Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harry Potter Extravaganza!

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Well, they're back! The buzz this week has been all about the highly anticipated release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In this post, I'm going to give a little bit of an overview of the entire series. I know that typically, I address books that are more geared towards the younger children, but this week I wanted to do something that the tweens/adults would enjoy!

I, myself, just finished the entire Harry Potter Series for the first time. I know, I'm probably one of the only avid readers who has not read Harry Potter, but the wait was worth the while!  

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Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

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The Dursleys were so mean that hideous summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself?
 

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For twelve long years, the dreaded fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the  apparent heir to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

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Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly. 

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In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice.

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The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability. 
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 Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him? This conclusion to the Harry Potter series is full of love and loss, triumphs and blunders, and finally reveals all that Harry Potter fans have been dying to have revealed! 

And now the moment we've all been waiting for....
P.S. If you have not read the Harry Potter series, there may be a few spoilers ahead!
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This new installation follows Harry Potter, 19 years after his defeat of Voldemort, where he is now a husband, father of three children, and an employee of the Ministry of Magic.
However, this story is more about Harry's youngest son, Albus Severus Potter as he travels to Hogwarts with his father's unwanted history and fame right behind him. 

What Everyone Should Know:

  • While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is indeed a book, it is set up as a script.
  • The play premiered in England on July 30, 2016 
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is more about Harry's son, Albus, than Harry himself. 
  • In the Special Rehearsal Edition, there are a total of 308 pages. However, where it is a script, it makes for a quick read. 
  • Your favorite characters will return! Ron, Hermione, Draco (as well as their children), Professor McGonagall, and many more!  
About The Characters 
Harry Potter
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1. The main character of the series; Harry Potter is a brave young orphan who lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin on Number 4 Privet Drive. On his eleventh birthday, Harry receives a visit from the giant, Hagrid, who tells him he is a wizard, just like his parents were, and that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 
Also, Harry Potter is the lone survivor of the Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort, who hasn't been seen or heard from since the murder of Harry's parents and the attempted murder of Harry, himself. Harry Potter is truly an amazing and complex character who you will love reading about. 
 
Ronald (Ron) Weasley 
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2. Ronald (Ron) Weasley is Harry Potter's best friend. They meet on the Hogwarts platform/train and they instantly become great friends. While Harry and Ron are two peas in a pod, like any friends- they fight. Ron is one of the seven children of Molly and Arthur Weasley, who act as parents to Harry as well. Ron is fiercely loyal, but also slightly insecure, seeing as he is friends with the most famous student at Hogwarts. 
 
Hermione Granger
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3. Hermione Granger is also a close friend of both Harry and Ron. Hermione serves as the brains and the voice of reason between the two boys. She is described as incredibly bright, and an overachiever. While at first the boys don't like her, the three become close friends after Ron and Harry save her from a mountain troll. Her parents are both Muggle (non-magical beings) dentists, who support Hermione through her Wizarding studies. 
 
Neville Longbottom
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Neville is also a friend of Harry Potter. His parents were both Aurors (detectors of Dark Magic), but were driven insane by Death Eaters who put them under the Imperius Curse. Neville lives with his grandmother, when he is not at Hogwarts. He is also extremely gifted in Herbology, but is frequently mentioned as one of the worst in Potions.
Draco Malfoy
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 Draco Malfoy is Harry's biggest nemesis at Hogwarts. His father, Lucius, was a Death Eater and Draco follows in his father's footsteps. Draco is also a pureblood wizard, and he believes that anyone less than pureblood is not worthy to be at Hogwarts. 
 Hagrid 
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Hagrid is definitely one of my favorite characters in Harry Potter. He is a half-giant who is the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Hagrid also has an affinity for Magical Creatures- the deadlier the better! Overall, Hagrid is a kind friend to Harry and wants nothing more than to have his own pet dragon.
Albus Dumbledore 
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Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is also a mentor to Harry Potter. If I could describe Dumbledore in one word, it would be mysterious. He appears to be the epitome of all that is good and just at Hogwarts, but we learn in The Deathly Hallows that he actually has a mysterious past. 
 Severus Snape 
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Severus Snape is the Potions Master at Hogwarts, although everyone knows it's actually the Defense Against the Dark Arts position he wants. Professor Snape is very harsh on Harry because of Harry's parentage, and the fact that Harry is rotten at Potions. Snape used to be a Death Eater, but is now a teacher and one of Dumbledore's trusted allies. While Snape is a very strict and demanding teacher to Harry, in the end he'll end up being a beloved character. 
 
Fred and George Weasley
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Fred and George are twins, and two of Ron's older brothers. The two twins live to make mischief, but they are also very loyal to their friends. They are Beaters on Gryffindor's Quidditch team. 
 
Ginny Weasley
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Giny Weasley is the youngest of the Weasley children. She is also in Gryffindor with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ginny also has quite the crush on Harry Potter. Ginny is one of my favorite characters because she is very quiet but she can also be very sarcastic and witty when called to it. 
 
Lord Voldemort
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Lord Voldemort is the villain in the Harry Potter books. Once a Hogwarts student, much like Harry, he turned to the Dark Arts. Lord Voldemort is also known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and You-Know-Who because many wizards are afraid to speak his name.  
 
Anything you want to add about the Harry Potter books? Tell us about your favorite Harry Potter book, character, or simply how you enjoyed the books.
 
 
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