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  • Elodie 2:00 pm on 2016/12/20 Permalink
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    5 Reasons Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Newbie Reader’s Best Way Into the Wizarding World 

    Longtime fans have been clamoring to see Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the big screen ever since its announcement, on the heels of a long dry spell for Potter cinephiles. But the movie isn’t just a sparkling, often dark addition to the canon for those who already love J.K. Rowling’s brand of narrative magic—it’s also a new reader’s perfect introduction to the wizarding world. If you’ve never read Harry Potter and are wondering if you should climb aboard the bandwagon, here’s why you absolutely should, and why Fantastic Beasts is the best place to start.

    1. You can dip your toes in first.
    Once you’re hooked on Rowling, seven books (and one script book) in the Potter series won’t seem like enough. But coming in cold, it might look like a hefty commitment for a newcomer. If you’re looking to test the waters before diving in, Fantastic Beasts is the way to go. The film features a practically new character in Newt Scamander, a magical creature enthusiast who eventually goes on to write one of Harry Potter’s school textbooks and has plenty of misadventures along the way. Bonus: the movie isn’t an adaptation of a novel, meaning you can see it without invoking the ire of book purists, and you won’t be missing out on anything. Score!

    2. It won’t give anything away.
    Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1920s New York City—about seventy years before the events of the Harry Potter saga. Needless to say, you’ll be safe from spoilers. (It won’t be like trying to navigate Twitter after the latest Game of Thrones episode, for instance.)

    3. But that doesn’t mean Fantastic Beasts is entirely unrelated to the larger Harry Potter series.
    Fantastic Beasts is set in the same richly textured world as the series that first captivated readers over 15 years ago—which means Newt uses many of the same magical spells as Harry, that institutions (like the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) exist in both stories, and certain characters even pop up in each. However, elements are incorporated so seamlessly (and familiar names dropped so casually) that Potter newbies won’t feel left out.

    4. It will leave you wanting more.
    Which is perfect. Fantastic Beasts is the first of five (yes, five!) movies, so you’re all set there. And if you’re interested in the nuances and finer details of the wizarding world—more than what the quick-paced, rollicking good time that is Fantastic Beasts delivers onscreen—then we can think of seven books you might like.

    5. You’ll still have the whole Harry Potter series to look forward to.
    Most Potter fans would like nothing more than to be able to go back and reread the series again for the best time. It’s not one of the biggest bestsellers of all time for nothing. After falling for Rowling’s world in Fantastic Beasts, you’ll be in the uniquely enviable position of having basically prepared your mind to be blown. Because trust us when we say this: the Harry Potter saga is life-changing.

    The post 5 Reasons Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Newbie Reader’s Best Way Into the Wizarding World appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Nicole Hill 7:30 pm on 2016/06/09 Permalink
    Tags: , fantastic beasts and where to find them, , harry potter spinoffs, , ,   

    6 More Harry Potter Spinoffs We’d Like to See 

    Fantastic Beasts

    Looks like J.K. Rowling just can’t quit us. In addition to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts I & II, we’re getting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a planned movie trilogy inspired by Harry and co.’s same-named Hogwarts textbook. It’s a win-win-win.

    By continuing a cinematic dynasty based on a textbook, Rowling has proves how willing she is to dive back into Hogwartsian hijinks. While I fully support her other post-Potter output (The Casual Vacancy and the Cormoran Strike series, as Robert Galbraith), it just follows that if she’s got the time and motivation to pen the story for a play and the scripts for three films based on, once again, a textbook, she could maybe throw us a few more spinoff bones. There is only so much semi-erotic Regulus Black/Barty Crouch Jr. slash-fic one can consume without feeling a gaping emptiness inside. There are more HP spinoff possibilities than you could shake a Crumple-Horned Snorkack at.

    Here are a few ideas we hope she runs with next.

    The Marauders
    For the love of Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, GIVE ME A MARAUDERS PREQUEL. The only times readers are actually witness to the legendary bromance of Sirius Black and James Potter are Pensieve flashbacks and postmortem meetups. Cool. And everybody and their muggle mom wants to talk to Harry about his angelic, beautiful, lovely, vivacious mother, but spoiler alert, she’s six feet under before we even read the first page. Awesome. C’mon, Queen Rowling, I’ve got a hankering for a new (yet familiar) display of adolescent frolicking, anarchy, and hormonal theatrics.

    The Founders
    Rowena Ravenclaw, who, as she lay dying, dispatched the Bloody Baron to find her daughter, whom he stabbed to death before killing himself. Godric Gryffindor,  the wearer of the salty Sorting Hat. Salazar Slytherin, who created a Chamber of Secrets in which he hid a goshdarn basilisk inside a school. Helga Hufflepuff, who probably had a charming laugh. These people were insane. Tell us their stories.

    Non-European Magic
    Do not the youths of Lagos or Tokyo create magical mayhem? If you prick an Australian wizard with a basilisk fang, does he not die? What about the Colonies—where are our wizards and witches? Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts storyline will take place in New York, but this is America, dang it. We have more wizards, soccer-playing, right-side-of-the-road-driving, shorter-lunch-break–taking wizards than you could possibly imagine! How about exploring this wide, wide magical world?

    The Ministry of Magic
    That place is a looney bin. (Before Hermione straightened everything out, of course.) And the hiring practices, Arthur Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt notwithstanding, seem lax at best. I would settle for a bildungsroman of the third-floor janitor if it meant we could get a peek behind the Iron Magic Curtain.

    Full Employment
    It seems to me the booths at Hogwarts Career Day are somewhat limited. As far as I can tell, graduates can either: become a professor, train as an Auror, open a small business on Diagon Alley, publish propaganda in The Daily Prophet, ascend the professional Quidditch ranks, or settle for a menial position with the Ministry. There are other opportunities for employment, right? I know dentistry is out, but like, where are the social media specialists? There are always social media specialists. Explain to me the wizarding economy, J.K.

    Could there be anything worse than being a squib? (Besides existing as one of the cats in Dolores Umbridge’s decorative plates, that is.) I don’t know. Maybe. But to be sure, a narrative on the plight of these nonmagical wretches would be enlightening. I see a Dickensian orphanage. And scrappy youths. And Argus Filch as a newspaper boy hawking front page headlines like: “STUDENTS OUT OF BED!” Or not.

    What Harry Potter spinoffs would you like to see?

  • BN Editors 1:30 pm on 2016/04/25 Permalink
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    J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay Is Coming on November 19 

    Major news for Harry Potter lovers (aka everyone): Scholastic has just announced that it’s publishing the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on November 19, the day after the movie’s release. And every good Potter fan knows the drill: pre-order your copy now, so you can get to reading right after you’ve seen and loved the movie.

    The movie adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne as intrepid magizoologist (and Hogwarts evictee!) Newt Scamander. On a research trip spent studying magical creatures around the world, Scamander runs into trouble when some of his beasts escape into the “No-maj” (that’s American for “Muggle”) world of New York City. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut with this ninth silver-screen entry into the Potter world—so you know it has to be good.

    2016 is shaping up to be the year of Harry Potter. From this summer’s release of the script book for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to Rowling’s new Potter stories on Pottermore, to the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets coming October 4, hungry fans have numerous reasons to escape, yet again, into the magical universe of the Boy Who Lived.

    Does all this amazing news from the Potterverse seem too good to be true? We’re not complaining. And while all our dreams are coming true, we might as well request our very own Nimbus 2000, thanks very much!

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits shelves November 19, and is available for pre-order now.

  • BN Editors 7:56 pm on 2016/02/01 Permalink
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    Explore the Magic of Harry Potter 

    Nearly a decade after the publication of the last volume of J.K. Rowling’s seven-book Harry Potter series, and long since the cast members of the film adaptations have grown into adults, Potter-mania is as rampant as ever. In November, we’ll return to the Wizarding World in theaters with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the film adaptation of a quasi-Potter prequel penned by Rowling herself. Meanwhile, work is underway in the U.K. to mount a stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which catches up with The Boy Who Lived 19 years after the defeat of Voldemort. And all the while, Harry and friends have existed most vibrantly where they truly belong: on the page, be it in the original novels, in coloring books, or in gorgeous, full-color illustrations.

    Whether you’re a wand-carrying Potterphile or a newcomer searching for your acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, we’ve got some suggestions for books and movies that will whisk you away to a world far more magical than our own…

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition
    Grab your wands and hold on to your cloaks, because Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition is absolutely stunning. Whether you’re a newcomer to the series, are introducing it to your children, or like us, are filled with jealousy at the thought of any reader who gets to experience Harry Potter for the first time, you’re in luck: these lavish, imaginative illustrations provide a way to see Harry and his world through new eyes. Artist Jim Kay has adorned nearly every page of this oversized, gift-worthy tome with magical images seemingly lifted straight from the mind of J.K. Rowling—over 100 of them!

    The Hogwarts Library, by J.K. Rowling
    The Hermiones among us will rejoice over The Hogwarts Library, a boxed set of Rowling’s supplemental works: Quidditch Through the AgesThe Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The latter, of course, shares the title with this November’s hotly anticipated, Rowling-penned film starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by David Yates, who helmed the final four entries in the Potter series. Though the story for the movie is brand new, it never hurts to brush up on the taxonomy of sharp-teethed beasties, and the in-universe textbook written by Newt Scamander is the best way to do it.

    Harry Potter: The Coloring Book #1
    Yer a wizard, Harry, a wizard of the crayon. Always had bigger aesthetic ambitions for the Sorting Hat? Ready to give Buckbeak a new look? Have you always longed to lovingly detail Dobby’s sock? Here’s the book for any diehard Potterhead. Hours of penciling in a Quidditch scene might even distract you from their failure to secure opening night tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

    Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book
    If you want to focus your coloring obsession on fur, scales, feathers, fangs,and talons, this coloring book specializes in elaborate, detailed images of the creatures that inhabit Harry’s world, from house elves, to merfolk, to, naturally, dragons—lots of ’em.

    Special Edition Potter Box Set
    To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, publisher Scholastic commissioned a set of beautiful new paperback covers designed by Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of the Amulet graphic novel series. While there’s no replacing Mary GrandPré’s iconic imagery, Kibuishi’s take is fresh and fun. Even better, when the spines of all seven volumes are lined up, they create a landscape of Hogwarts. Magical, indeed!

    Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection
    Yes, we all know that the best way to envelop yourself in the world of J.K. Rowling is to read the books (and then read them again, and again, and again), but we also love seeing our favorite stories done well on film—and adaptations don’t come more lavish or beloved than the eight films taken from the Potter novels, which collectively earned more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office. You’ll adore watching Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grow up along with their characters as you relive the wonder of the most magical film series ever made.

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