. Naomi Watts was previously reported as having accepted the role, only for it to be denied by her agency.

* Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Voldemort's principal Death Eaters, older sister of Narcissa Malfoy, and aunt to Draco.

* Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew, one of Voldemort's principal Death Eaters.

* Mark Williams and Julie Walters as Arthur and Molly Weasley, Ron and Ginny's parents.

* Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane will each play Tom Riddle, the child who becomes Lord Voldemort, at age eleven and as a teenager respectively. Tiffin is the 9-year-old nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who plays the adult Voldemort in the fourth and fifth films. Yates commented at the U.S. Order of the Phoenix premiere, that one of the two actors was "really interesting." An open casting call was held for the part in July 2007, with applicants reading from a scene involving Riddle trying to persuade Horace Slughorn to explain what Horcruxes are Christian Coulson, who played Riddle in Chamber of Secrets, expressed an interest in returning. However, Yates responded that Coulson was too old, nearing 30, to be playing the role. Jamie Campbell Bower, who appeared in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, previously noted that he had his "fingers crossed" he would be cast as a young Riddle.

* Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown, Ron's on-off girlfriend. Watson described her as "perfect for the role," although Cave did not attend the open auditions. An open casting call was held for the part on 1 July 2007. Over 7,000 girls turned out for the audition and read from a scene with Madam Pomfrey, Hermione, and Ron. Yates tested Grint with the top five choices for Lavender, reading certain lines and kissing, to see which pairing had the best chemistry

Additionally, Warwick Davis and David Bradley will reprise their roles as Charms teacher Filius Flitwick and caretaker Argus Filch. Georgina Leonidas will play Katie Bell, the Gryffindor Chaser who is injured by a cursed necklace. Anna Shaffer will be portraying Romilda Vane, a student obsessed with Harry, she tries to make him fall in love with her by using love potions. Websites of UK casting agencies reported that Scarlett Byrne will play Pansy Parkinson. Katie Leung will also return as Cho Chang in a very brief role. Two 11-year-old children, Taylor Triphook and Katie Head, who have been noted to be redheads, will play twins in the film, roles not culled from the novel. 12-year-old Ashley Whitehead has been cast as an orphan in the film, while Louis Cordice will play Blaise Zabini. Freddie Stroma, Isabella Laughland, and Robert Knox will play Cormac McLaggen, Katie Bell's friend Leanne and Marcus Belby respectively. Ralph Ineson will play Amycus Carrow, Suzanne Toase will play Alecto Carrow, and Dave Legeno will play Fenrir Greyback. Tom Moorcroft will portray Regulus Black, and Sanguini, the vampire at Slughorn's party will be played by Charlie Bennison. Tony Coburn will play Young Lucius Malfoy.

Afshan Azad and Shefali Chowdhury have expressed interest in returning as the Patil twins. Both Clémence Poésy and Chris Rankin are interested in returning, but in October 2007 Poésy noted that she will not be reprising her role of Fleur Delacour, and Rankin has stated that he thinks Percy Weasley will be cut. Miriam Margolyes, who has not appeared in her role as Pomona Sprout since Chamber of Secrets, wishes to return as well. After he expressed an interest in appearing, Yates confirmed that Bill Nighy would be his first choice for the role of Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, providing the character made it into the final screenplay. Although no further reports have been released, Yates told Wizard that he was "struggling with [fitting Scrimgeour in the script] at the moment, and he's in one moment and he's out the next." Madonna's daughter Lourdes was reportedly offered a role in the film, although it was rejected as Madonna wants her daughter to "have a normal childhood."

Early auditions took place in England in April 2007, though reports would not state which role the audition was for. One actor who auditioned for the role was Icelandic Jón Páll Eyjólfsson, who went to school with screenwriter Steve Kloves. Official casting news was scarce even as filming began. It was reported that Jack Davenport, Stephen Rea, Peter Rnic, Stuart Townsend, and Joseph Fiennes were each offered unspecified roles, although representatives of Townsend and Fiennes denied the reports. Warner Bros. announced in a press release on 16 November 2007 that casting for the film had been completed.


The special edition two-disc DVD for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix contained two sneak peeks of the film, while the US edition included an additional clip. Warner Bros and MSN will run an online Order of the Phoenix quiz, with the prize being a walk-on part in the film. As with the previous films, EA Games will produce a video game based on the film.


Half-Blood Prince won the 2007 award for film you "Can't Wait For".

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rowling has rewritten the rules that governed publishing

Queen of the press

Rowling has rewritten the rules that governed publishing

By Jon Stock / London

There aren’t many literary agents in the world who would happily agree to a cut in their fees from 10 per cent to a reported 4 per cent. But the highly regarded Christopher Little was more than happy to oblige. His client, after all, was no struggling writer but J.K. Rowling, 39.

To date [July 10, 2005], 270 million copies of her books have sold in 62 languages, and that’s not including number six (6th book – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), which is already destined to be no.1 around the world. (Scholastic, her US publisher, has printed 8.5 million copies.)

No wonder Little, a Dumbledore like figure who discovered and nurtured Rowling, was happy to take a cut. The book has already made him wealthier than most literary agents can ever dream of. (His earnings could be as much as £30 million. He has declined to comment on his fortune or confirm the fee he charges Rowling.) But then, everything about Rowling is different. She hasn’t just penned six best-sellers; she has rewritten the rules which used to govern publishing.

How many other books require 24 hour guards to surround the presses where they are being printed, in case any one tries to steal a copy and sell it on the black market? Attempts to keep the manuscript a secret, however, have not been entirely successful. Rumours of a breach in security first began to circulate last month after a number of bets were placed with bookmakers on which character will die in the sixthbook. When heavy bets started to be placed on Dumbledore, bookmakers became suspicious and suspended betting. The flurry of bets had come from the town of Bungay in Suffolk, where it is thought the book is being printed.

And then there was the case of the armed – yes, armed – police raid on two men who were suspected of stealing a manuscript. Shots were fired as the manuscript was recovered and two men arrested in a classic sting operation set up by the tabloid Sun. Rowling and her publishers, Bloomsbury, must have been delighted with all the publicity. Although she does not want children’s enjoyment of the book to be spoiled by an advance leak, she knows only too well that such incidents stoke the fires of publicity far more than any advert can.

She also seems to be more excited by this book than she was by number five, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was widely agreed to be patchy, a bit long and in need of some better editing. “I like Half-Blood Prince better than the former three,” she said recently on her Website. “Book six does what I wanted it to do and even if nobody else likes it, I know it will remain one of my favourites in the series. Ultimately, you have to please yourself before you please anyone else.”

But will readers like it? From what little she has revealed, it’s hard to see how it can fail. The death of character will be painful (bookmakers were backing Hagrid, before the Bungay flutter on Dumbledore), but readers will be assuaged by the promise of more romance for Harry.

Let’s face it; he could do with some after the debacle of his kiss with Cho Chang in book five. “He’ll be busy, but what is life without a little romance,” Rowling has said. Ron and Hermione are expected to continue to hold hands rather than commit to anything more serious, although things might change in book seven (7th book – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

The beginning of the Half-Blood Prince, however, sounds like an absolute corker. By all accounts it was written 13 years ago, and was originally meant to open book one, three or five.

As for the future, Rowling, who completed the sixth book ahead of schedule (it was not expected until Christmas), is taking a well earned rest. “I have just completed the very last tiny edits on Half-Blood so I’m now taking a few months off to concentrate on my new daughter, not to mention the old daughter and the not-so-old son. I dare say my fingers will itch for a pen before long, but I doubt I will be doing any sustained writing on HP7 for many months yet.”


Did you know the Hogwarts motto is Drago Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus – ‘Don’t tickle a sleeping dragon’ – and Rowling named non-magical people Muggles after the slang ‘mug’, which means ‘fool’.


Potter Mania

A time capsule, buried in 1999 at King’s Cross on the publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, contains predictions from children on what they think will happen in book seven.

Pooja Shetty, director of Adlabs Films Ltd., which owns the iMax properties for Potter in Mumbai, says ‘When Prisoner of Azkaban was released, iMax tied up with Warner Brothers for DMR technology [Digitally Remastering Hollywood films where it is scanned on a higher resolution and shown on a special screen]. The Harry Potter film was the first where we used the technology.

An Article relating Harry Potter Books

An Article relating Harry Potter Books

With films bankrolled by the biggest studios in Hollywood and Potter-related merchandise falling off the shelves, Harry Potter had taken over the consciousness of a generation of children.

Like a supersonic jet, fuelled by a massive global publicity campaign, Harry Potter circled the globe. From China and New Zealand to Norway and the US, every country reacted in a similar manic way – a television – obsessed, a book – loathing generation metamorphosed into readers. In India too, the reception was no different. Adults and children devoured the books, happy to live in Harry’s world, to travel with him to Hogwarts, to watch proudly as he became the youngest member of his house Quidditch team, and to root for him as he, at grave cost to his life, fought off Lord Voldemort.

Samit Basu says ‘Given the lack of contemporary Indian children’s fiction, parents don’t know what to get their kids. Harry Potter is a great option. The movies and merchandising have also made it reach epical proportions. As someone who’s read all five books, I feel it is high quality, intelligent entertainment’.

A lawyer in Delhi says ‘Harry Potter Books are a great way to escape from reality. I have always enjoyed fantasy fiction. Here it’s a bit of both – a fantastical environment where the characters face real world issues.

The latest Potter book has been the best seller at (through pre-booking) for the last six months.

Apart from the big five cities in India, Potter has attracted quite a following in smaller towns as well.

Parents, too, are awaiting the new book, some even more excited that their children.

What accounts for Harry’s ubiquitous charm? Perhaps it is because the magical world and the real world collide so effortlessly, what Indian actor Rahul Bose likes to call “magic realism” for children. “I think it appeals to an Indian reader because it’s a time tested formula of good versus evil that has been built into our folklore and mythology”, he says.

Sayoni Basu, editor says, “Also, Rowling is very good at creating a sense of empathy with the characters within the world of magic.” There is also the gargantuan publicity and marketing campaign behind the Potter books. “I read the books obsessively,”. “But Harry Potter’s phenomenal success is also a success of marketing.”

The first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone] to really blur the divide between adult and children’s fiction (it even prompted Bloomsbury to create adult editions with ‘grown-up’ jackets), Harry Potter is book marketing coming of age. “Even those that may not want to read the book have Harry Potter bombarding them from everywhere,” says media sociologist Samina Thapar. “Whether it’s through the Internet, the films and the related merchandise. It’s really media feeding off media.”

As for the violence, most parents remain calm and openly encouraging of the books. “Life is a little dark so I don’t see a reason why we can’t expose our children to some dark reading,” says a lawyer.

Like Rowling’s distinction between Muggles and non-Muggles, the world, it seems, is increasingly becoming divided into those that read Harry Potter and those that don’t. So which side are you on?

With Sangeeta John / Mumbai &

Tathagata Bhattacharya / Kolkata

Monday, May 12, 2008

Final Harry Potter Book to be made into two films

Final Harry Potter Book to be made into two films

Los Angeles, March 13

Harry Potter fans are to get double the fun before the movie series come to an end. The Warner Bros. movie studio plans to film the seventh and final book in the series about the boy wizard in two parts, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is to be released in November 2010 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is to come out in May 2011, producer David Heyman told the paper in a story datelined from Watford, England, where the sixth installment is now being filmed.

After the first five films pulled in $4.5 billion worldwide, Heyman told the Times that he worried that some observers would see the decision to make the final book into two movies as a crass money-making move. “I swear to you it was born out of purely creative reasons,” Heyman was quoted as saying.

Both he and lead actor Daniel Radcliffe, 18, said that while screenwriters were able to remove subplots from previous editions, the same could not be said for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. “I think it’s the only way you can do it without cutting a huge portion of the book.” Radcliffe told the Times.

“…The seventh book doesn’t really have any subplots. It’s one driving, pounding story from the word go.” David Yates is to direct both films. Screenwriter Steve Kloves is also to return to write the final two films, which would make him the author of seven of the eight “Harry Potter” scripts. The final two movies are to be filmed at the same time.



London, April 28 2008

Harry Potter has finally invaded British Schools, for toddlers will now have to study the tales of the boy wizard alongside the works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling’s first novel in the series, is on the A-level English Language syllabus of the AQA board, which sets half the UK’s exams. From next year, students will have to write a 800-word story inspired by the book and another 1,500 word essay comparing the author with another writer, The Sun reported. Pupils taking the A-level English exam will be marked on their grasp of the plot, characters and Rowling’s use of language – recently called ‘gibberish’ by a High Court Judge in London. However, the move has provoked a row in Britain, with experts claiming that it would “dumb down” school standards.

Rowling conjures up a subtler piece of magic (An article)

The Dart Art

Rowling conjures up a subtler piece of magic

By Jerome Taylor / London

Whatever the critics say, the number themselves are sheer wizadary. Scholastic, the US publisher of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, announced that 6.9 million copies of J.K. Rowling’s latest work had been sold across America in the first 24 hours. Besides, 265 million copies of the first five books, published in 62 languages, have been sold in over 200 countries.
Thanks to her spellbinding imagination, Rowling is thought to have netted a personal fortune of around £500 million for her endeavours – enough gold galleons to fill half of Gringotts! As the series proceeded, however, Rowling has had to contend with progressively more unfavourable reviews.

Books four and five, The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix, were criticized as lengthy, wordy and lacking gripping climaxes. There was a fear the magic was wearing off. Yet, the readers proved them wrong. More and more fans of all ages and countries immerse themselves in Harry’s adventures proving that Pottermania is inescapable.

So how does Harry’s new adventure compare with his previous escapades? There is an unmistakable darkness that runs throughout the course of this book. The Half-Blood Prince’s prequel had left Harry in a world that was fast unravelling. The dark wizard Voldemort and his Death Eaters were alive and causing more carnage than usual. In contrast, Harry had lost what little family he had left with the murder of his godfather, Sirius Black.

With just one book left to go, it is little surprise that much of the narrative of The Half-Blood Prince is spent preparing the reader for the final showdown between Harry and his arch enemy Voldemort. Many have found such preparation needlessly longwinded and lament the slow pace of beginning and the seeming lack of solid action. But this patient plot building adds yet more layers to an increasingly intricate narrative. It is the rich complexity of Rowling’s imagination and the intertwining histories of her characters that make Harry’s world so bewitching.

“You get a lot of answers in this book,” Rowling told reporters at the book’s launch in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. Many of those nagging questions that kept fans guessing are answered in the 607 pages. None are more exciting than the chapters which explain who Voldemort is and why he is so evil. Rowling had ample time to expand the histories of Harry and friends but left his enemy unsatisfactorily underdeveloped. Voldemort’s history – an abused and neglected childhood coupled with a burning desire to prove himself and mixed with a large dose of narcissism – nourishes the reader’s understanding. We don’t sympathise with the mass murderer, but we see where he went wrong.
  • Rowling’s most admirable quality as a writer for children is her ability to educate her young readers about life. If The Half-Blood Prince teaches us about living, it also schools us in life’s black-hooded sister - death. Once again the climax of the narrative sees another of Harry’s closest friends killed by the forces he must one day defeat. Not only does this deepen our desire to see Harry victorious, but it also reminds us, and especially the young target audience, that the inevitability of death is only overcome by the deeds done when alive.
  • “Rowling’s success in detailing the precariousness of doing what is right and slipping into oblivion is what earns her the right to be called one of the great storytellers yet.” To the unstrained eye, the text verges on verbosity. But, for fans of Harry, each one of those words nourishes their fascination and feeds their imagination.
  • All good things come to those who wait. The Half-Blood Prince is just part of that process.