Harry Potter was just eleven years old when we met him in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." With the July 16th release of J.K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," Harry's now sixteen and in his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Learn more at the following magical sites.
At this Harry Potter site, fan fiction is the highest form of flattery, as thousands of writers pay homage to J.K. Rowling by penning their own Harry Potter stories. It is great fun to read them, but even more fun to add your own. The site has strict guidelines (story must be over 500 words, not reference any living persons, etc.) so be sure to familiarize yourself with all the rules before submitting. The stories are author-rated for age-appropriateness (and there are some stories rated "Mature" for seventeen and older) so exercise appropriate caution.
In her blog, J.K.Rowling keeps us up-to-date on big events (such as the birth of her daughter on January 25, 2005) and dispels a variety of rumors (no, it wasn't really Jo posting on a handful of fan sites recently.) Have fun exploring all the nooks and crannies. As you mouse around, some objects "turn into Portkeys which will transport you to other areas of the site." If you haven't finished book five, stay clear of the green Dark Mark icon, it's a spoiler warning. If the graphical interface doesn't work for you, try the text version (link at the very top of the first page.)
The Leaky Cauldron's mission is to aggregate reliable Harry Potter news from around the Web. They do such a good job they recently received a Fan Site Award from J.K. Rowling herself. Rabid fans can keep updated with email alerts by individual category (such as HBP: Half Blood Prince) or via RSS feed (look near the bottom of the right-hand column.) Don't leave without dropping by the busy discussion forums.
This fan site is huge, but my favorite clicks are found in Fun (Flash Games, Trivia, and Puzzles), World Famous Editorials (look under Discussion) and the HP Encyclopedia. The encyclopedia doesn't seem to be searchable, but can be perused by section: Characters, Potions, Hogwarts, Quidditch and more. For extra credit, change the look of the site by selecting one of ten thumbnails in the upper right-hand corner.
Bet bests at Scholastic's official Harry Potter site are the audio Pronunciation Guide ("Hermione: her-MY-oh- nee"), Glossary, Wizard Challenge game, and printable 8" x 11" HBP Â® poster for your wall. If you visit before the July 16th HBP release, you can find a local book release party by following the link on the first page. Release parties are being added all the time, so do visit again if you don't find one close by on your first try.