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  • Elodie 2:00 pm on 2016/11/15 Permalink
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    7 Magical Quotes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a phenomenal read. It explores the increasingly troublesome notion that Voldemort—the wizarding world’s big bad—has returned. How do you convince the world an evil dictator is back in action when they’re all much happier believing the opposite? How do you defeat a villain when everyone (including the government) is in denial?

    J.K. Rowling handles those questions with tale-spinning aplomb—and with her characteristic mastery of language. Order of the Phoenix has the kind of quotes you want to wear on a T-shirt or stitch on a throw pillow. Here are just a few of our favorites.

    “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
    This is the motto of Ravenclaw house. Students are divvied up into one of four houses upon arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Harry’s own house, Gryffindor. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the first book to see Harry and his friends really mixing with students from the other houses, which they do in the interest of fighting back against Voldemort.

    “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
    These words of wizardly wisdom come from Hogwarts’ elderly (as in, well over 100) headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who understands that while Harry may be a wizard, he’s also a teenager. He’s juggling classes, Quidditch, and a steady stream of ludicrous school gossip—you know, the typical woes and worries of being 15 years old, except with less “learning how to parallel park” and more “trying not to get murdered by your mortal enemy.”

    “Ron, just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”
    Okay, so it’s not all doom and gloom and evil wizards; Rowling throws in a dash of teenage romance for good measure. It should come as no surprise that Harry and best friend Ron are pretty much hopeless when it comes to girls—forcing Hermione to step in with a few choice words.

    “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
    Things at Hogwarts get bleaker by the day as Professor Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, imposes an oppressive regime upon the school. One of literature’s most detested characters, this chirpy bureaucrat is the human equivalent of stubbing your toe. This quote’s can-do wisdom comes to Harry from Ron’s sister, Ginny, who takes it upon herself to remind him all is not yet lost.

    “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
    These words from wonderfully whimsical Hogwarts student Luna Lovegood are comforting whether you’ve lost a friend, a family member, or something trivial, like your car keys. We don’t want to spoil the book or anything, but, well, Harry doesn’t lose his car keys.

    “And from now on, I don’t care if my tea leaves spell die, Ron, die—I’m just chucking them in the bin where they belong.”
    Okay, this one’s just funny. The fortune-telling side of magic is given more weight as the novel goes on, but we always get a kick out of seeing Harry and Ron goofing off in their Divination class as if it’s no more engaging than Pre-calc or Sociology 101.

    The post 7 Magical Quotes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Elodie 1:00 pm on 2016/11/01 Permalink
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    8 Ways Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Goes Wonderfully Dark 

    The much-loved Harry Potter series may start off with a bunch of lighthearted magical shenanigans, but by the time we hit book number four, things take a turn for the serious. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry finds himself competing in the Triwizard Tournament, a dangerous competition that pits contestants from three wizarding schools against each other in a trio of increasingly treacherous magical competitions. The thing is, he didn’t sign up for this—someone else entered his name. Possibly someone with a dark purpose and a larger plan in mind.

    So how exactly do things get dark in the fourth chapter in Harry’s story? Let us count the ways.

    1. We meet the Death Eaters.
    We already knew there were people who supported Voldemort (the wizarding world’s resident big bad) back when he was powerful. Now we have a name for them, and it’s chilling: the Death Eaters. And it looks like there are still some living among the masses in secret.

    2. It gives us a feel for the First Wizarding War.
    Harry defeated Voldemort when he was just a baby. But before that, Voldemort’s rise to power was littered with panic, confusion, and mysterious deaths aplenty—and suddenly that dark period is at the front of everyone’s minds.

    3. It pits Muggles vs. wizards.
    Voldemort’s is driven by a belief that wizards and witches are superior to Muggles (non-magical people) and Muggleborns (witches or wizards with non-magic parents—like Hermione Granger). The events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire put this conflict front and center, forcing everyone to choose where their loyalties lie.

    4. The Triwizard Tournament could be deadly.
    Hogwarts is no stranger to danger. But now that the school is hosting a magical tournament that was discontinued for 200 years after the death toll got out of hand, the stakes are higher than ever.

    5. The arrival of Professor “Mad-Eye” Moody.
    Harry’s new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor used to be an Auror (basically, the wizarding world’s equivalent of a federal marshal), whose entire job involved catching dark wizards. What we’re saying is, he’s a gruff and eccentric oddball who has seen some stuff, and he’s not shy about letting his students know it.

    6. We learn that magic isn’t all fun and games.
    The imminent threat of rising dark forces throws some of the uglier realities of the wizarding world into sharp relief. Between the Unforgivable Curses—the only three spells punishable by life in wizarding prison Azkaban—and the fates of those who wound up on the wrong side of the Death Eaters all those years ago, we’re given an unpleasant look at what wizards are capable of doing to each other (besides just turning each other’s quills into ravens).

    7. The book puts Harry’s orphanhood into fresh perspective.
    Harry lost his parents the very night he inadvertently defeated Voldemort. He was a baby; he never really knew them. But now that he might be in over his head with this whole “death tournament” thing, it could not be more obvious that what Harry wants—what he really wants—is a parent.

    8. The story is rife with themes of loss. Now, no spoilers, but we may or may not lose a character or two this time around. We DID tell you Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is when things get really real. The events of this novel in particular have far-reaching consequences that have a major effect on the rest of the series—right up to the brand-new two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

    The post 8 Ways Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Goes Wonderfully Dark appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Elodie 1:00 pm on 2016/10/11 Permalink
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    7 Ways Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Ups the Stakes 

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban details Harry’s third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and it brings the story to a whole new level of intrigue, treachery, and page-turning excitement. Why? Because this year at Hogwarts, it’s not all riding broomsticks and casting spells: a notorious mass murderer has just broken out of wizarding prison Azkaban to finish what he started 13 years ago. His target? You guessed it: Harry Potter. Here are just a few ways Prisoner of Azkaban is a series turning point.

    The Marauders. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have a friendship to end all friendships, but before they ever set foot on the grounds of Hogwarts, there was another group of goodhearted troublemakers running the school: the Marauders. The foursome may be gone from Hogwarts, but their legacy lives magically on. The overarching storyline of the Marauders—codenamed Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs—is one of the best in the entire series, and it all begins in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    New enchanted objects. Harry’s trusty Invisibility Cloak is back, and with it a bunch of brand-new items—like biting textbooks, crystal balls, and the Marauder’s Map, a magical mischief-maker’s guide to every secret passageway in Hogwarts castle, courtesy of the mysterious Marauders themselves. When it winds up in Harry’s possession, shenanigans ensue.

    More magical classes. In addition to Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts, Prisoner of Azkaban gives us a more in-depth peek at the various Hogwarts classes we’d exchange for algebra in a heartbeat—including Divination and Care of Magical Creatures, also known as “trying not to get your hand bitten off by a creature that’s half-horse, half-eagle.”

    Professor Lupin. Remus Lupin is Hogwarts’ savvy new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts. He quickly locks in his reputation as the cool teacher who’s class actually studies practical applications, but beyond that, he’s a fascinating character well-versed in the art of compassion. He genuinely cares about his students, and he’s widely adored by both the characters in Harry’s world and its fans alike. There’s just one hitch: he may or may not be guarding a dark and dangerous secret.

    Hogsmeade. Prisoner of Azkaban introduces us to Hogsmeade, a nearby village that Hogwarts students are allowed to visit on weekends. Whether you’re touring the real-life model at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, or simply reading about it at home, Hogsmeade is a testament to J.K. Rowling’ superb world-building. Not only does it evoke a vivid mind portrait of every quaint British hamlet you’ve ever seen in movies, but it’s home to some of our very favorite places in the wizarding world, chief among them the Three Broomsticks pub, sweet shop Honeydukes, and Zonko’s Joke Shop.

    Dementors. We learn about a whole slew of magical creatures, but the most notable (and terrifying) is the Dementors. They’re hooded creatures that feed on despair, fear, and doubt, and they serve as a metaphor for all things terrible. But a well-learned wizard can fight Dementors using the Patronus Charm (it’s like a spirit guardian fueled by hope and happy memories), and the existence of the Patronus speaks to one of the larger thematic elements of the novel—namely that despair, fear, and doubt can be overcome.

    It’s J.K. Rowling’s favorite book. Okay, so she said it’s “one of” her favorites, but she had seven brilliantly penned, life-changing novels to choose from, so that’s saying something.

    The post 7 Ways Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Ups the Stakes appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Elodie 1:00 pm on 2016/10/04 Permalink
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    8 Unforgettable Characters You’ll Meet in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

    Best friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the heart of the Harry Potter series, and a friendship force to be reckoned with. Their status as the Potter world’s three musketeers is cemented in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as Ron and Hermione stick by Harry even when the rest of the school is treating him like Voldemort 2.0.

    But Harry and his tried and true friends aren’t the series’ only beloved characters. Chamber of Secrets introduces readers to a whole slew of gloriously dynamic figures—witches, wizards, and…creatures you’ll love, or love to hate—many of whom will make appearances throughout the series. Here are eight of our favorites.

    Dobby. Dobby comes into the story not with a fizzle but a bang, and he serves as our introduction to one of the wizarding world’s most intriguing magical creatures: house-elves. Short of stature, floppy of ear, and decked out in nothing but a pillowcase, Dobby invariably knows more than he’s letting on, but has a real knack for banging into walls whenever he feels he has said too much.

    Lucius Malfoy. He’s the father of Harry’s school rival, Draco, and is basically the Hogwarts version of an overprivileged helicopter parent—but a lot more evil, and a lot more likely to be involved in some very dark magic.

    Gilderoy Lockhart. Lockhart is every incompetent teacher you’ve ever had, but with better hair. He’s a celebrity memoirist, famous for his account of magical derring-do, when he becomes Hogwarts’ new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. But despite having literally written books on the subject, he doesn’t know much in the way of magic. Case in point: when in doubt, it’s always best NOT to unleash a swarm of pixies on a class of 12-year-olds, but what do we know? He’s the professor.

    The Weasley family. We meet Ron Weasley in book one, of course, but Chamber of Secrets is the first time we encounter the wonderful Weasley clan en masse—from Arthur Weasley and his fascination with spark plugs and all things Muggle-related to Ginny’s schoolgirl crush on Harry.

    Colin Creevey. Excitable Hogwarts first-year Colin would run for both president and vice-president of the Harry Potter Fan Club if such a thing existed. Colin loves nothing more than to tag along and take pictures of the famous Harry Potter, much to Harry’s chagrin. Despite his faults, you’ve gotta love Colin—like a puppy, he has a lot of heart and a heap of (misdirected) affection.

    Aragog. Aragog is Hogwarts Castle’s friendly neighborhood spider, and by “neighborhood” we mean he hangs out in the deepest parts of the Forbidden Forest, and by “friendly” we mean he eats people. Related: Chamber of Secrets is also the book that reveals Ron’s deepest held terror—spiders.

    Moaning Myrtle. This Hogwarts student-turned-Hogwarts ghost spends most of her time in the girl’s bathroom, weeping profusely. Also, she has a thing about being dead, so don’t bring it up in conversation. She’s kind of sensitive about it.

    Tom Riddle. Fifty years before Harry came to Hogwarts, a student named Tom Riddle was faced with the same situation Harry’s facing in Chamber of Secrets: saving Hogwarts—the only place he has ever called home—from strange supernatural attacks, lest it close down for good. All those years ago, Tom Riddle was the one who caught the perpetrator, and through some magical dealings he’s back and willing to lend Harry a hand. Hopefully he’s not harboring any dark and dangerous secrets.

    The post 8 Unforgettable Characters You’ll Meet in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jenny Kawecki 4:00 pm on 2016/09/30 Permalink
    Tags: don't forget the giant spiders, , , j.k. rowling, , new in fiction, ,   

    10 Scenes We Can’t Wait to See in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition 

    We’ve been counting down the days until the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition ever since we first set eyes on Jim Kay’s perfect depictions of The Sorcerer’s Stone. And October just feels like the perfect month for revisiting Harry’s second year at Hogwarts. Between the giant spiders and the Deathday Party and the general air of spookiness, Chamber of Secrets practically screams fall. We can’t wait to see how Jim Kay works his magic on this installment—especially with these scenes!

    10. Fred and George and the Ford Anglia. This moment is pure joy: Harry is sad and desperate and alone, when all of the sudden, Fred and George (and Ron, too) appear in a flying car to save the day. Bonus: Vernon shouting “HE’S GETTING AWAY” as Harry and Hedwig escape. We’ve gotten a taste of this scene from the cover reveal of the new book, but we want more, more, more!

    9. Harry and Draco dueling. We will forever love any scene featuring Draco and Harry, but this one holds a special place in our hearts. After all, who but Harry would begin a duel with a tickling curse? Toss in the look on Justin Finch-Fletchley’s face as Harry speaks Parseltongue, and yep, we can’t wait to see this drawn out.

    8. Aragog and company. How surprising was it to learn that Hagrid used to keep a man-eating spider as a pet? Not at all. But how great will it be to see Ron looking extremely nervous as giant arachnids cover every page? Very. We can’t wait to see how Kay handles this one.

    7. Filch nursing a petrified Mrs. Norris. There’s not much to like about Argus Filch, but if there’s one thing we can definitely relate with him over, it’s his love for his cat. He may be kinda gross and super mean, but the man is clearly devoted to Mrs. Norris, and we don’t want to miss out on this humanizing, anxious pet-parent moment.

    6. Harry trying to get away from Gilderoy Lockhart. In the bookstore, during detention, after breaking his arm—pick any “Harry desperately tries to avoid Lockhart” scene, because they’re all perfect. We can practically picture it already: Harry wishing he could summon his invisibility cloak, Lockhart’s gleaming white smile, and Colin Creevey capturing it all on camera.

    5. Nick’s Deathday Party. Hands down, Harry, Ron, and Hermione awkwardly hanging out at an all-dead party is our favorite ghost scene in the series. We’re hoping for detailed illustrations of the moldy food and varied spirits, not to mention Peeves.

    4. Ron puking slugs. Poor Ron and his havoc-wreaking broken wand—we’d feel sorry for him if we didn’t appreciate the comic relief so much. Between seeing Ron vomit buckets of slugs and getting a glimpse of the inside of Hagrid’s hut, we’re really looking forward to this one.

    3. The Weasleys de-gnoming the garden. This scene is a double-whammy: not only do we get to see the entire Weasley clan (including Molly giving her younger sons the what-for), but also gnomes. Gnomes! And not just gnomes, but gnomes being flung through the air and dejectedly traipsing across the lawn. It’s bound to be quirkily adorable.

    2. Harry freeing Dobby. Beating Voldemort is all well and good, but the real victory of Chamber of Secrets is Harry rescuing Dobby from Lucius Malfoy’s evil clutches. We’re not sure what we’re more excited about seeing: Dobby’s lovable, lamp-like eyes, or Harry’s grubby, nasty sock.

    1. Hermione polyjuicing into a cat. Because honestly, what’s better than seeing our favorite girl wonder with a pair of fuzzy ears and a tail? Nothing, that’s what. We’re sure Jim Kay will work some magic (pun intended) in this illustrated edition.

    The illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is on B&N bookshelves October 4!

    The post 10 Scenes We Can’t Wait to See in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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