MAY 24, 2007
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Only 58 more days to go before the release of book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Let’s continue the discussion by talking about book four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. To me, the series really starts to change with this book – things get more serious, and more sinister. Voldemort gets stronger, the Death Eaters start to gather, and characters that you get to know, actually die. That said, the Goblet of Fire is probably my favorite.
The book starts out with the Quidditch World Cup. I love the idea of 100,000 witches and wizards converging on a “nice deserted moor” to watch an international quidditch game. The camping tents that wizards use are very cool, and so are the things that fans can buy – like miniature Quidditch players that walk around on the palm of your hand.
But most of the action in book four centers around the Triwizard Tournament. Inter-house quidditch games are cancelled at Hogwarts for the year, so that a champion from each of the three largest European schools of wizardry - Beauxbatons, Durmstrang, and Hogwarts - can compete for the Triwizard Cup. The goblet of fire, supposedly an impartial selector, chooses the contestants. The tournament is a big deal in the international wizardry community. It hasn’t been held for over a hundred years because the death toll of the contestants was too high. As a precaution, Dumbledore casts a spell to prevent anyone under 17 from being able to enter. Nevertheless, the goblet selects Harry, who is only 14, and that’s after it has already selected a champion for each of the schools.
The tasks are difficult and dangerous. When Harry faces the Hungarian Horntail, his initial anxiety almost leaps off the page. When he keeps putting off solving the clue for the second task, I wanted to jump in there and shake him. The tension before each task is intense.
We are hosting our own tournament of sorts, a Hary Potter Trivia Contest, on July 20th to celebrate the series and the release of the 7th book. Click here for details and to print out an application.
Here are some questions to discuss while we're waiting:
Category: Harry Potter
MAY 19, 2007
New Theme Song for "Cover to Cover"
For the past three years, the Library staff has been hosting "Cover to Cover", a book discussion program that is broadcast on local Public Access television. The show is part of the library's effort to help build a community of readers. On "Cover to Cover" library staff talk about books that we've enjoyed, and by doing so, hope to inspire others to discover the joy of reading.
That's the old news. Here's the real news. "Cover to Cover" now has a new theme song, composed and performed by local college Music major and our own part-time library shelver, Glenn Bell. The song includes a blazing guitar track by Glenn's fellow student , Kyle Damron, who also happens to be one of our part-time library shelvers. The library is so fortunate to have such talented young people to work with and to have available to help us create better tools for use in spreading the word about the importance of reading! The new theme song can be heard with our first broadcast in June.
To watch "Cover to Cover" tune in daily at 6:30 p.m. on local cable Cannel 25, or view it via streaming video from the library's Web site.
Categories: Staff Reads, In the Know
MAY 8, 2007
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
As of this post, we've now got seventy-four days left until the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Leading up to the conclusion of this magical series, let's begin a discussion of book #3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which just so happens to be my favorite!
In this story, Harry returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry under close watch, for better or worse, by everyone from teachers to the the Minister of Magic, while dementors prowl on the lookout for Sirius Black who has escaped from Azkaban Prison.
Here are a few questions to get the conversation started:
1) It seemed ironic to me that poor Harry finally gets to return to Hogwarts after a miserable summer trapped at the home of the insufferable Dursleys, just to be "trapped" again at Hogwarts - as his every action is scrutinized and his movements restricted. Which other characters are "trapped" in this story?
2) In this story Harry learns the deeper meaning of friendship and loyalty, even though there is a great deal of friction among the various characters. From which characters does Harry learn these lessons?
3) Does anyone remember the trick to opening the Monster Book of Monsters?
4.) Now that we have a little insight into Snape's schoolboy experience with James Potter and his friends, do you empathize with him? Or does he seem even less likeable than before?
5) If you were an animagus, what animal would you become? Why?
6) Crookshanks was a bit of a puzzle to me. Hermoine's cat turns out to be a friend of Padfoot's (Serius Black); Crookshanks knows all along that Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew, and he knows how to press the knot on the Whomping Willow? Is Crookshanks something other than just Hermoine's pet cat? I don't remember this ever being explained in anywhere, or maybe I just missed it. Can anyone enlighten me?
7) If you could have a Marauder's Map of any location, what would it be? How would you use it?
Category: Harry Potter