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PotterCon Boston

It will probably come as no surprise to frequent OOTB readers that Shoshana, Cindy, and I were some of the first attendees to arrive at PotterCon Boston on Saturday afternoon. Less a con and more a low-key party, this event was the “the first annual Boston day-drinking and mingling destination for [grown-up] Harry Potter fans.” […]

Harry Potter and the Travel Ban

“Oh, really? You don’t act like an only child!” Growing up and entering adulthood, I have heard this phrase many a time. I take comfort knowing that I am not suffering from the dreaded “only child syndrome” of those who are spoiled or self-involved. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that as a […]

Reading Race and Power in Fantasy

When my daughter was three or four, we would play a computer game together where she would have to choose an avatar to represent herself. To the game’s credit, there were at least twelve options for girls, with all different skin colors and hair colors and styles. Inevitably, my very pale daughter would select a […]

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie review

“Yesterday, a wizard entered New York with a case. A case full of magical creatures. And unfortunately, some have escaped.” That’s the basic premise for the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warner Bros., November 2016; PG-13), the first in a projected five-movie spin-off series of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise […]

Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two based on an original new story by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne; written by Jack Thorne 7/16    Levine/Scholastic    328 pp. Middle School, High School    978-1-338-09913-3    $29.99 This “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” of the two-part play that opened in London’s West End in […]

Of Fantasy and Daughters

I read my daughter’s first fantasy book to her when she was one week old. Every evening I swaddled her up and rocked her to sleep while reading aloud another chapter of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. What else was I supposed to do with a tiny speechless creature with big eyes who only wanted […]

Let your fan flag fly!

This weekend, fans all over the world got to have an experience we thought we’d never have again: the anticipation of a new Harry Potter book. The release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two, the script of the new London play of the same name, created all the excitement you […]

Hbook Podcast 1.18 – ALA and Harry Potter

Podcast the eighteenth in which Roger and Siân talk ALA, Harry Potter, and committees. Book(s) we talk about J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter books (audio by Jim Dale) People we talk about Marcus Sedgwick Vicky Smith Victoria Stapleton, Director of School and Library Marketing, Little Brown Martha Parravano Frances Hardinge David Greenough Dan Santat Dina Sherman, […]

Potter’s Field Redux

Thanks to Siân (recently) and Martha (several years ago), I am compulsively reading Harry Potter. Sian brought the guy up in a Horn Book podcast and awakened my curiosity; Martha had told me back in the day that Jim Dale’s audio edition is the perfect entrée to the books for those who are not among the […]

Was Jo March a Ravenclaw? Authors, Fans, and Who Makes the Rules

What are Harry Potter’s kids up to? Should Jo have married Professor Bhaer? Could Bella Swan have depended less on Edward? For many readers, part of being a fan is the desire to know more than what’s spelled out on the page. And when answers aren’t readily available, some readers are happy to create them […]