I'm getting the same feeling I got last summer, a kind of melancholy I can only associate with the lack of a new Harry Potter book coming out. The movie helps, but it's just not the same as a big, fat book full of Hogwarts adventures along with the direness of Lord Voldemort's quest to defeat Harry and, incidentally, to conquer the world.
So when I got the chance to do a giveaway in honor of the newest (and last) Potter paperback, Book 7, which is auspiciously due out on 7/7, I was totally there. Although you, fellow Hogwarts devotees, are the beneficiaries, with the possibility of winning one of five prize packs, each consisting of three paperbacks:
- Book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The folks who are providing the books wish me to include this Harry Potter website link, plus the following info:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a breathtaking finish to a remarkable series. The final chapter to Harry Potter's adventures will be released in paperback July 7th! It all comes down to this--a final face-off between good and evil. you plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve.My thoughts about Book 7 are a little darker and deeper. When I bought the book, I wondered whether J.K. Rowling could possibly end the series in a way that could satisfy me. For one thing, I didn't want the series to end, implying built-in dissatisfaction. I was amused by the middle of the book, which dragged. But the dragginess had a purpose--Harry and his outgunned friends were muddling around in the countryside, unsure how to defeat the undefeatable, or even to save their own lives. It was a gloomy, drizzly book, but that kind of makes sense, when you're talking about such fear and sadness.
I'll confess that I wasn't fond of the long exposition from a beloved and departed mentor near the end of the book. But that's just a quibble; when I closed Deathly Hallows, I really felt like the author had pulled it off. I gave one of those happy, happy sighs you give just before turning back to reread favorite scenes. (Or in my case, to reread the last three chapters, as I tend to speed up toward the end of a book and need a second, calmer read to recover anything I've missed in my hurry.) I decided that the final battle could easily have been botched, but instead it was just right, up to and including the losses, as well as the strange roles played by some of Harry's supposed enemies. J.K. Rowling is a lot more subtle than you might think!
Now, if you'd like to participate in the giveaway, which will run for three weeks and close July 4th with a nice blast of fireworks reminiscent of a powerful burst of magic, just write about Harry Potter in the comment section of this post. Tell us about a favorite character, secondary character, monster, teacher, or villain. Write about a favorite scene. Write about your favorite clever details or your favorite plot twist. Or you can write about staying up till midnight at a bookstore party when one of the books came out. As my English teachers used to say (every single one of them), be specific. Anything from 2-3 sentences to a longer paragraph is fine. Just show off your love of Harry!
One of my own memories of Harry Potter was the night I bought a book at midnight (I think it was Book 6) and came home feeling really tired. I said to myself, I'll just read a chapter or two. Yeah, right. At ten o'clock the next morning, I stopped to take a nap. Then I finished the book in time to go to a birthday party at the home of my student's aunt. My student was twelve and too cool; he was way less thrilled to see me than his mother was. Fair enough, since she had invited me. The party was Belizean, so I got to eat plaintains and try to figure out what everybody was saying as I watched the little kids bounce up and down in one of those jumpy houses in the backyard. My student and his cousin and I did have a conversation about the new Harry Potter book, though, and both of them were amazed that I had already finished--they forgot to be cool for a full ten seconds, they were so impressed!
The thing is, this student of mine was slowly dying of cancer. (I teach sick children.) A few months later, he wasn't up for algebra anymore. All I did when I went over to his house to work with him was read Harry Potter--I think it was Book Three. He really liked the way I read, doing different voices and everything. The day before he died, I was reading him Harry Potter.
I guess that might also explain my melancholy.
Anyway, I hope your thoughts and memories are far more upbeat than mine. Please share, and I'll be happy to pick a handful of the comments to win the prize packs. What I'll do is select 1-2 that I think are especially great and then do the rest simply as a drawing, giving us the best of both worlds.
P.S. Apparently several other bloggers in Kidlitosphere are also doing this giveaway. Visit each of these sites for more chances to win! They are Abby Librarian, Charlotte's Library, The Well-Read Child, Brimful Curiosities, The Spiral Notebook, Wizards Wireless, Write for a Reader, and readergirlz.