October 14, 2014
Halloween is an important holiday in the Harry Potter books. Have you ever noticed that important events always seem to happen in October in those books? Here are some memorable events from the Harry Potter books that took place in October along with a question for you to ponder:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: On October 31, a mountain troll attacks Hermione in the girl’s bathroom at Hogwarts. After Ron and Harry help her fight it, the 3 of them become inseparable friends. Would you rather fight a troll or a Dementor? Continue reading
July 31, 2014
Vote for your favorite Harry Potter birthday cake.
It’s Harry Potter’s birthday today! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Harry! Potter fans across the globe have baked and decorated some pretty amazing Harry Potter-themed cakes throughout the years. I don’t know about you, but my baking skills don’t even have a broom to fly on against these delicious-looking Potter cakes.
Which birthday cake do you vote for as the best fan-made Harry Potter birthday cake?! Leave your vote in the Comments.
Marisa, STACKS Intern
Birthday cake image credits: Daniel Drexler, woodleywonderworks, Two Kings Confections, TipsyCake Chicago
July 30, 2014
Please join us TODAY for a live readathon to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday!
Since it will be on Harry Potter’s actual birthday, it will be a combination birthday party/readathon. You can read, eat virtual cake, chat with all your reader friends on STACKS, and participate in some special Harry Potter challenges we have planned.
- When: Thursday, July 31 at noon ET
- Where: Harry Potter Message Board
- How: Sign in to the Message Board at noon with your STACKS screen name. If you don’t have a screen name, it’s easy to get one – and free! Sign up now.
Art copyright Kazu Kibuishi
Hope to see you at the readathon!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
July 30, 2014
2 word puzzles for Harry Potter fans
Harry Potter Week continues, leading up to the big day: July 31. It is the birthday of the Boy Who Lived . . . and also (not coincidentally) the day of the STACKS live readathon. Are you coming? It will be a great chance to chat with other book-lovers and celebrate Harry’s birthday together. You might not know this, but there are a LOT of Harry Potter fans on the STACKS! For example . . .
CatGymnastics173 created this acrostic puzzle. You have to figure out what the letters stand for and complete the sentence. Your only clue is that they are all from the 4th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- D P F is the P to the P B.
- B C disguises himself as A (M E) M.
- H fights a H H.
- There are F T C.
- V comes back to P.
Your next puzzle is a Harry Potter Word Scramble brought to you by HappyUnicorn108.
- K.J. wolRnig
Leave your guesses in the Comments and if you liked these puzzles, go friend CatGymnastics173 and HappyUnicorn108!
AND, please come to the live readathon! It won’t be the same without you!
July 29, 2014
Personality Quiz: Which Harry Potter character are you?
Have you ever wished you could go to Hogwarts after reading one of J. K. Rowling’s books?! OK. Stupid question. OF COURSE YOU HAVE! Whether you’ve read the series or watched the movies, all the characters are so relatable that there always seems to be that one character you have a lot in common with.
Which Harry Potter character are you most like? Take this quiz and find out!
- While working on a group project you . . . A) tend to get wrapped up in your own work and are quick to correct others. B) are very well organized and take your responsibilities very seriously. C) are the natural leader but take everyone’s thoughts and ideas into consideration. D) hate doing the work if it doesn’t involve you totally being in charge.
- Your favorite subject at school is . . . A) Arithmancy (Mathematics). B) History of Magic (History). C) Defense Against the Dark Arts (English). D) Charms and Potions (Science).
- You notice that someone has left a bag in the corridor so you . . . A) give it to a professor. B) bring it to the main office hoping the person who lost it will look there first. C) try to figure out whose bag it is and return it. D) take it back to your room and rummage through it.
- You spend your time after school . . . A) reading and studying in the library. B) supervising a group activity or club. C) playing on your school’s Quidditch (sports) team. D) challenging your friends to duels in the schoolyard.
- You usually come across to others as . . . A) intelligent and goal-oriented. B) responsible and reliable. C) brave and loyal. D) overly confident.
- Your tragic flaw is . . . A) sometimes acting like a know-it-all. B) judging others too harshly. C) getting too absorbed in your own personal pursuits. D) being conceited.
Ready for the moment of truth? Count up your answers and find out which Harry Potter character you are!
If you answered mostly A’s: You are Hermione Granger!
Like Hermione, you are a smart, natural born thinker. You love problem solving and learning, and you tend to get caught up in your own studies.
If you answered mostly B’s: You are Minerva McGonagall!
Like Professor McGonagall, you are very well organized and always get the job done. People come to you to help solve their problems or give them advice. You have a very strong set of morals and always try to do the right thing.
If you answered mostly C’s: You are Harry Potter!
Like Harry, you are very easy to get along with. You are a loyal friend and are very independent. People look up to you and trust you to lead the way. You learn best by doing and taking things apart to figure them out.
If you answered mostly D’s: You are Draco Malfoy!
Like Malfoy, you are quick-thinking and adaptable. You are sometimes pessimistic, but you are also strategic and usually predict how things will play out. You are intuitive and very confident in yourself and your abilities.
PS. You are invited to celebrate Harry’s birthday with us at a live readathon on July 31. Happy birthday, Harry!
—Amanda, STACKS Intern
Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré
July 29, 2014
Harry Potter Name Meanings
What is in a name? Harry Potter could hardly go by anything else! Okay, except for “The Chosen One,” I suppose. In celebration of Harry’s birthday on July 31, we’ve compiled a list of Harry Potter name meanings! Whether you’re a seasoned Harry Potter fan and honorary member of Dumbledore’s Army, or you’re just starting your first year at Hogwarts, you’ve probably noticed J. K. Rowling’s characters have some quirky names. From Hermione to Bellatrix, it turns out their names might signify more than you realize. Check out the following Harry Potter name meanings to see just how much thought went into naming our magical friends of the wizarding world. Continue reading
July 28, 2014
Celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with us all week long!
Hey, everyone! Welcome to the happiest week of the year (except maybe Christmas or the first week of school): Harry Potter Week! To celebrate Harry’s birthday, we will be featuring Harry Potter on the blog all week long . . . AND having a live readathon/ virtual birthday party on Thursday, July 31. Please come if you can and bring a friend. You’re TOTALLY invited!
Let’s start the week with this Writing Prompt from Skyelark Moon on the Harry Potter Message Boards who is obviously a fan of the Harry Potter series, as you can tell from this question . . .
**Spoilers from ALL the books follow!**
- The Philosopher’s Stone (a.k.a. The Sorcerer’s Stone): I have always loved the scene in Diagon Ally especially when Harry is in Ollivanders. Something about it is so . . . magical.
- The Chamber of Secrets: The moment when Harry and Ron are figuring out the secret to the Chamber of Secrets has always been one of my favorite parts. I love mysteries, so this was a great part to me.
- The Prisoner of Azkaban: I love the chapter “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” The Marauders are some of my favorite characters, and seeing them interact with each other is fantastic.
- The Goblet of Fire: I have always liked the section in between the first and second tasks: namely the scene where Harry opens the egg in the water.
- The Order of the Phoenix: The Room of Requirement is one of my favorite places in Hogwarts, so naturally all of the Dumbledore’s Army parts are my favorite.
- The Half-Blood Prince: I really like the part when Harry first uses the Half-Blood Prince’s book to brew the Draught of Living Death.
- The Deathly Hallows: I love the ending of The Deathly Hallows, especially when they seem to be figuring out where all the Horcruxes are. As I mentioned previously, I really love mysteries, so this part was great, in my opinion.
Skyelark Moon, who really wants to read Harry Potter right now, but she can’t.
Leave your answers in the Comments and mark your calendars for the readathon on Thursday!
Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré
July 28, 2014
Diagon Alley in Florida, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan
It’s been a crazy month for Muggle fans of Harry Potter! As you may know, Universal Studios recently officially opened Diagon Alley in Florida, and Universal Studios Japan just unveiled its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Diagon Alley in Florida is essentially a replica of the film sets from the Harry Potter movies, complete with all the shops and spots like the Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and more. Guests can get their fill of Nosebleed Nougats, butterbeer ice cream, and other Diagon Alley specialties. The main attraction, of course, is the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The other attraction is . . . THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!
The Hogwarts Express is actually a shuttle between 2 different theme parks inside of Universal Studios. You need a “Park-to-Park” ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express which costs $136. For $96, you can see either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade (but not both).
This Diagon Alley is the first of its kind in the (Muggle) world, but the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open outside of the U.S. is now in Osaka, Japan. It opened on July 14th and it is almost identical to the original one in Florida. Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) and Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood in the movies) greeted fans on opening night and led lucky visitors into the new park the following morning!
Universal Studios Japan
Another Wizarding World is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in California in 2016.
So much Harry Potter coming to life! It’s so exciting . . . and also kind of overwhelming. What do YOU think? Would you go to Diagon Alley? What other parts of Harry Potter’s world would you like to see made real for us Muggles? (Well, to be honest, Harry Potter has always felt very real to me!) Share your thoughts in the Comments below!
En-Szu, STACKS Staffer
June 18, 2014
After the fun of last month’s Funny Books Fiesta, we are enjoying a new STACKS summer reading celebration: the Fantasy Books Festival! Have you ever wished for a Hogwarts letter to come to your house? Have you ever looked inside a wardrobe to see if it’s really a door into another world? Have you ever wondered if your real father is a god from Greek mythology? If so, then you should join us for the Fantasy Books Festival in July. We know just how you feel!
Here is the schedule of events:
Favorite Fantasy Books July 2
Fantasy Guess the Books July 9
Fantasy Who Would Win July 16
Fantasy Book Previews July 23
Harry Potter Week July 28- 31
Readathon/Harry Potter birthday celebration! July 31 Noon -4 pm E.T.
To get started, tell us your favorite fantasy book in the Comments.
May 29, 2014
Writing Prompt: How Harry Potter Has Changed YOU
Everyone remembers the first time he or she opened a Harry Potter book and started reading. Think back to the time before Harry Potter was in your life and tell us how reading the books has changed you as a person, changed how you look at certain things, and changed your perspective on life in general.
Firstly, Hermione became my alter-ego and I became a self-motivated, straight-A student. Now I just do my absolute best with everything because she makes it cool to be a nerd. I became more responsible because of Hermione.
Seeing how Harry suffered at the Dursleys’ house made me put my stupid, little problems in perspective.
Seeing how coolly weird Luna is made me accept myself as an individual, if you know what I mean. Like, before, I was obsessed with conforming and being popular, and Luna made me step back and realize that there’s only one of me. And my friendships have actually improved since then.
Harry showed me that you need to believe in yourself and know who your true friends are even when everyone hates you. – EarlyElf6
I must thank Luna the most. Without her, I would probably have always kept my quirky weirdness to myself. To me, HP has been a lot more than words on paper. It has been a life-changing, motivating, roller coaster ride of a story and I absolutely adore it. – Popcorn3Penguin
Leave a Comment here or on the Harry Potter Message Board and tell us: How has reading Harry Potter changed YOUR life?