Started 8/21 Finished 8/28
This book was all about how J.K. played out the last bits of back story with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. It was also about two words – horcruxes and the deathly hallows.
A horcrux is an object used by a wizard to store part of his soul. Voldemort created six, but he never knew about #7 . . . not until he discovered it in this book. You will too!
The deathly hallows is a children’s story about three objects that can give you eternal life. Except – they really exist. You’ll discover who owned all three. It came as a HUGE surprise the first time I read this book.
My favorite part – the ending. J.K. gave us an epilogue and let us peek into Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s future. After all the angst, I was so glad all three had happy endings.
My least favorite part – the first two chapters. #1 started with Voldemort, where he was, and what he wanted. #2 has Harry reading Dumbledore’s obituary. He found a side to the headmaster that disappointed and angered him. I was disappointed too. I wanted a quest, an adventure to end Voldemort, but that’s not where J.K. wanted to start. I stayed with her, and I wasn’t disappointed, at all.
Quotes That Made Me Write Them Down:
1. Harry wonders how you put yourself back together after horcruxes. The answer – remorse. “You’ve got to really feel what you’ve done. There’s a footnote. Apparently the pain of it can destroy you. I can’t see Voldemort attempting it somehow, can you?” Me, I’ve never had a problem with remorse. When I do something wrong, I apologize, then try to make it right. That’s the way my parents brought me up. (Chapter 6 – Hermione)
2. Dumbledore’s talking to Snape, “You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon . . .” He was talking about how the Sorting Hat put them into houses the first night at Hogwarts.” That makes sense to me. You know yourself so much better as you age. Me – I didn’t start writing until I met the bat in Germany in 2007. I was 48, and it was perfect timing. (Chapter 33 – Dumbledore)
3. Dumbledore says, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love. By returning, you may ensure that fewer souls are maimed, fewer families are torn apart. If that seems to you a worthy goal, then we say good-bye for the present.” I saw my father pass in 2015. My mother last December. I’m grateful for their lives and the love they gave me and my family. I believe they’re in a far better place. (Chapter 35 – Dumbledore)
4. Dumbledore’s answer to Harry at King’s Cross Station. “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” I love this answer! Why not?! Perception is reality! (Chapter 35 – Dumbledore)
Give me Harry Potter,' said Voldemort's voice, 'and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded.'
As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy.
Started 8/14 Finished 8/21
J.K. is a master at creating great characters. She weaves the Half-Blood Prince into the plot, but we won’t know his real identity until late in the story. The only clue – his old potions book – that winds up in Harry’s hands.
Harry also finds himself taking private lessons with Dumbledore. The first – to enter the Pensieve and see a distorted memory of Professor Slughorn with a young Voldemort. Harry’s homework – to uncover what Slughorn really told Voldemort about Horcruxes.
Finally you won’t be disappointed by the twists and turns with Malfoy and Snape. They finally show that they’re as evil as we always believed.
Quotes That Resonated With Me:
1. “Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress?” It feels like we’re going through a dark period today. It gives me hope that someone is out there, someone who can take down the tyrants. (Chapter 23 – Professor Dumbledore)
2. Harry remembers his first meeting with Voldemort. “It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated . . .” This describes how I feel about evil today. If we keep fighting and fighting, things will get better, but never perfect. (Chapter 30 – Harry)
There it was, hanging in the sky above the school: the blazing green skull with a serpent tongue, the mark Death Eaters left behind whenever they had entered a building... wherever they had murdered...
When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort's darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny...
Started 8/5 Finished 8/14
Book 5 (original cover) is structured so much differently than #4. It followed the Triwizard Tournament from the drawing of names through the three challenges. It’s classic three act structure.
Order of the Phoenix is all about the back story being played out in the present. The Order is the group of wizards who fought off Voldemort ten years ago. Now they’re back to keep Harry and his friends alive.
The back story twists and turns when Harry sneaks a peek in the Pensieve. He sees his father, Sirius, and Lupin through Snape’s eyes. Harry can’t understand how they’re less than perfect, less than heroes.
J.K. introduces two new characters. Delores Umbridge is pure evil. Harry isn’t fooled by her fake sweet voice or pink attire, and she takes cruel discipline techniques to new depths. Imagine writing sentences using a quill that cuts a little deeper each time you write. Horrible!
The other character’s positively Loony (her nickname), but Luna Lovegood is looney in a fun way. She helps balance out the dark moments that are coming closer and closer together. She sees thestrals, like Harry does. Only those who’ve experienced the death of a loved one can see them. In a way the thestrals foreshadow the dark moment that’s coming . . . someone must die, someone from the order.
J.K. is brilliant at weaving the back story and her characters together!
'You are sharing the Dark Lord's thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord.'
Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors' attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord's return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort's savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time ...
Started 7/27 Finished 8/4
Book 4 (original cover) is all about theTriwizard Tournament between the three top wizarding schools. It’s JK’s longest book, by over 100 pages, but the tension rises to the very end. How?
JK started with the Goblet of Fire picking an extra champion, and she raised the tension with each new challenge they faced. The plot’s like a roller coaster with its ups and downs between challenges. And the end . . . it came as a complete surprise.
Quotes That Struck a Chord With Me:
1. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” There’s a huge difference between how Draco Malfoy and Harry treat Hagrid. I’d rather hang out with Harry. (Chapter 27 – Sirius Black)
2. “Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter. I was sure Cedric would want to repay you for telling him about the dragons, and so he did.” Do you ever feel like some people get away with everything, and others – nothing? (Chapter 35 – Fake Mad-Eye Moody)
3. “You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow up to be!” Another way to say it . . . it’s not where you start, but where you finish. (Chapter 36 – Dumbledore)
Two Great Tools:
1. Chocolate - Whenever the dementors appear and take away every ounce of joy, chocolate is the best medicine. It works for me! I always feel better after a little chocolate.
2. Pensieve – It’s something that JK made up. Dumbledore pulls out disturbing thoughts with his, then he looks for patterns. We can’t, but when I feel pensive like Dumbledore, I write down my thoughts, then look for patterns. (Chapter 30)
The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter - but that doesn't stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe'en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through - alive!
Having become classics of our time, the Harry Potter eBooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism. With their message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!