Friday, May 23, 2008

The Half-Blood Prince (review)

J. K. Rowling announced in the title confirmation message that the Half-Blood Prince referred to in the book's title is neither Harry nor Voldemort.

There has been wide speculation about the identity of this character, with suggested names including Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Hagrid, Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan or even Dudley Dursley.

The character Mark Evans—mentioned briefly at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix—had been suggested, largely because Lily Potter's maiden name was "Evans" and fans could not believe that his name could be a coincidence. However a fan poll resulted in the question of his identity being settled on Rowling's website: his name is simply a coincidence and he will not play a significant part in the story (Rowling jokingly accompanied her revelation with an alleged flight to foreign parts to escape wrathful fans).

Some even suggested Tom Riddle was a candidate, arguing that he has already been referred to separately from "Voldemort" in the books. However, this was dispelled by Rowling.

Following her appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival it was reported on Mugglenet that Rowling revealed to two separate attendees that Hagrid is not the HBP.

Such rumours are unlikely to be quelled until the publication of the book, as Rowling has indicated she will reveal no more information on the character.

Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J.K. Rowling revealed on her official website on August 2004 a very short passage from the book. This is the very first excerpt from the book:

"[He] looked rather like an old lion. There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CNN Features Harry Potter in Academia

CNN Features Harry Potter in Academia

While many readers and fans of the Harry Potter novels have long delved into the deeper meaning and context of the books in broader relation to other subjects, it would seem college universities here in the US are now following suit. CNN has a special feature article now online, highlighting the use of Harry Potter as curriculum at some of the universities in the States, including at Yale Divinity School, where graduate student Danielle Tumminio is teaching a course called “Christian Theology and Harry Potter.” CNN reports the “course uses all seven Potter books and the students examine Christian themes such as sin, evil and resurrection.

“It was a struggle for me as I put the class together, because I knew if I didn’t construct this really well … that a lot of what I was doing would be missed or misconstrued. I certainly didn’t want to come across as someone trying to indoctrinate my students,” Tumminio said. “I also wanted to make it clear that it was a critical endeavor, Justify Fulland that it wasn’t … that you’d sit around all day talking about how great Luna Lovegood was.”The class was an immediate draw for students. Seventy-nine people showed up at the first session for the 18 open seats.”

The article continues to note that others, such as authors John Granger, Philip Nel, and Ed Kerns have long seen the benefits to using Harry Potter in an academic situation. “Edmund Kern, author of “The Wisdom of Harry Potter” and professor at Lawrence University, was originally attracted to the books based on his training as a historian of early religion, magic and witchcraft. For him, the books’ historical impact, rather than their literary context, makes for a more intriguing analysis.

“As a kind of global cultural phenomenon, Harry Potter in a sense is unprecedented. I think movies have been extremely popular around the world, I think that certain music has been extremely popular around the world, but never before has a single literary endeavor caught the attention of so many people,” Kern said. Lisa Lowe, professor of American Studies at Yale, has read all seven books not as a scholar, but as a parent.

“What [Rowling’s] really done is come up with a mode of captivating a whole generation: it’s a form of captive concentration that took place over a course of nearly 10 years,” Lowe said.”As an adult, you’ll be thinking, ‘What would Harry have done?’ “

If you are interested in this type of deeper analytical and thoughtful examination of the Harry Potter books, be sure to check out our forum, where our Obscurus section focuses on these types of discussions, as well as Scribbulus, which contains many wonderful academic essays relating to the wonderful novels by J.K. Rowling.

More information is available on the website address given below:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Release Date: November 21, 2008 (conventional theaters and IMAX)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: David Yates
Screenwriter: Steven Kloves
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, David Bradley, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters and David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, Jim Broadbent, Helen McCrory, Jessie Cave, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Frank Dillane
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Official Website:
Review: Not Available
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available
Movie Poster: Not Available
Production Stills: -
Plot Summary: 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 with jealously 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."

Empire Awards 2008 to David Yates:

A new hope for Harry

Harry Potter may not be finished after all. Author JK Rowling, pictured by Frank McGrath, in Dublin last night, hinted there could be more of the child wizard's adventures in coming year

A new hope for Harry

JK won't rule out a Potter revival

By Shane Hickey

Wednesday February 13 2008

Maybe the story of Harry Potter isn't finished after all.

Author JK Rowling, the so-called Mrs Harry Potter, gave a glimmer of hope to the millions of fans of the phenomenally successful books last night.

Speaking to a rapturous audience in UCD, the author opened the possibility for more of the child wizard's adventures in coming years.

With the seventh book in the series, the story of Harry was presumed finished.

But last night Ms Rowling said she would "never say never" to another in the series.

However, for a series that was her life for 17 years, it would be another decade before she could ever revisit the adventures of the wizard, she said.

And judging by the reaction of 600 students, children and adult fans of the book last night, it is just as well.

"I do feel that the Harry story is now done," she said to a disappointed sigh which verged on tears.

More information is available in the website given below:

Prince Charles 'loves' the Harry Potter films

Julie Walters receives a CBE today at Buckingham Palace from Prince Charles who 'loves' the Harry Potter films in which the actress plays Molly Weasley

More information is available in the website given below:

J.K. Rowling, 2007 Author of the Year

CBC Invites Kids to Vote for Children's Choice Book Awards

SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 3/24/2008 10:43:00 AM

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is inviting kids to help select their favorite book, author, and illustrator as part of the organization’s first "Children's Choice Book Awards."

The CBC, a trade association for children’s book publishers, has released a list of 25 nominees in five categories. Students can cast their ballots at a special online site through May 4, and the winners will be announced at a Children's Book Week (May 12-18) gala on May 13.

The event is a new feature of Children's Book Week, which was recent moved from November to May. The CBC also just named Jon Scieszka the inaugural National Ambassador for Young People's Literature , as part of a program sponsored by the CBC and the Library of Congress.

"The program will allow children from across the country to discover what other children like to read," says Robin Adelson, executive director of the CBC, says of the choice awards. "We believe that by empowering children to express their opinions, it will positively impact their perspective and interest in books and bring a renewed excitement to reading."

2007 Author of the Year

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic)

For more information visit the website given below:

In Conversation with JK Rowling

In Conversation with JK Rowling
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 8:17am

Adeel Amini meets the author of a little series called Harry Potter
(from Student, 04/03/08)

With the perpetual smell of hops lingering about the air and a gust strong enough to blow you down to Skegness, it’s often hard to find a half-decent reason to still be kicking around Edinburgh after a few years. But then it’s equally difficult not to love a city where you can bump into JK Rowling in a centrally-located coffee shop, politely ask for an interview, and four agonising months later have a private audience with arguably the most famous author in the world.

“Please don’t call it that,” she insists, with a modesty that seems slightly suspect at first. I might argue with her considering the multiple awards, infamous fortune, and sales north of 400 million worldwide, but think better than to anger a personality already alleged to have an inherent dislike for interviews. Instead I introduce her to a friend who, primarily to avoid the ire just mentioned, serves as an adequate cloak with her swot-like knowledge for my complete ignorance of all Potter books (a Muggle, I believe the term is).

But this isn’t about Harry, not in entirety. This is about the woman that has risen to the pinnacle of modern literature in the last decade, certainly in terms of sales and stardom. Now that her multi-million pound franchise seems to be done with for the time being, what exactly has she been up to?

“Well I have been writing for a bit, although the end of last year was a bit mad. There was the America tour that I did in October and I did take some time off. Everyone keeps saying to me, ‘Oh it must be really quiet now’ but in fact it’s been quite a high pressure time - it seems like everyone who’s been not asking me to do things for ten years has done now, and it’s now come in a rush. There’s a thousand letters a week, there’s a lot of stuff to deal with at the moment.”

More information is available on the link given below:

The Harry Potter Kids, Biography


“The Harry Potter Kids”

Rated: TVPG
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Genre: Documentary
Closed Captions: Yes

They were virtually unknown when they were cast in the first Harry Potter movie in 2000, but Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have since become worldwide stars. When Radcliffe won the coveted role as Harry in The Sorcerer's Stone, he was plucked from almost compete obscurity. Grint was a fan of the books and wanted a part in the films so much that he sent a video of himself rapping about how much he wanted the role. Watson was just 11 and had almost no acting experience when the film was released. Today, all the Potter kids are grown, especially Watson, who has been named one of the world's sexiest women by the magazine "FHM".

Harry Potter: The Exhibition

'Harry Potter: The Exhibition'
International Touring Exhibit to Debut in 2009

By PR Newswire

BALTIMORE, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Becker Group, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today announced it will bring worldwide audiences "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," a state-of-the-art exhibition highlighting artifacts from the Warner Bros. films based on J.K. Rowling's beloved book series. The 10,000 square foot experience will premiere in Spring 2009 in a major market, and will appear in ten or more cities around the world throughout a five-year span.

"Harry Potter: The Exhibition" will include elaborate displays of authentic costumes, props and artifacts from popular environments featured in the films such as those from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the Gryffindor common room and Hagrid's hut. During its run, the exhibit will also be updated to include artifacts from the final installments of the Harry Potter film series. The exhibition will be displayed in major cultural and entertainment venues, museums and institutions, and will be supported by a multimedia promotional effort and advance ticket sales worldwide. Tour information, updates and ticket availability will be posted at as details become available, or for more information, call 866-231-8328.

With more than $4.5 billion in worldwide box office gross sales to date, Harry Potter is the most successful film franchise in the world. The next installment of the Warner Bros. blockbuster film series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is scheduled to open in theaters on November 21, 2008.

More information is available in the address given below.

Sunday, May 18, 2008