Monday, November 15, 2010

Alternative Books For Harry Potter Fanatics

Have you read the Harry Potter series enough to have it memorized? Unfortunately the series is over but there are tons of books similar to Harry Potter still waiting to be read! The books below are great alternatives full of magic, mystery, and fantasy that will fill the "Harry Potter void," at least temporarily.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis:

Four young adventurers playing hide-and-seek in the home of an old professor stumble upon an enchanted wardrobe that will take them places they never dreamed. Stepping through the wardrobe door, they are whisked into the spectacular parallel universe known as Narnia--a fairy-tale realm of magical proportions where woodland animals talk and mythological creatures roam the hills. Aided by Narnia's rightful leader, the lion Aslan, the four children will discover their own strength and lead Narnia into a spectacular battle to be free of the White Witch's glacial enslavement forever.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and her mother were in the kitchen for a midnight snack when they found a disturbing stranger. The unearthly stranger told them, "Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract is a wrinkle in time. A Wrinkle in Time is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe. They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The future America (now called Panem) is made up of 12 Districts, each District serving a purpose, whether mining, fishing, farming, etc. The produce from every District is used mostly to benefit the affluent citizens living within the Capitol, leaving the District natives suffering with poverty and starvation. Every year the Government living in the Capitol hosts The Hunger Games, where a boy and a girl (aged 12 - 18) from each of the 12 Districts is selected at random to enter a televised event where all 24 'tributes' will have to kill or be killed in an arena containing various weapons and utilities. The last remaining survivor will return to their District a hero with a new life of fame and fortune and the Governments reward of one years supply of food for their District.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

Set in the mythical land of Prydain, the book draws together the elements of the hero's journey from unformed boy to courageous young man. Taran, an assistant pig keeper, grumbles with frustration at home in the hamlet Caer Dallben; he yearns to go into battle like his hero, Prince Gwydion. Before the story is over, he has met his hero and fought the evil leader who threatens the peace of Prydain: the Horned King.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

In the epic trilogy Philip Pullman unlocks the door to worlds parallel to our own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate is struggling to hide his apathy for his high school "in" crowd in small town Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets the determinedly "out" Lena Duchannes, the girl of his dreams (literally--she has been in his nightmares for months). What follows is a smart, modern fantasy--a tale of star-crossed lovers and a dark, dangerous secret.

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. When his mom tells him the truth about where he came from, she takes him to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods. There, Percy learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon Percy finds himself caught up in a mystery that could lead to disastrous consequences. Together with his friends--a satyr and other the demigod daughter of Athena--Percy sets out on a quest to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

The Lost Years of Merlin T.A. Barron

Young Emrys washes up on a Welsh beach with a woman who claims to be his mother. For years, they share a hovel, but Branwen tells him nothing about his past. One day he discovers that he has some unusual powers; using them to kindle a fire in Branwen's defense, he is blinded by the flames. However, he learns to see without eyes using his "second sight." Desperate to know about his past, Emrys, now 12, sets off on an ocean journey. He lands on Fincayra, where he plunges into a dangerous quest to rescue the island from the destructive blight caused by a pact between its king and an evil power.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Harry Potter: I Spy a Few Changes…

Most books-turned-movies will at some point find portions of the plot lost in translation. Here are a few pointed differences between each book and movie in the Harry Potter series.

(Know a difference that we didn’t include?? Comment back and let everyone know that you're a true Harry Potter fan and fill the rest of us in!)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

The Mirror of Erised:

Book: When Harry gazes into this mirror, which shows the deepest desires of the person who is peering into it, he sees the entire Potter clan.

Movie: When Harry stands before the mirror, he only sees Lily (his mother) and James (his father) standing beside him.

Norbert the dragon

Book: Harry and Hermione give Norbert to Charlie Weasley.

Film: Norbert is taken away by Dumbledore.

Draco Malfoy:

Book: Harry and Draco first meet in Madame Malkin's robe shop in Diagon Alley.

Film: Harry and Draco first meet on the Hogwarts Express.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Polyjuice Potion:

Book: The Potion causes the drinker to assume the exact appearance of the target, including their voice and any disabilities (such as poor eyesight) and abilities.

Film: When Harry and Ron drink the potion to become Crabe and Goyle, their voices remain unchanged and Harry still requires the use of his glasses.

Deathday Party:
Book: Includes a Deathday celebration for the Gryffindor ghost, Nearly Headless Nick, which Ron, Harry and Hermione attend.
Film: The Deathday celebration is completely ommited.

The Sorting Hat:
Book: In one scene, Harry is sitting in Dumbledore's office and sees the hat. He actually picks up the hat and places it on his head.
Film: In the same scene, Harry just converses with the hat while it's sitting on its stand.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sirius Black:
Book: Sirius Black is given a lot of back-story and a detailed history. The way in which he escaped from Azkaban is also explained.
Film: His back-story is all but cut and the way he escaped from Azkaban isn’t

Fidelius Charm:
Book: The charm, which hides locations from those who don’t already know where it is, is explained.
Film: The details of this charm are omitted, which is important because it doesn’t explain how Sirius was supposed to have betrayed the Potters.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Quidditch World Cup:

Book: Harry and most of the Weasley clan are fans of Ireland.

Film: Harry and Ron support Bulgaria.


Book: The book includes information on S.P.E.W, Hermione's Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.

Film: This organization is not included, and not seen in any of the other movies.


Book: For the final contest in the Triwizard tournament, Dobby the houseelf gives Harry Gillyweed to enable him to grow gills and breathe under water.

Film: Neville learns about the properties of Gillyweed from Mad Eye Moody and gives the plant to Harry.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The playing of quidditch is completely omitted from this film, while it is present in the book.

Mrs. Weasley:

Book: Mrs. Weasley encounters a bogart at Grimmauld Place, which shows all of her loved ones deceased.

Film: This scene is omitted from the film.


Book: Ron, Hermione and Malfoy all become prefects.

Film: This information is ommited.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The funeral of Dumbledore is not shown in the movie, while it plays a very large and important part of the book.

Hogwarts Express:

Book: When Harry is paralyzed by Malfoy on the train, then hidden under his invisibility cloak, he is found by Nymphadora Tonks.

Film: Luna Lovegood is the one who accidentally discovers Harry, because she is wearing her Spectrespecs and finds him.

Post By KTO, Boulder Book Store Fall Intern

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quidditch for Muggles

J.K. Rowling introduced countless ideas and mythical creatures to the muggle world with her Harry Potter series. For example, Quidditch, the game played on flying broomsticks, is an impossible game that almost every kid hopes to play one day. Now, Quidditch is being played in colleges and high schools across the country, just without flying broomsticks and winged balls. Players run around a field wearing goggles and a cape while holding a broomstick between their legs and shooting balls through mounted hula-hoops. Surprisingly, the game is quite aggressive and many players have the wounds to prove it.

The popularity in the mythical game has dramatically increased over the past year. The Quidditch World Cup being held in New York November 13th and 14th will have over 60 teams nationwide competing for the spray painted gold prize. Hard-core Quidditch players are even trying to get enough support to make it an NCAA sport. In order to do so 50 schools must sponsor Quidditch as a varsity sport. Some even say that if Quidditch is able to reach NCAA status a future in the Olympics is possible.

J.K. Rowling has inspired people everywhere to think outside the box with her unattainable ideas. These ideas are now becoming reality with new technology and a lot of hard work. Scientists in the US and England are actually working to create and invisibility cloak. The cloak blocks certain microwaves and electromagnetic radiation to keep things invisible.

Edith Kollath has actually created the first ever book that "breathes." The series of books, called Things is based off the Monster Book of Monsters textbook from the Harry Potter series. The books actually look like they are breathing as they open and close (click on the picture of the book for a video). Also, Bertie Bott's Jellybeans have been concocted to mimic the candy that Harry eats. These jellybeans include brussel sprouts, caterpillar, diesel, and rotten egg flavors, just to name a few.

The Daily Prophet, the newspaper in the Harry Potter series, shows moving pictures instead of still life images. CBS is teaming up Entertainment Weekly to create a small screen that is actually inserted in a magazine to live up to the idea by J.K. Rowling. This two inch by one and a half inch screen will primarily be used for advertising, but maybe in the future it will hold moving pictures just like it does in The Daily Prophet.

Overall, the ideas Rowling introduced to the world makes us yearn for a little magic in our lives. The complex game of Quidditch can be simplified to allow muggles to play without flying broomsticks or magic, and now muggles can even buy breathing books. Bertie Bott's Jellybeans allow the muggles to taste what Harry actually tasted the first time he bit into an earwax flavored candy, and scientists are working hard to create a real life invisibility cloak. With these small changes muggles can get a glimpse into the life Harry Potter lives, just without his magical powers.

Quidditch photo:
Invisibility cloak:
Breathing book: