**spoiler alert** Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was very good book. It was longer, more complex, and more mature than its predecessors. It was a**spoiler alert** Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was very good book. It was longer, more complex, and more mature than its predecessors. It was also darker and deeper.
There are several things that make the Harry Potter books stand apart from other children’s books, and the biggest factor is the unpredictability. I continue to be impressed with Rowling’s ability to twist and surprise. By this point in the series I’m not surprised that there’s a great twist, but it’s been unpredictable every time. In each of the last two books the villain has been a character that I hardly knew existed until the last few chapters. The endings have been very well done.
Another great thing about these books is the rare combination of complexity and readability in a children’s book. There is no dull moment. Every 20-30 page chapter has serious bearing on the outcome to be revealed at the end. The end of every chapter makes you want to read the next one. And kids read them. This great 700+ page novel did not have to be split into three parts to get a kid to read it.
The third thing I want to mention is that Rowling has created a distinctly new and unique story in each book. These are not books that rely on the same plot type and the same predictable characters to continue selling books. These aren’t just books cranked out by a best-selling author to maximize revenue. They are well thought out and well written.
The Goblet of Fire in particular has started to touch on a few interesting issues. Teenage growing-up issues begin to be part of the stories. The dynamics of Ron’s relationship with Hermione begins to be revealed in true teen fashion. Harry’s feelings for Cho are revealed. Also, we see the teenagers having to deal with death.
Racism is another issue that was brought up previously in the series, but is dealt with more here. While we have seen the blatant bigotry of Malfoy and the Salazar Slytherin elitism, this book starts to reveal the deeply-ingrained intolerance that can happen to the “good” people in society. Even Hogwarts has enslaved house elves. Even the Weasleys have inclinations to shun giants and half-giants. It will be great to see how all of this plays out in Dumbledore’s attempt to reach out to the giants and the Ministry of Magic’s refusal to.
Another thing that’s highlighted in The Goblet of Fire is how the press operates in society. It’s interesting how the general public of the magic world continues to get it’s news from the source that everyone knows is corrupt and glory seeking. As readers we are infuriated at the majority of the magic community when they continue to believe what Rita Skeeter writes, even though everyone knows she is a liar. Rowling makes a great mocker of the real world here.
And what happens next? Will Malfoy and his pals be back to Hogwarts now that their parents have gone back to Voldemort? Will we see the folks from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons again? Will we get to know the real Mad-Eye Moody? Will the perpetual red herring, Snape, turn out to be good or evil? And the next villain? Will it be someone of whom we’ve never heard? Or someone we’ve known since the first book?
I’ve enjoyed the Harry Potter series very much, and can’t wait to continue… ...more
**spoiler alert** Another great story. Great twist at the end. Foreshadowing led us to believe Hermione had a part in the plot, but in comes through i**spoiler alert** Another great story. Great twist at the end. Foreshadowing led us to believe Hermione had a part in the plot, but in comes through in such an unexpected way. Pettigrew showing up in the form of a rat that the Weasleys have had for twelve years...another twist that nobody could see coming. What kinds of twists are yet to come? I can't wait to see.
"The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse..." Albus Dumbledore Dumbledore, once again, trusts Harry to accomplish the most important task. He really believes in Harry, and, again, in the end gives Harry the advice and assurance he needs as the summer holiday begins.
**spoiler alert** Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a great fantasy adventure with some thrilling twists and turns. In this, the second book**spoiler alert** Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a great fantasy adventure with some thrilling twists and turns. In this, the second book of the series, Harry continues to learn who he is and the power that he may ultimately have. As the story goes on, he learns of his new magical powers and his unique connection to the highest levels of Darkness. The great thing about Harry is his willingness to take on every challenge, no matter how dark or how powerful. What he seems to be slightly ignorant of, however, is that he is just as great and powerful. Although the great wizard, Albus Dumbledore, is not at all ignorant of this, and seems to set Harry up specifically to fight the greatest evil.
There were a couple interesting statements made by the author that show some truth about humanity. The first it the notion that people will "go to any lengths to ignore magic, even if it's staring them in the face." While there are not witches flying on brooms or cars flying through the air, there is a supernatural realm and a supernatural God that created our universe. Though the evidence is creation is overwhelming, humans will go to any lengths to explain way the possibility of the supernatural.
The other is a statement made by the great and wise Albus Dumbledore. While Harry is struggling with who he is, the great wizard says: "It's our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities." I thought this statement was profound. Working in the education world, so often students are labeled and judged based on their abilities in certain areas, rather that their character and their choices.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets showed again the amazing storytelling of J.K. Rowling, who leads you to believe things are progressing in certain directions, and then twists the story in most unexpected ways.
This book is a very brief collection of tales about Robin Hood. Was he a real person? The author gives a good quick discussion of this question, and gThis book is a very brief collection of tales about Robin Hood. Was he a real person? The author gives a good quick discussion of this question, and gives some of the historical evidence for the authenticity of some of the characters in the Robin Hood stories....more