J. K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter
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J. K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,494 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Harry Potter is loved throughout the world - so is his creator. Joanne Kathleen (J.K.) Rowling is a true wizard, a woman who has the ability to recall vividly her days as a child and capture those wild, wonderful, difficult times-an ability that helps make her creation, Harry Potter, seem so real. In this revealing look, fans of the Harry Potter series will get to see thei...more
Paperback, 107 pages
Published August 12th 2000 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2000)
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Sam Reitenour
So, I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books and everything surrounding them and their author, and have stuck with the fanbase to this day. I found "J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter" at Half Price Books and said "hey, why not learn more about the author?" I mean, I knew her basic life story and whatnot, but not specifically. Then I saw that this was a biography, not an autobiography, by Marc Shapiro. I figured at the time that this did not matter.

Apparently, it matters.

Not only doe...more
Ashlee Ford
Yesterday when I was leaving the library with my son (the youth room to be exact) I saw this book on display and immediately picked it up. I am a big HP fan and I love Jo Rowling so I was excited to read it. The book is not by her though, it's by a guy named Marc Shapiro, and I really don't think he had any right to write this book. Most of his sources were big magazines or newspaper articles with interviews with Jo in them...but he never talked/interviewed her himself. What got me the most angr...more
This book has just one thing going for it: it's the first biography for youngsters about the popular author. The only other sources of information are articles in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet.

Unfortunately, the text reads like a rough draft of a junior-high research paper. Incomplete and fragmented sentences abound as Shapiro rambles on in a confusing manner. Quotations are loosely traced to articles and interviews in their sentences, but are not properly documented. Shapiro write...more
Celine Parker
This is a biography about the author of the Harry Potter series and how the books became so successful. It starts from Rowling's childhood, when she was clearly more imaginative than the rest of her friends and classmates. It then goes through her yound adulthood when she experienced a family death and had her first child. She then became very poor and wrote the Harry Potter series on whatever scraps of paper she could find. I'm not one that usually reads biographies, but this was very well-writ...more
Erin Pelquest-Hunt
It looked self-published to me, which is rarely a good sign. It wasn’t, but it might as well have been as I’m sure no self-respecting JKR fan would deign to submit it for publishing. First of all was the fact that the blurb included dot points stating what FAQs would be answered within. Incidentally, few were. The “about the author” section spelt his daughter’s name “Rachael” though in the dedications her name was “Rachel”. I strongly suspected that an author who couldn’t decide on the spelling...more
Erin Smith
As a huge Potterhead, not a "potteries" as Marc Shapiro refers to Harry Potter fans in the book, I figured I would LOVE to read an autobiography on J.K. Rowling. However this book on her was terrible. It was horribly written, he made her living in poverty as a single mother and her signing on to write 7 Harry Potter books equally as exciting. I don't think he ever actually communicated with Rowling in any way at all. He had tons of facts about the Harry Potter series and her wrong. He clearly ha...more
Starcookie Collins
Mar 07, 2010 Starcookie Collins added it
Recommends it for: ?
Recommended to Starcookie by: no one
I really like how harry came to be
Hilariously and unintentionally awful.
I picked this book up hoping to learn more about J.K. Rowling, and I did, however the inaccuracies were so loud that it was difficult to really enjoy the book. In addition to the obvious inaccuracies, how is the reader to know for sure if any of the other "facts" were indeed facts"? Lastly, Shapiro's writing style frustrated me and left me feeling that this book was truly lacking in eloquence. It could have been so much more if it was accurate, better-written, and just overall edited before bein...more
Cassy Skellington
Apr 25, 2012 Cassy Skellington rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New/uninformed fans of the series
I picked up this book on a whim at the library, and, being someone who hasn't really paid attention to the history of Harry Potter, more specifically, to J.K. Rowling herself, I was pleased with what I found in this book. It gave me a rundown of her early childhood and her innate ability to tell stories, to her adulthood with all the struggles and joys of finding herself both as a writer and as a woman. A woman who happened to become a multimillion dollar success and one of the top names in mode...more
Nilo Di Stefano
E' uno snack ma molto gustoso
Questo libricino di 120 pagine è una piccola biografia sulla scrittrice più importante degli ultimi 10 anni. La storia di una creazione, la vita dell'autrice fra alti e bassi, fra luci e ombre, dolori e gioie.
Una vita brillante, mai banale, resa entusiasmante dall'intelligenza e dalla fantasia di J.K.Rowling. Le paure e le rivincite fanno da cornice alla creazione della storia più avvincente dopo il signore degli anelli. E' davvero bello sapere il dove e il come è n...more
Henry Zhu
This book is mostly about how J.K Rowling and her journey of making the Harry Potter Series. The book shows that in the beginning of her life, there were many hard times for her. For example, when J.K Rowling was 16, her mother died of a sickness. J.K Rowling was very upset that she didn't spend a lot of time with her mother. She had always spent her time either writing or reading her stories to her sister. Also, as she grew older, she found herself homeless and she was a single mother. She had...more
Tyler Johnson
Mark Shapiro’s novel of J. K. Rowling, The Wizard Behind Harry Potter is a non-official biography about the author of the world-renown author of the Harry Potter series. It was intended to enlighten readers about the history of J. K. Rowling, including why she wrote the series, what her childhood was like, and what her life is like now. Unfortunately, since this book was published in 2001, the information is very old and not recent, resulting in only information about the first three books and...more
Jordan Verhulst
J.K. Rowling: The Wizard behind Harry Potter is a biography written by Marc Shapiro. It is a relatively simple book with an equally simple purpose: to document and retell the life of the remarkable woman that wrote one of the best known and most loved book series of all time, the Harry Potter series. That is, after all, the entire purpose of any biography; to document and retell. Themes recurring in J.K. Rowling’s life would have to be perseverance and faith. Early in her career, she encountered...more
The book, J. K. Rowling: The Wizard behind Harry Potter, was written by Marc Shapiro. This unofficial biography was written to tell about J. K. Rowling and her life growing up. J. K. Rowling’s dedication is the theme in this book. The book told about how Rowling was challenged to stay dedicated to her writing. Even when she was a small child and she was afraid of being made fun of she had to say dedicated. Dedication is also shown when Rowling was writing Harry Potter because of the massive amo...more
This book has more conjuring in it than all of J.K. Rowling's seven Harry Potter novels put together. One has to question the credibility of an author, and the publishing house, that would publish a book chock full of inaccuracies. I got so tired of listing everything that was wrong with this book because (A) there was so much of it and (B) it was hindering my reading because I constantly had to stop and make a note for my review. The only good part of this book was the last Chapter where the "a...more
Truly a remarkable story. Whenever I doubt my own writing and dreams of publication, I remind myself of the stories of successful authors, especially J. K. Rowling, who ended up living their dream despite countless things that could have or did go against them. I recommend this to anyone who ever felt like giving up on their writing or another dream, because this is a true testimony to how the beautifully impossible can happen when LIFE seems impossible.
m1 Gwen
This book was amazingly informative. I learned so many things about J. K. Rowling that I never knew, and about the books themselves. Although this book is probably biased in her favor, it had almost completely verified, proven facts and quotes from Joanne herself. It was cool to learn about one of my favorite authors and it really made me realize some cool connections from the books. As a perfectionist, someone who loves to write, and someone who loves to edit other peoples writing, there were d...more
n absolute delight! After the first two paragraphs in the introduction by Marc Shapiro, I knew it was a book that I don't need a bookmark, for I would just finish it in one dosage!

An escape and entertainment in only 163 page of light reading in medium font.

I am not a Harry Potter fan, but I am now a fan of the Wizard behind Harry Potter.

Like her character Harry, Joanne Kathleen is a ordinary person with common human weaknesses and battled through troughs in life, but her passion for writing, h...more
While I learned more about one of my favorite authors, this book is simply bits and pieces of information about J.K Rowling, that can be taken from the internet. Being a fan of Harry Potter, there are some incorrect information written by this author (like, it's not owls who run banks, it's goblins). And he calls Harry Potter fans 'Potterites', instead of 'Potterheads'
I picked this up so that I could have a book in the living room and a book in Natalie's room. I wanted a quick read because I planned to get something different at the library on Friday. I had this for my classroom. I don't think anyone ever read it. And I'm glad if that is the case, because this wasn't very good. I thought the writing was poor. It was repetitive and poorly organized. The edition I had had additions about book five and movie three. I felt that the end of the book dragged. What I...more
I am grateful that the book is headed by the phrase, "an unauthorized biography" of J.K. Rowling. Shapiro's writing is redundant, cliche'd, choppy, assumptive of Rowling's life and so inaccurate when describing details of the Potter story, (which anyone remotely familiar with Harry's story would pick up on), that I was led to question myself, "which audience is he writing for"? That question and the above observations led me to ask, "how accurate can any of the details of Rowling's story be"? Du...more
J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by: Marc Shapiro was very interesting to read. I, a huge Harry Potter fan, really liked learning about her life and how Harry Potter became famous. I would really like to meat J.K. Rowling because she seems like a really nice person (and she wrote amazing books.) For example, she didn't give up on her dreams even though she was a poor single mother and she went on all kinds of interviews and book tours to meet her fans. Biographies aren't my favorite...more
Nice short story of how J.K. Rowling came about with the adventures of Harry Potter. Tells her story briefly up to the beginning of writing the fourth book Goblet of Fire and the beginning of production of the first film.

105 pages.

Good, quick read.
This has a lot of information but it does not tell much more than what was already said in many interviews. The facts that were in the book were all jumbled up and unorganized. Should not purchase this book, it'll be such a waste of money and it's not a book worthy to spend your time on reading

One plus point: those who read this must remember, that, this is the first biography of this author. That's all. I thought it would go great with my current reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...more
Christina May
Das hatte ich mir auch für meine Facharbeit gekauft, allerdings hätte ich es mir wahrscheinlich irgendwann außerhalb der Facharbeit gekauft. Ich fand es nur nützlich, um hier vielleicht noch die Motive der Autorin mit ins Spiel zu bringen...

Inhalt ist auch hier klar, da es sich ja um eine Biografie von J.K. Rowling handelt.
Ich fand sie echt toll, vieles wusste ich schon vorher. Aber einige Dinge waren mir völlig neu und haben mein Bild von ihr noch ein bisschen verstärkt.
Ich kann nur sa...more
Not as encompassing as you'd want it to be, but it's forgivable because this was written just when Order of Phoenix was to be released. And despite that this wasn't the first time I've read about J.K. Rowling's life and beginnings, this book has some trivia about the writer I've never come across before (like her favorite moments with fans... boy, what I would do to be one of those...). It's v. v. v. easy to read, like a rough draft of a research paper but not as painful, so it's a sure thing yo...more
Jun 09, 2014 Reba added it
I read this while lazing around in The Rookery at Raven's Knoll. Most of it I already knew.
This is a book about J.K Rowling and how her life was made. She always liked to read no matter what it was. When she moved to Mexico to teach she fell in love and had a child. Even though she and her husband got divorced. she moved back to Londen as a poor single mother. She gave herself a year to write the first Harry Potter book. When she finished she sent it to a publishing company. One person appacted it a about a week later she she became famous. She got remarried and had a son. When she go...more
The interesting biography J.K Rowling the wizard behind Harry potter by Marc Shapiro is recommended to elementary students through middle schoolers. This biography contains all you want to know about J.K Rowling. From when she was a little child to a famous author. It shows how she went from rags to riches and how Harry Potter came to life. If you're interested in knowing the ups and downs in Rowling's life and how she created the fascinating young wizard’s adventures that is a great hit today,...more
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Marc Shapiro is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography, J.K. Rowling: The Wizard behind Harry Potter, and more than a dozen other celebrity biographies. He has been a freelance entertainment journalist for more than twenty-five years, covering film, television, and music for a number of national and international newspapers and magazines.

More about Marc Shapiro...
Justin Bieber: The Fever! Behind Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison All Things (The Official Guide to the X-Files, Vol. 6) Adele: The Biography Stephenie Meyer: The Unauthorized Biography of the Creator of the Twilight Saga

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