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Ask Family Reading: Watching the film

We are thrilled to announce a brand-new addition to The Horn Book's Family Reading blog: a bouncing baby...advice column! If you have a question you'd like to Ask Family Reading; offer feedback; or just say hi, leave a note in the Comments section below. Also follow us on Twitter @HornBook...
      

Second Book Syndrome: In Defense of Second Books

Second book syndrome. As readers, we’ve all heard of it and even diagnosed some books we’ve read with it. After loving an author's first book, we might not find that their second book lives up to our expectations (or the hype). I’ve found this is especially true with series. Book...
      

Harry for the holidays

Shoshana Flax: Old Potter fans never die, they just sit down at the Yule Ball.  Cindy and I spent the evening of Sunday, December 15th at the Middle East nightclub in Cambridge for the Boston edition of Harry and the Potters’ Yule Ball. (The Black Cat in Washington, DC, and...
      

Harry, AGAIN?

It's funny to see the Catholics going after Harry Potter as he presented no particular challenge to the Church (I've also been rereading His Dark Materials, and there's something for the R.C.s to sink their teeth into). And, most oddly, why now? Sounds like the good Father got himself buttonholed by...
      

Happy birthday, Harry!

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Happy birthday to one of kidlit's most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He'd be thirty-nine this year. Holy hippogriff.) The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here's a...
      

Jim Dale's soporific magic

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I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan, but I never dreamed how much a part of my life Harry would become.When my first son was born, I was in labor for a week and struggling to stay calm. My mom is a psychologist and also does hypnosis (legitimate hypnosis...
      

Wrock 'n' roll

You’re never too old to save Ginny Weasley from the basilisk — or to rock out while one crowd-surfs.That’s just what Cindy and I did last weekend at the Coolidge Corner Theater, where wizard-rock pioneers Harry and the Potters and their opener Lauren Fairweather turned moment after moment from our...
      

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...
      

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...
      

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...

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