Archive | January 1, 2008

ABOUT THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS (THE SERIES)

ABOUT THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS (THE SERIES)

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Scholastic Books
320 Pages

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.

For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Scholastic Books
352 Pages

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that 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 Lockhart, 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!

 

Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban
Scholastic Books
448 Pages

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing 13 people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent 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 Azkaban 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.

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Scholastic Books
752 Pages

It’s the pivotal fourth novel in the seven-part tale of Harry Potter’s 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 with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). 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. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal — even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Scholastic Books
870 Pages

I say to you all, once again–in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.

So spoke Albus Dumbledore at the end of Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts. But as Harry enters his fifth year at wizard school, it seems those bonds have never been more sorely tested. Lord Voldemort’s rise has opened a rift in the wizarding world between those who believe the truth about his return, and those who prefer to believe it’s all madness and lies–just more trouble from Harry Potter.

Add to this a host of other worries for Harry…

  • A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
  • A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
  • Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
  • And of course, what every student dreads: end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams

…and you’d know what Harry faces during the day. But at night it’s even worse, because then he dreams of a single door in a silent corridor. And this door is somehow more terrifying than every other nightmare combined.

In the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter confronts the unreliability of the very government of the magical world, and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts.

Despite this (or perhaps because of it) Harry finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty and unbearable sacrifice.

Though thick runs the plot (as well as the spine), readers will race through these pages, and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back.

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Scholastic Books
652 Pages

 

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Arthur A. Levine Books
759 Pages

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HARRY POTTER’S SPELLBOOK

Accio: The Summoning Charm. When used in connection with an object, this charm will cause such object to fly to the spell caster. It comes in very handy for Harry during the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Alohomora: A simple spell learned by first-year students that will open most locks — so long as they haven’t been bewitched by a stronger charm.

Amortentia: The most powerful love potion in the world, recognizable by its mother-of-pearl sheen. Amortentia gives off the odors most favored by those who smell it to cast the illusion of passion and affection.

Avada Kedavra (Killing Curse): One of the three so-called “Unforgivable Curses.” Avada Kedavra kills any living being instantly. There is only one known survivor of the Killing Curse, Harry Potter.

Bat-Bogey Hex: A nifty little curse that causes flapping wings to appear on the recipient’s face. Ginny Weasley is very adept at casting Bat-Bogey Hexes, and is in fact rewarded with Professor Slughorn’s attentions for casting one on Zacharias Smith, a snobby fellow student.

Confundus Charm: The spell equivalent of an anvil to the head. A Confunded person is liable to crash into stationary objects and have a tendency to forget his own name. Hermione performs one on Cormac McLaggen, a cocky Gryffindor seventh-year, during Quidditch tryouts in Half-Blood Prince.

Crucio (Cruciatus Curse): The second Unforgivable Curse. The Cruciatus Curse causes its victim excruciating pain and suffering and is used as a torture device by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Alice and Frank Longbottom, Neville Longbottom’s parents, were tortured by Bellatrix Lastrange into insanity with this curse. They have yet to recover.

Diffindo: Aslicing charm that appears to act like a wizard’s “pocket knife.” Harry used it to cut open Cedric’s bag in Goblet of Fire and also to slice the cover off of his new Spellbook in Half-Blood Prince.

Drought of Living Death Potion: The potion Harry successfully mixes with the help of the Half-Blood Prince to win a bottle of Felix Felicis.

Episkey: A handy spell for repairing minor physical injuries. Tonks uses it to repair Harry’s broken nose in his sixth year.

Evanesco: A vanishing spell. It isn’t exactly clear if the vanished objects disappear permanently — or reappear in a more convenient location.

Expecto Patronum: An incantation to create a Patronus, which usually takes the form of an animal and protects the spell-caster from Dementors.

Expelliarmus: A basic defensive spell first taught by Snape at the Dueling Club meeting in Chamber of Secrets. Its premise is to block or refract an opponent’s spells; however, it can have interesting side-effects when mixed with other incantations.
Felix Felicis: “Liquid luck”. When taken moderately, it offers a “perfect day”: namely, the taker will have luck on his or her side for an entire 12-hour period. Things will just…happen to his or her benefit. However, taken in excess, Felix causes recklessness and silly behavior. It is illegal to use Felix Felicis in sporting events or games of chance.

Impedimentia: A simple stunning spell that often comes in handy for Harry and his friends in tight situations.

Imperius Curse: The last of the Unforgivable Curse. The Imperius Curse allows the caster to take complete control of another person’s mind and body. Think of a living puppet, unable to control his or her thoughts or actions — that is the Imperius Curse.

Levicorpus: A non-verbal spell invented by the Half-Blood Prince, handwritten in Harry’s Potions textbook; the person on whom the spell is cast will be hung upside down by the ankle.

Liberacorpus: The anti-spell to Levicorpus.

Lumos: A simple spell that creates a ball of light at the tip of the caster’s wand.

Mordsmorde: The incantation that causes the Dark Mark to appear in the sky.

Muffliato: A spell invented by the Half-Blood Prince, handwritten in Harry’s Potions textbook; it fills the ears of anyone nearby with an unidentifiable buzzing, so that conversations can be held without being overheard.

Obliviate: The Memory Charm. The victim of this spell will lose some or all of his or her memory, depending on the intent of the caster. It is often used by wizards to help Muggles “forget” magic they have seen or been a party to. Usually, a wizard will replace the erased memory with a much more plausible one.

Polyjuice Potion: A complex potion that takes a month to create and will turn one person into another — as long as the identity thief can get something personal from his or her target’s body, such as a strand of hair, a nail clipping, or a piece of skin. It is brewed and used several times in the Harry Potter books, both by the good guys and the bad.

Prior Incantato: A spell that will force the subject wand to emit a “ghost” of the last spell it cast.

Protean Charm: An advanced charm that, when cast on multiple magical objects, reveals the same information to all those who carry one of those objects. It is used for secret communication. Hermione impressed members of the D.A. in sixth year by casting this spell on gold Galleons so they all could plan meetings.

Riddikulus: Renders a boggart ineffective by making it silly. It requires the power of mind of the spell caster. For example, Neville sees the boggart in Prisoner of Azkaban as Professor Snape, whom he fears. After chanting this spell, “Snape” is rendered ridiculous by dressing him in Mrs. Longbottom’s clothes.

Sectumsempra: Another doozie from the Half-Blood Prince. This spell is not so nice — it slices cuts into the victim wherever the caster’s wand is aimed.

The Unbreakable Vow: A spell that binds a wizard/witch to a promise; when it is made, flames from each person’s wand link together like clasped hands, and a third flame from a Bonder twists around them to bind them together.

Unforgiveable Curses: Three cruel curses illegal in the wizarding world. They include the Imperius Curse, the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse.

Veritaserum: A powerful Truth Potion.

Wingardium Leviosa: A simple levitation spell learned by first years. It is significant in that it plays a part in bonding the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione.

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE HARRY POTTER SERIES

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE HARRY POTTER SERIES

 

 

Animagus: A witch or wizard that can change into animal form. All Animagus legally need to register with the Ministry of Magic, though it appears they often don’t.

Apparate/Disapparate: The ability of a witch or wizard to vanish from one place and appear in another almost instantly. Apparation is not legally allowed until a young witch or wizard is of age, namely, 17.

Aragog: A giant spider who lives in the Forbidden Forest and the “pet” of Hagrid’s. Ron is not a big fan of Aragog’s.

Auror: A Dark wizard catcher.

Azkaban: A fearsome wizarding prison, run by Dementors.

Ludo Bagman: The head of Department of Magical Games and Sports, he offers to “assist” Harry when he is competing in The Tri-Wizard Tournament. Bagman is friendly, oblivious to rules, and is a former professional Quidditch player.

Basilisk: A gigantic snake that lives in the Chamber of Secrets, it kills instantly if eye contact is made with any other living creature.

Beaux-Batons: A French school of witchcraft and wizardry, which is the competing school in The Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Katie Bell: A seventh-year Gryffindor who is a chaser on the house Quidditch team. The last readers saw of Katie, she was recovering from a brush with a cursed necklace (which almost killed her) that was intended for Albus Dumbledore.

Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop: Fellow orphans who were tormented by Tom Marvolo Riddle, and who may have been permanently affected by his unauthorized uses of magic on them.

Bezoar: A stone taken from the stomach of a goat that will protect those who consume it from most poisons. It comes in very handy for one of Harry’s friends during their sixth year.

Sirius Black (also Padfoot): The most infamous prisoner ever to be held at Azkaban, the wizards’ prison. He was accused of murdering 13 people with a single curse, and his exact location is not currently known. Handsome and reckless, he was best friend to James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Petigrew. He is an Animagus who takes the form of a large black dog. Sirius Black is Harry’s godfather and cousin of Nymphadora Tonks, Bellatix Lastrange and Narcissa Malfoy.

Boggart: A shape-shifting monster that takes the form of the onlooker’s worst fear. No one knows the actual composition of a boggart when alone.

Lavender Brown: A Gryffindor in the same year as Harry who is best friends with Parvati Patil. He has a penchant for nicknames that sound like baby-talk and giving inappropriate pieces of jewelry as gifts.

Frank Bryce: A gardener for Tom Riddle and his parents. Bryce is falsely accused of murdering all three of them.

Chamber of Secrets: A hidden chamber within Hogwarts, built over a thousand years ago by Salazar Slytherin, one of the school’s four founders. According to legend, only Slytherin’s true heir can ever open the Chamber, unleashing a horrible monster that supposedly lives inside it.

Cho Chang: A Pretty Seeker on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, with whom Harry shares his first kiss. The two date briefly and disastrously.

Mrs. Cole: The matron of the orphanage where Tom Riddle spent his childhood. She provided Dumbledore with background information on Riddle that indicated he was no normal boy — and possibly, not a very nice one either.

Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle: Big, lug-headed Slytherins that do Draco Malfoy’s every bidding, and are more brawn than brains. Both of their fathers are Death Eaters.

Colin and Dennis Creevey: Gryffindors who are younger than Harry and who idolize him because of his place in wizarding history. Colin Creevey is always attempting to take photos of Harry, an annoying habit that winds up saving his life in Chambers of Secrets.

Crookshanks: A smart squash-faced cat and pet of Hermione Granger. Crookshanks causes additional tension in Hermione and Ron’s friendship when he appears to have eaten Ron’s elderly pet rat, Scabbers, in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Bartemius Crouch, Sr.: A rule-abiding employee of the Ministry of Magic and father of “Barty” Crouch, who plays a key role in Voldemort’s most recent uprising. He used Polyjuice Potion to impersonate Alaistor “Mad-Eye” Moody during Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts.

The Daily Prophet: The wizards’ newspaper. Hermione is an avid subscriber.

Dark Mark: A skull and serpent symbol that is the sign of Voldemort. It appears in the night sky during the Quidditch World Cup right before Harry’s fourth year. It’s said that the Death Eaters, Voldemort’s followers, display the sign whenever and wherever they have killed.

Death Eaters: What Voldemort’s closest followers call themselves.

Dementor: Dark, cloaked, faceless creatures who are the guards of Azkaban. Dementors suck all of the joy and light out of a person, and a kiss from one of them will relieve someone of his or her soul.

Fleur Delacour: A former student of the French wizarding school, Beaux-Batons. Tall, beautiful and part veela, Fleur was also Harry’s co-competitor in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. She is engaged to Bill Weasley.

Cedric Diggory: The Captain and Seeker of the Hufflepuff House Quidditch team. Handsome, well-liked and brave, he is co-competitor with Harry in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and for the affections of Cho Chang. Cedric is killed by Peter Petigrew on Voldemort’s command.

Dobby: A house-elf whose former owners are the Malfoys and an adoring fan of Harry’s. Dobby was freed unintentionally by Lucius Malfoy due to some quick thinking on Harry’s part. Though Dobby’s help is oftentimes ineffective or downright dangerous, he has proven a reliable source of information for Harry and his friends.

Professor Albus Dumbledore: The headmaster of Hogwarts through Harry’s sixth year. Elderly, wise, kind and one of the greatest wizards of all time, Dumbledore is one of the few men who Voldemort ever feared. He has a keen sense of humor and a love of lemon drops.

Durmstrang: Another wizarding school in Europe. No one knows its true whereabouts, but people assume it’s in the cold Far North. It is rumored that the students there study the actual Dark Arts, not merely the defense of them.

Dudley Dursley: Harry’s spoiled, bullying cousin who is truly a coward underneath it all. Dudley is indulged shamelessly (and to his detriment) by his mother Petunia and father Vernon.

Petunia Dursley: Harry’s maternal aunt, Dudley’s mother and Vernon’s wife. The sister of Lilly Potter, née Evans, Petunia harbors a great resentment and jealousy towards her dead, talented and attractive sister. She is bound by a promise made to Dumbledore to raise Harry as her own, but has done little else but feed and clothe him.

Vernon Dursley: The husband of Petunia and father of Dudley.

Marietta Edgecomb: A friend of Cho Chang’s who tries to betray “Dumbledore’s Army.” She is thwarted by Hermione’s spell, which brands her a “sneak” — literally.

Errol: An aged owl belonging to the Weasley family.

Fang: Hagrid’s very large black pet boarhound.

Fat Friar: One of many ghosts roaming the halls of Hogwarts, and “house ghost” of Hufflepuff.

Fat Lady: Her talking portrait hangs at the entrance of Gryffindor Tower. She has a penchant for holiday-time over-drinking.

Fawkes: The phoenix bird in Dumbledore’s office; his faithful pet.

Mrs. Arabella Doreen Figg: A Squib who lives near the Dursleys’ and who is charged with helping to keep an eye on Harry during his time away from Hogwarts.

Firebolt: A State-of-the-Art racing broom that can go even faster than a Nimbus Two Thousand. Harry receives one for Christmas, anonymously, during his third year. The giver is eventually revealed.

Argus Filch: A suspicious, mean-spirited suspected Squib school caretaker at Hogwarts. The only love in his shriveled heart is for his cat, Mrs. Norris.

Seamus Finnegan: One of Harry’s classmates and fellow Gryffindor resident.

Nicolas Flamel: A former partner of Dumbledore, he was an alchemist (someone who worked at changing metal into gold). Flamel was the only person to ever create the Sorcerer’s Stone. It assists in alchemy and produces the Elixir of Life, which makes the drinker immortal. Flamel was well into his six hundreds when he relented to Dumbledore’s request to destroy the Stone at the end of Harry’s first year at Hogwarts.

Mundungus Fletcher: A rather shady member of the Order of the Phoenix. Relatively jolly and supremely loyal to Sirius, Mundungus nevertheless suffers from light fingers, most notably stealing Black family artifacts from Number 12 Grimmauld Place.

Professor Flitwick: Diminutive Teacher of Charms at Hogwarts.

Floo Powder: A magical, glittering powder that, when sprinkled into a burning fire, transports a wizard or witch from one place to another in a flash.

Fluffy: A vicious three-headed dog raised by Hagrid that guards the hiding place of the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Forbidden Forest: A very dangerous forest surrounding Hogwarts. Home to unicorns and other mystical creatures, Hogwarts students are told to stay away from it. Of course, Harry and his friends are often wandering through its shady groves.

Cornelius Fudge: The former Minister of Magic, Fudge is demoted after the goings-on in the Department of Mysteries and return of Voldemort at the end of Harry’s sixth year.

Galleons: Great gold coins, the largest denomination of wizarding money.

Marvolo Gaunt: A direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, one of the four founders of Hogwarts, maternal grandfather of Voldemort, and father of Morfin and Merope. Gaunt was also a Parseltongue.

Merope Gaunt: The daughter of Marvolo, abandoned wife of Tom Riddle and mother of Tom Marvolo Riddle. Penniless and desperate, Merope died giving birth to her son, who would become one of the most evil wizards in history.

Morfin Gaunt: Marvolo’s son and Voldemort’s uncle; he claims responsibility for the death of Tom Riddle, Voldemort’s father and his parents.

Fenrir Greyback: A Death Eater and a werewolf who intentionally attacks people; he especially has an appetite for children. Fenrir Greyback was responsible for turning Remus Lupin into a werewolf at the age of nine.

Gillyweed: A magical plant that, when eaten, gives a person gills like a fish, allowing her or him to breathe underwater.

Goblet of Fire: A large wooden cup that is filled to the brim with dancing blue flames. It magically selects the contestants for the Triwizard Tournament, and also serves a darker purpose.

Golgomath: The Gurg who took over after Karkus’s death. He was not interested in Hagrid’s purpose and was seen in the company of Death Eaters.

Hermione Granger: The brilliant, over-opinionated, bushy-haired, fiercely loyal, kind-hearted, liberal-minded best friend of Harry and secret heart’s desire of…

Gringotts: The wizards’ bank, run by goblins.

Gryffindor: One of four student houses at Hogwarts, it is named for Godric Gryffindor, one of Hogwarts’s four founders, who was known for his bravery.

Rubeus Hagrid: The half-giant, half-human, soft-hearted, animal-loving friend and teacher to Harry, Hermione and Ron. Rubeus has a knack for owning dangerous pets (see, Aragog, Fluffy and Norbert) and drinking too much mulled mead.

Half-Blood: Describes a person with mixed wizarding and Muggle ancestry.

The Half-Blood Prince: The owner of an old copy of Advanced Potion Makingthat Harry borrows for Professor Slughorn’s class. The mysterious owner of the textbook was a very gifted potion-maker who didn’t necessarily follow the rules and scribbled notes, hints, shortcuts and original spells that both give Harry a hand and get him into trouble inside the classroom as well as outside. Harry becomes preoccupied with finding the Half-Blood Prince’s true identity.

Hedwig: Harry’s pet snowy owl.

Hippogriff: A magical creature that is half bird and half horse, and extremely proud.

Madam Hooch: Hogwarts’s flying teacher and Quidditch referee.

Hogsmeade: The last remaining entirely wizarding village in England, it is a weekend destination spot for the older students of Hogwarts.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: The place where Harry and his friends learn it all – both in the classroom and out!

Horcrux: An object infused with a piece of a person’s soul. The only way to create a Horcrux is through murder, and the ultimate goal of a wizard employing one is a grasp at eternal life.

Honeydukes: An amazing candy store in Hogsmeade.

Howler: A screaming, scolding letter sent by owl, which bursts into flames upon reading.

Hufflepuff: One of four student houses at Hogwarts, it is named for Helga Hufflepuff, one of the school’s four founders, who was known for her loyalty.
Igor Karkaroff: Headmaster of Durmstrang wizarding school and former compatriot of Severus Snape and a Death Eater. Igor is found dead at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince.

Inferi: Dead bodies that have been bewitched and reanimated to do a dark wizard’s bidding, acting as puppets of sorts.

Invisibility Cloak: A “silvery gray” cape that makes its wearer invisible. They are extremely rare — but Dumbledore passes James Potter’s cloak to Harry during his first year at Hogwarts.

The Knight Bus: A magical bus that serves as emergency transport for stranded witches and wizards. It is not the most reliable or safest mode of transportation.

Knockturn Alley: An alleyway of shops devoted to the Dark Arts, and an offshoot of Diagon Alley.

Kreacher: The former house-elf of Mrs. Black and fiercely loyal to the “deserving” (read: “non-blood traitors”) surviving members of the Black family. He hates his indenture to Sirius, as he pals around with the likes of Muggles and “half-bloods,” including his own godson. His ownership passes to Harry at the beginning of Harry’s sixth year, much to Harry’s displeasure.

Viktor Krum: A star Durmstrang student and professional Bulgarian Seeker. He competes with Harry in the Tri-Wizard tournament and takes a fancy to Hermione, with whom he still keeps in touch via very long letters.

The Leaky Cauldron: A “tiny, grubby-looking pub” at the entrance to Diagon Alley where witches and wizards hang out.

Gilderoy Lockhart: The vain yet attractive Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts during Harry’s second year. Gilderoy has admirers, Hermione among them, based on his looks and “charm.” He loses his memory due to his own rebounded memory charm, which was intended for Harry and Ron.

Alice and Frank Longbottom: Neville’s parents, who are in St. Mungo’s because of Bellatrix Lestrange, who had used the Cruciatus Curse on them during the first reign of Voldemort.

Mrs. Longbottom: Neville’s imposing grandmother, who has raised him since his parents lost their minds.

Neville Longbottom: A clumsy, kind, nervous and, with the exception of Herbology, struggling student, Neville is in the same class as Harry, Ron and Hermione. He once probably had a bit of a crush on Hermione, as she used to help him with his homework assignments. Neville showed his true bravery and capabilities at the end of Harry’s fifth year, fighting with Harry and his friends in the Department of Mysteries. Harry also learns that Neville might easily have become the focus of Voldemort’s murderous rage, changing the way he views his more timid friend.

Luna Lovegood: A true “kook,” Luna is a Ravenclaw one year behind Harry and his friends. She is odd, random, often saying quite unintentionally humorous things. However, she has a serious past (she saw her mother die) and frequently shows bravery and grit in the midst of trouble. She has a habit of saying true but unlovely facts that most people refrain from commenting on.

Professor Remus J. Lupin (also Moony): A very close friend and classmate of James Potter, and a Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts. Remus is a werewolf whose more animalistic nature is kept at bay with the Wolfsbane potion. He is in love with Nymphadora Tonks.

Ernie Macmillan: A Hufflepuff student in his year whom Harry likes, despite his pompous manner.

Draco Malfoy: A Slytherin student who has been Harry’s enemy since the day they both started at Hogwarts. Draco Malfoy is handsome, pompous, mean-spirited and comes from a pure-blood family. His father Lucius is a Death Eater and his mother, Narcissa, is Sirius Black’s cousin.

Lucius Malfoy: Draco’s father and Narcissa’s husband, Lucius is a former Death Eater who is punished for his disloyalty to Voldemort by having to sacrifice the safety of his own son.

Narcissa Malfoy: The beautiful, snobbish wife of Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s mother, and Bellatrix LaStrange’s sister. She is a Voldemort supporter but is more specifically concerned with the welfare of her child and husband.

Mandrake: A screaming plant that resembles an ugly, dirt-covered baby that, when properly prepared, helps “return people who have been transfigured or cursed to their original state.”

The Marauders: A group of four Hogwarts students who are both brilliant and mischievous. They include: Sirius Black (Padfoot), James Potter (Prongs), Remus Lupin (Moony) and Peter Petigrew (Wormtail).

Marauder’s Map: A brilliantly helpful map, created by the Marauders, which looks like an old piece of parchment until the magic words “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” are spoken by a true adventurer. Then, the map reveals every room and passageway in Hogwarts, as well as the current location of every living creature inside of it. This is a very useful (and eye-opening) tool.

Madame Maxime: The imposingly tall Headmistress of Beaux-Batons wizarding school. She appears to share a similar genetic makeup to Hagrid, who is taken with her.

Professor Minerva McGonagall: The smart no-nonsense head of Gryffindor house, Professor of Transfiguration and very newly minted Headmistress of Hogwarts. She has a soft spot for both Harry and Hermione.

Metamorphmagus: A witch or wizard who has the ability to change his or her appearance (hair color, eye color, height, weight, gender, age) at will.

Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody: A former exceptionally paranoid Auror and member of the Order of the Phoenix who constantly drinks from a hip flask, which turns out to be not the best of habits…

Moaning Myrtle: A ghost that haunts one of the toilets in the girls’ bathroom, who frequently has been a good source of information for Hermione, Ron and Harry.

Ministry of Magic: The council that governs the wizarding world and whose primary concern is to keep wizards and witches a secret from Muggles.

The Mirror of Erised: A mirror that Harry discovers in a hidden room at Hogwarts. Whoever looks in the mirror sees his or her greatest desire reflected back at them.

Mudblood: An unsavory slang term for a witch or wizard born to Muggle parents.

Muggle: A non-magic person.

Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries: Where wizards can recuperate and receive treatment for all varieties of magical ailments.

Nearly Headless Nick (see also, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington): The resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower, where Harry lives. He mourns the loss of his taste buds, and informs Harry that ghosts stick around for their own sad reasons.

Nagini: A gigantic 12-foot female snake whose venom is used as food by Lord Voldemort as he regains his strength and body. This “pet” might also be more than just that.

Number Four, Privet Drive: The hideously dull address of the Dursley Family.

Number 12 Grimmauld Place: The former home of Sirius Black bequeathed to Harry. It was used as a meeting place for the Order of the Phoenix.

Mr. Ollivander: The wand-maker of Diagon Alley. Harry and other students bought their wands from him; his affiliation is unknown, and he disappears during Harry’s sixth year.

O.W.L.s: An acronym for “Ordinary Wizarding Levels,” these are exams that Hogwarts students must take during their fifth year. The results will determine the course of their magical careers.

Padma Patil: A Ravenclaw in the same year as Harry, and Ron’s very reluctant and unhappy date for the Yule Ball in their fourth year.

Parseltongue: The ability to speak to snakes. Parseltongue is considered a Dark Art.

Parselmouth: A witch or wizard who can speak Parseltongue. Famous Parselmouths include Salazar Slytherin and Voldemort himself.

Parvati Patil: A Hogwarts student who is Padma Patil’s identical twin and Lavender Brown’s best friend. Parvati was Harry’s date for the Yule Ball.

Pensieve: A magical stone basin that stores a person’s thoughts and memories, for individual examination. Harry has seen many things from the past in Dumbledore’s Pensieve.

Peeves the Poltergeist: An unending trouble-making being who is constantly pulling pranks and ratting out Hogwarts students for his own amusement.

Peter Petigrew (Wormtail): A shy, timid member of the Marauders who hero-worshipped James Potter and Sirius Black. He is an Animagus who takes the shape of a rat and is, in fact, one of Voldemort’s most loyal subjects.

Pigwidgeon: A tiny gray owl given to Ron by Sirius Black, as recompense for losing “Scabbers.”

Madam Pince: A Hogwarts librarian.

Platform 9 3/4: The magical platform at King’s Cross Station in London where Hogwarts students board the Hogwarts Express.

Madam Pomfrey: The school nurse at Hogwarts.

Portkey: A charmed object (which usually looks like trash to a Muggle) that can transport wizards from one place to another at a specific, prearranged time. Wizards often use them for mass transporting from various locations.

Harry Potter: Must we? If we must: skinny, black-haired, green-eyed, downtrodden orphan and hero of the stories! Harry finds out at age 11 that he’s not just any ordinary boy…he’s a wizard. He is invited to become a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he meets friends and enemies alike, not the least of which is Voldemort, one of the most evil and powerful wizards of all time who is responsible for the death of his parents. Harry’s story ends when either he or Voldemort is destroyed.

James Potter (also Prongs): Harry’s father, whom Harry is the spitting image of, and who was a Quidditch player and mischief-maker in his own days at Hogwarts. He becomes a respected and powerful young wizard.

Lily Potter: Harry’s mother, who is a gifted witch with a particular talent for potion-making. Initially she does not care for James Potter. She gives up her life for Harry’s, which is the reason Voldemort is reduced to nearly a ghost upon her death.

Pure-blood: An elitist, antiquated title for a witch or wizard whose ancestry is entirely magical. As Hagrid points out to Harry, due to witches and wizards inter-marrying with Muggles, there are very few who can hold on to the claim “pure-blood.”

Quidditch: A wizard sport played up in the air on broomsticks, in teams of seven.

Professor Quirrell: A nervous, stuttering teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts during Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. He has the unfortunate experience of having the barely-alive Voldemort living in the back of his head.

R.A.B.: A mysterious person who discovers one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes (the same Horcrux that Harry and Dumbledore risk their lives to find) and destroys it, leaving behind a note signed with these initials. It is implied that R.A.B. once worked with Voldemort.

Ravenclaw: One of four student houses at Hogwarts. It is named for Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the school’s four founders, who is noteworthy for her intellect and cleverness. Many students who do not know her wonder why Hermione was not selected to be in Ravenclaw.

Tom Marvolo Riddle: The boy who would become Voldemort. The son of handsome Muggle Tom Riddle and witch Merope Gaunt, he is raised in an orphanage, as his mother dies giving birth to him. He becomes a star student at Hogwarts, though several teachers, including Albus Dumbledore, are unsure of the boy’s motives.

Tom Riddle: The Muggle father of Voldemort, it isn’t clear that Riddle ever even knew he fathered a son. He died under mysterious circumstances, with his elderly parents.

Madam Rosmerta: The attractive owner of The Three Broomsticks, whom Ron fancies. She is put under the Imperius Curse during Harry’s sixth year, nearly resulting in the accidental death of Katie Bell.

Scabbers: Ron Weasley’s old and tired pet rat. Through the kids’ third year, Scabbers is believed to be just your ordinary rat. However, he is soon discovered to have several very human qualities.

Rufus Scrimgeour: Cornelius Fudge’s successor as Minister of Magic. Scrimgeour, weathered-looking and shrewd, wishes for Harry to publicly declare his support of the Ministry, which Harry constantly refuses.

Kingsley Shacklebolt: An Auror who is also a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

Shrieking Shack: A house in Hogsmeade commonly believed to be the most haunted dwelling in Britain but was actually built by the staff of Hogwarts, many years ago, for a more practical purpose.

Stan Shunpike: A young conductor of the Knight Bus who is falsely arrested for committing suspicious Death Eater activity.

Professor Sinistra: An astronomy teacher at Hogwarts.

Rita Skeeter: The scoop-hungry, relentless reporter for The Daily Prophet. She is a fan of extremely yellow journalism and an unregistered Animagus, who can take the form of a lady bug.

Horace Slughorn: An old friend of Dumbledore’s and former professor who returns to Hogwarts in Harry’s sixth year to teach Potions. Slughorn is materialistic and a bit shallow, but basically kind-hearted.

Slytherin: One of four student houses at Hogwarts. It is named for Salazar Slytherin, one of the school’s four founders, known for his love of the Dark Arts.

Professor Severus Snape: A frustratingly inconsistent Hogwarts Professor, first of Potions, then of his coveted Defense Against the Dark Arts. A former Death Eater who, according to Albus Dumbledore, is reformed, Professor Severus Snape saves Harry and his friends’ necks more than once, but is often cruel, taunting and downright mean to just about anyone associated with Harry. He holds a long-standing grudge against The Mauraders.
Sorcerer’s Stone: A small, ruby-red stone that can change metal into gold and produces the Elixir of Life, which makes the drinker immortal.

Sorting Hat: A tattered, talking wizard’s hat that, when tried on, tells first years which house they will live in at Hogwarts.

S.P.E.W: The “Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare” is an organization started by Hermione, whose liberal-mindedness is set aflame due to the working conditions of house elves.

Splinching: A separation of random body parts while Apparating, often happening to inexperienced or young wizards.

Professor Sprout: A teacher of Herbology at Hogwarts.

Squib: Someone who has no magical powers even though he or she was born into a wizarding family.

Dean Thomas: A Gryffindor in the same year as Harry who inspires a bit of jealousy in Harry by steadily dating Ginnie Weasley.

The Three Broomsticks: The “nicer” pub in Hogsmeade, where wizards congregate and Hogwarts students go to drink butterbeer. Business of all kinds is transacted at its tables.

Time-Turner: An hourglass-like tool that allows a witch or wizard to travel back in time. These devices are highly regulated by licensed users. Hermione used one during third year to attend more classes. All of the Ministry’s Time-Turners were destroyed at the end of Harry’s fifth year.

Nymphadora Tonks: A young, clumsy, outgoing Metamorphmagus and Auror who is a member of the Order of the Phoenix. The cousin of Sirius Black, Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lastrange, Tonks is in love with Remus Lupin.

Professor Trelawney: The teacher of Divination in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts who has exactly two accurate predictions to her name.

Triwizard Tournament: A dangerous, year-long magical tournament between three European wizarding schools: Hogwarts, Beaux-Batons and Durmstrang. One student from each school is chosen to compete, their names selected by the ancient Goblet of Fire. The Tournament is held for the first time in 700 years during Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts.

Dolores Jane Umbridge: The senior Undersecretary to the Minister who toes the Ministry line and becomes Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor during Harry’s fifth year. Her teaching methods are so conservative and her personality so dreadful that Harry and his friends start up their own classes taught by Harry himself and dubbed “The D.A” (or “Dumbledore’s Army”).

Voldemort (see also, Tom Marvolo Riddle): The most powerful dark wizard of modern times who is also referred to as “You-Know-Who” and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” because, as Hermione points out, “fear of a name incites fear of the thing itself.”

Arthur Weasley: The tall, balding, hard-working friendly father of Bill, Charlie, Percy, George, Fred, Ron and Ginny, and loving husband of Molly. The Weasleys are a loud, large, loving family who have basically adopted Harry as one of their own.

Bill Weasley: The eldest Weasley sibling who works for Gringott’s and is the fiancé of Fleur Delacour.

Charlie Weasley: The second eldest Weasley brother, a Graduate of Hogwarts and former Quidditch legend, he works with dragons in Romania.

Fred and George Weasley: The fun-loving, troublemaking older twin brothers of Ron. They actually are quite talented charm-casters and are proprietors of a very successful joke shop in Diagon Alley.

Ginny Weasley: Ron’s sassy, Quidditch-playing younger sister. Though she has harbored a crush on Harry from the minute she saw him, Harry has just recently begun to notice her.

Molly Weasley: Ron’s sweet, hardworking and continuously cooking mother. She runs her household and children with a firm but loving hand.

Ron Weasley: Harry’s tall, red-haired best mate who is loyal, brave, good-hearted and often thoughtless. He carries a bit of a torch for he and Harry’s shared bushy-haired best friend…

Whomping Willow: A very aggressive tree planted over the secret passage from Hogwarts’s grounds to the Shrieking Shack.

A Treasury of Regrets

A Treasury of Regrets
By Susanne Alleyn
Reviewed by Terry, Quality Book Reviews

A Treasury of Regrets begins with the death of the head of a seemingly well-off family, and the accusation and arrest of a simple servant girl who is accused not only of the murder but of attempting to poison the whole family despite the complete lack of motive.

Alleyn weaves a twisty, fascinating narrative filled with lots of secrets, more deaths in the family, and great scenes as Aristide searches for the truth. A Treasury of Regrets is a fascinating historical mystery set in France just after the Revolution. You as the reader will see how the people adapt to the changes that came about. Aristide is an interesting character who cares that justice is served as he goes out of his way to prove the servant is innocent even when the legal system tries to stop him. Susanne Alleyn provides a great tale that brings to life late eighteenth century France during a troubling fledgling attempt to legalize a fair justice system.

Alleyn writes the story with a strong and steady pace, voice, dialogue, and a narrative which is beautifully written which brings enjoyment to this fascinating read. She has developed a procedural with interesting plot twists which will amaze you and keep you guessing in this fascinating look into post-revolutionary Paris.

Body Surfing

Body Surfing
by Anita Shreve

Body Surfing opens with the description of a beach house and a woman swimming, body surfing on the ocean’s waves. Anita Shreve’s latest novel picks up on previous themes she has explored which include-love, loss, marriage, and the ocean. This is a story of Sydney, a young woman who is lost, and finds herself the tutor to a teenage daughter at her family’s summer beach house. Sydney has had a traumatic past which involves two marriages one of which ended in a divorce and the other which left her as a widow. This story is unique and is an enjoyable read with delightful characters which are presented as strong individuals that you can relate to and are believable.

I would recommend this one for your book club there is also a reading group guide which can be located at the following web address:

http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/books/92/0316067334/reading_guide25865.html

Enjoy!

The Stephen King Library Desk Calendar 2008

The Stephen King Library Desk Calendar 2008

Let Stephen King bring you days of dread, weeks of worry, and months of mayhem via this awesome spiral bound desk calendar.

This exclusive Stephen King Library Desk Calendar for 2008 is packed with essays, creepy facts, trivia, and games—365 chances to step into Stephen King’s chilling universe.

Find out your SK IQ with questions like, “Which King book’s original title was Second Coming?” and “Which novel serves as King’s homage to Rebecca?” Take the Dead or Alive quiz, which asks readers to recall which King characters survived their personal hell and which didn’t. You’ll also get a taste of The Dark Tower; King’s suggestions for the best movies to watch on a cold, wintry night; personal stories from King and some of his fans; and so much more.

There was a printing error of the second part of the two-piece selection beginning the week of March 31 which should have been continued on the week of April 7 was not included in the calendar. The corrected section was enclosed as labels with the missing text to place over the incorrect text that appears on the week of April 7.

Even with the printing error this is a great piece for all the Stephen King fans and a must have.

Maxine 2008 Engagement Calendar

Maxine 2008 Engagement Calendar

Maxine was created by John Wagner and is a very special character. Maxine has taken on a life of her own.

If you love the Maxine character she has her own books, comic strip, and website. www.maxine.com

If you don’t know Maxine then check her out and you too will become truly addicted to her crabby side of life.

Maxine 2008 Engagement Calendar is a great way to enjoy the crabby, quirky, and irreverent quips on aging, retirement, political correctness, work, sex (or the lack of) and other views by Maxine on a daily basis throughout the year.

The engagement calendar is full of bright colorful drawings of Maxine and her snide comments throughout which will bring enjoyment for the year to come.

Maxine also has her own Official Club Membership, so if you love Maxine I would suggest picking up a Membership Kit and getting started.