Amazon's Favorite Moments
from the Series
There are plenty of reasons to love Rowling's wildly popular series--no doubt you have
several dozen of your own. Our list features favorite moments, characters, and artifacts
from all five books. And we anticipate yet more to come from the sixth Harry Potter
book! Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry
could fill five books!) and does not include any of the spectacular revelatory moments
that would spoil the books for those (few) who have not read them. Enjoy.
Book 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- Harry's first trip to the zoo with the Dursleys, when a boa
constrictor winks at him.
- When the Dursleys' house is suddenly besieged by letters for
Harry from Hogwarts. Readers learn how much the Dursleys have been keeping from Harry.
Rowling does a wonderful job in displaying the lengths to which Uncle Vernon will go to
deny that magic exists.
- Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. Full of
curiosities and rich with magic and marvel, Harry's first trip includes a trip to
Gringotts and Ollivanders, where Harry gets his wand (holly and phoenix feather) and
discovers yet another connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This moment is the reader's
first full introduction to Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizards.
- Harry's experience with the Sorting Hat.
2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- The de-gnoming of the Weasleys' garden. Harry discovers that
even wizards have chores--gnomes must be grabbed (ignoring angry protests "Gerroff
me! Gerroff me!"), swung about (to make them too dizzy to come back), and tossed out
of the garden--this delightful scene highlights Rowling's clever and witty genius.
- Harry's first experience with a Howler, sent to Ron by his
- The Dueling Club battle between Harry and Malfoy. Gilderoy
Lockhart starts the Dueling Club to help students practice spells on each other, but he is
not prepared for the intensity of the animosity between Harry and Draco. Since they are
still young, their minibattle is innocent enough, including tickling and dancing charms.
3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Ron's attempt to use a telephone to call Harry at the
- Harry's first encounter with a Dementor on the train (and just
about any other encounter with Dementors). Harry's brush with the Dementors is terrifying
and prepares Potter fans for a darker, scarier book.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione's behavior in Professor Trelawney's
Divination class. Some of the best moments in Rowling's books occur when she reminds us
that the wizards-in-training at Hogwarts are, after all, just children. Clearly, even at a
school of witchcraft and wizardry, classes can be boring and seem pointless to children.
- The Boggart lesson in Professor Lupin's classroom.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione's knock-down confrontation with
Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Hermione's disgust at the reception for the veela (Bulgarian
National Team Mascots) at the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's fourth book addresses issues
about growing up--the dynamic between the boys and girls at Hogwarts starts to change.
Nowhere is this more plain than the hilarious scene in which magical cheerleaders nearly
convince Harry and Ron to jump from the stands to impress them.
- Viktor Krum's crush on Hermione--and Ron's objection to it.
- Malfoy's "Potter Stinks" badge.
- Hermione's creation of S.P.E.W., the intolerant bigotry of the
Death Eaters, and the danger of the Triwizard Tournament. Add in the changing dynamics
between girls and boys at Hogwarts, and suddenly Rowling's fourth book has a weight and
seriousness not as present in early books in the series. Candy and tickle spells are left
behind as the students tackle darker, more serious issues and take on larger
responsibilities, including the knowledge of illegal curses.
5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A
combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled
fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and
Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk
responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming.
- Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her
darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young
wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is
forced to endure their private battle of wills alone.
- Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling
clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager.
- Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape.
- Dumbledore's confession to Harry.
on to Harry Potter Book 6 - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!
Begin at the Beginning
If You Like J.K. Rowling, You'll Love
In the fifth and most recent book, Harry Potter and the Order of
the Phoenix, the last chapter, titled "The Second War Begins," started:
'In a brief statement Friday night, Minister of
Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned to this country
and is active once more.
"It is with great regret that I must
confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord - well, you know who I mean - is alive among
us again," said Fudge.'
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and
Wizardry at this point in the midst of the storm of this battle of good and evil.
The author has already said that the Half-Blood
Prince is neither Harry nor Voldemort. And most importantly, the opening chapter of Harry
Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been brewing in J.K. Rowling's mind for 13 years.
About the Author
J. K. Rowling:
Harry Potter's magic has touched a huge audience of all ages all over the world. In
America, there are nearly 80 million books in print, and each title has been on the New
York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The fifth title, Harry
Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has already broken records with its first print
run of 6.8 million copies and a second print run of an additional 1.7 million copies, a
figure unprecedented for any book.
J. K. Rowling has won the
Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Whitbread Award for Best Children's Book, a special
commendation for the Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize, and a special certificate for being a
three-year winner of the Smarties Prize, as well as many other honors. She has been a
featured guest on "60 Minutes," "The Today Show," and "Larry King
Live." Rowling has also been named an Officer of the British Empire.
Rowling first thought of Harry while riding a
train back in 1990. "Harry just strolled into my head fully formed." She worked
on the book for several years, finding quiet moments while her daughter napped. Several
publishers turned down the finished manuscript before one took interest.
In 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone was published in the United States, kicking off Harry-mania. Suddenly, kids were
reading again, and their parents wanted to read the same books! The second and third books
were published in the spring and fall of 1999.
On July 8, 2000, the release of Harry Potter
and the Goblet of Fire became a major celebration, with bookstore events occurring at
midnight nationwide. The book sold an unprecedented three million copies in the first 48
hours of release and according to Publishers Weekly is "the fastest-selling book in
Warner Bros. enjoys certain rights in respect to
all the Harry Potter books and has exercised its option to create films on all of those
that have been published to date; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry
Potter and the Chamber of Secrets have each been released to critical praise and
record-setting box-office success. With over 170 million books sold, the books have been
translated into 55 languages and distributed in over 200 countries. Each of the first four
books are currently on bestseller lists in the United States, Britain, and around the
Joanne Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury near
Bristol, England. After she graduated from Exeter University, she found work as a
secretary, and later spent time teaching English in Portugal before moving to Edinburgh,
Scotland, with her daughter. She currently resides in Scotland with her husband and two
Educated at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Mary GrandPre began her career as a
conceptual illustrator for local editorial clients. Continually experimenting with media,
Mary underwent many artistic changes in her expressive visual form. Her concerns for
light, color, drawing, and design came together in evocative, ethereal pastel paintings
evolving toward a style she now calls "soft geometry".
Mary's new work attracted corporate advertising
and editorial clients. Some of the include: Ogilvy & Mather, BBD&O, Whittle
Communications, The Richards Group, Neenah Paper, Atlantic Monthly Magazine, Random House,
Berkley, Penguin, Dell and McGraw Hill publishers. Recently, she was featured on the cover
of Time Magazine for her work with the Harry Potter Series and also worked as a visionary
in the environment/scenery development in Dreamworks animated film Antz.
Mary's work has received national recognition
through awards received from: The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis,
Print and Art Direction. Her work was chosen among thousands of illustrators to be on the
cover of Showcase 16, and an article was written about her "conceptual editorial
assignments" in Step-by-Step Graphics. Communications Arts Magazine has also
done a "career retrospective" article in their January/Febuary 200 edition.
Additionally, Mary has now illustrated six
beatiful children's books and is at work on the seventh. Her book illustration possesses
highly personalized lyrical story interpretations and has received very favorable reviews
in the national press.
It is unusual for an illustrator to work
successfully in so many genres of illustration at one time, from advertising and corporate
to editorial and children's books. Her reputation is now world renown for her delightfully