Hello and welcome to my newly created blog for INFO 684 I’m taking at Drexel University. Here I’ll be posting various BookTalks and BookReviews throughout the course of the quarter.
My focus was on Fantasy and Science Fiction as you’ll see from my BookTalks and BookReviews of the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games. I really enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series after having watched the movies because I felt like it gave me a more in depth look at the world and the characters that I enjoyed seeing in the films.
“Burdened with the dark, dangerous, and seemingly impossible task of locating and destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes, Harry, feeling alone and uncertain about his future, struggles to find the inner strength he needs to follow the path set out before him.”
Rowling, J.K. (2007). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 978-0-545-01022-1. Hardcover.
Welcome to the finale of the seven part series of Harry Potter with the book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This book is so intense that the movie had to be broken up into two parts. Harry and company (Ron and Hermione) are off to finish what Harry started in the last book, to destroy all of the Horcruxes that are left so Voldemort can finally be defeated for good. Along their quest, they suffer hardships and don’t have much food or direction. Ron decides to leave them after a fight between him and Harry and lessens the three amigos to just Harry and Hermione. They struggle to try and finish the job and not be found by Voldemort and his lackeys. With less hope than ever and less friends than before, will Harry be able to overcome these hardships and save the day? Read the last of this series to find out.
“Sixth-year Hogwarts student Harry Potter gains valuable insights into the boy Voldemort once was, even as his own world is transformed by maturing friendships, schoolwork assistance from an unexpected source, and devastating losses.”
Rowling, J.K. (2005). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 0-439-78454-9. Hardcover. $29.99.
Okay folks. We’re starting to get down to the wire here with the 6th in this series of 7. Now, it’s time for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Snape makes the Unbreakable Vow that he will protect Draco while performing a mission given by Voldemort himself. Does Defense Against the Dark Arts have a high turnover rate for its professors or is it just me? Well we know that Umbridge is out and now Snape will be taking over. Harry and Dumbledore become very close this book and they set out to destroy various Horcruxes. If you’re asking questions like how can Snape help Draco fulfill his mission for Voldemort but be in the Order of the Phoenix, what’s are horcruxes and who is the Half-Blood Prince, well you’ll just have to read to find out.
Quill Award for Children’s chapter book/middle grade
“When the government of the magic world and authorities at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry refuse to believe in the growing threat of a freshly revived Lord Voldemort, fifteen-year-old Harry Potter finds support from his loyal friends in facing the evil wizard and other new terrors.”
Rowling, J.K. (2003). Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN:978-0439-35807-1. Paperback. $12.99.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the series of seven and man is it getting good. In this book, we learn about the secret Order of the Phoenix lead by Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, and also includes members Arthur and Molly Weasley (Ron’s parents), Sirius Black, Professor Lupin and a few others. We learn that the mission of the Order of the Phoenix is to defeat Voldemort and his lackeys. Harry defends himself and Dudley against some Dementors and gets himself expelled from Hogwarts. It’s overturned shortly after and he’s taken the the headquarters of the Order of Phoenix. Later at Hogwarts a new teacher named Umbridge from the Ministry of Magic starts her tenure as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Since she won’t actually teach defense spells, Harry and company decide to take matters into their own hands and form Dumbledore’s Army which is their own secret group for practicing Defense Against the Dark Arts. Umbridge gets overzealous with her power at Hogwarts, Harry and company and the Order of the Phoenix fight Voldemort’s lackeys and so much more. Things are started to get serious!
“Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.”
Collins, Suzanne. (2012). The Hunger Games. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN:9780545425117. Paperback. $12.99.
The Hunger Games! You’ve probably seen the movie(s) and you want to get more of the details into Suzanne Collins’ world; you want a better look into Katniss’ world. We’re only going to take a look at the first book, but it’s a trilogy so if you get hooked, be ready to strap in for two more books. In this dystopia, one boy and one girl from each of 13 Districts must participate in an annual fight to the death to appease the Capitol for a rebellion a long time ago. Meet Katniss Everdeen a 16-year-old from District 12. Her sister Primrose was selected but Katniss volunteers to take her place since she knows her sister would never stand a chance. Peeta, the boy selected from District 12 admits on television that he’s secretly in love with Katniss. With the Hunger Games fast approaching, they’ve got to figure out their feelings, and whether either of them will be able to survive. If one of them does, they’ll be touted as a hero for the rest of their days, or will they?
Cybils Awards for Fantasy & Science Fiction — Young Adult
“Fourteen-year-old Harry Potter joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup, then enters his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy where he is mysteriously entered in an unusual contest that challenges his wizarding skills, friendships and character, amid signs that an old enemy is growing stronger.”
Rowling, J.K. (2000). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 0-439-13959-7. Hardcover. $25.95.
Harry and company (Ron and Hermione) with the Weasley family go on a quick trip to see the Quidditch Word Cup but Vodermort and his lackeys ruin the fun. Back at Hogwarts, the Triwizard Tournament will be hosted at Hogwarts for the first time in around 200 years. Mysteriously, Harry’s name is chosen even though he isn’t of age to participate. In the Triwizard Tournament, he’ll deal with Dragons, Saving friends, and Voldemort head on, Oh My! Will he survive?
We’re back with the third book in the Harry Potter series and if you haven’t read the previous books, go back and read them. Well we know that Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione survived the Chamber of Secrets because they’re back again in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban and the school is on high alert. That means Dementors which aren’t very fond of Harry and in the like, he’s not very fond of them. The students take defense against the dark arts, Sirius Black finds his way to Hogwarts, Harry learns a Patronus charm to defend himself against the Dementors, Harry comes face to face with Sirius Black and much more. Will Harry, Ron and Hermione survive? There’s another book after this isn’t there?
“When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.”
Rowling, J.K. (2000). Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 978-0439064873. Paperback. $10.99.
“Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts.” Harry Potter survived his first year at Hogwarts (even his encounter with Voldemort) and he’s back for more. After getting in trouble with his family over the summer, Harry bails and goes to spend the rest of it with his friend Ron and the Weasley family. They can’t get onto the train that takes them to Hogwarts and get into detention. Unsurprisingly, a lot more happens in this book. Harry learns he can speak Parseltongue, Ron’s sister Ginny disappears, the Chamber of Secrets is opened and it’s up to Harry, Ron and Hermione to try and save the day yet again.
Harry Potter is a wizard people! That’s not really a spoiler since most of the world has seen the movies and a lot have read the books and he’s riding a broom on the cover of this book. We all know women who ride on broomsticks are witches and male witches are wizards. Now that that’s settled, Harry’s whole life is about to change when he gets an invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which is a step up from living in a closet at his aunt and uncle’s house. At school he’ll learn magic, make friends, get into trouble and has a run-in with the most powerful wizard who’s name should never be said: Voldemort.
“Once again, the Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Ender Wiggin is a brilliant, ruthless, cunning, a tactical and strategic master, and a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn’t it?”
Card, Orson Scott. (1985). Ender’s Game. New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. ISBN: 978-0-7653-3732-0. Paperback. $12.99.
Ender’s Game! You know the name because it was a movie from 2013 with Harrison Ford, Han Solo himself. Well before the movie it was a book. This book by Orson Scott Card came out in 1985 and can be described as a military sci-fi book based in the future where Earth is threatened by aliens who seek to kill off mankind. Enter Andrew aka Ender, who proves promising in simulated war games and may be the only person who can save mankind. There’s also his older sister and brother who are attempting to mold Earth’s destiny if they do survive. This is the first book in a series of five so if you dig it, there’s more to whet your appetite.
Nebula Award for Best Novel
Hugo Award for Best Novel
Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Award for Best Novel
This book is not traditional in that it’s written in letters and poems. Puerto Rican teenager Maria goes to live with her father in the New York barrio to get herself a better education. She uses these various forms of writing to describe her new life with her father and the adjustments she has to make now that she’s away from Puerto Rico. She writes in these letters in poems in Spanish, English and Spanglish (a combination of Spanish and English). The reader follows maria and will see how she adjusts to life in New York without her mother and struggles with her identity.