September 12, 1999
Welcome back. This week I created a topic page for preschoolers and
early readers where you’ll find links to all the
columns I’ve written just for them.
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Share your Harry Potter enthusiasm with kids from around
the world at this marvelous fan site. Best clicks are the original stories
("We all get bored once we finish the Harry Potter books. We all wish
that we could read more Harry stories, don’t we? Well, here you can read
more stories! Who’s the author? You are! All you have to do is write a
Hogwarts story."), the riddles ("Can you think of a riddle within
The Mirror of Erised?"), and the Online Quidditch Challenge.
Where does Joanne Rowling get her ideas? "I wish I knew. Sometimes
they just come (like magic) and other times I have to sit and think for
about a week before I manage to work out how something will happen. Where
the idea for Harry Potter actually came from I really couldn’t tell you. I
was traveling on a train between Manchester and London and it just popped
into my head." After the interview, scroll down for Harry Potter
inspired writing activities.
In this two-part autobiography, Rowling tells tales from her childhood
in England. "Mrs. Morgan [my teacher] positioned everyone in the
class according to how clever she thought they were; the brightest sat on
her left, and everyone she thought was dim sat on the right. I was as far
right as you could get without sitting in the playground. By the end of the
year, I had been promoted to second left – but at a cost. Mrs. Morgan made
me swap seats with my best friend, so that in one short walk across the
room I became clever but unpopular."
Scholastic is Harry Potter’s American publisher, and this official site
is jam packed with goodies such as free screensavers (Windows and
Macintosh) and Shockwave quiz games. You’ll also find an interview with
the author and two marvelous discussion guides (great for teachers and book
club leaders.) My favorite click is the Reading Circle where you can
answer some questions ("Who is your favorite character and why?")
and share your responses on the bulletin board. If you are still not sure
what all the Harry Potter fuss is about, try the free sample chapters
— you’ll find one from each of the first three books.
Can’t tell a muggle from a mudblood? Look it up! Not in your standard
Funk & Wagnalls, of course, but in the Encyclopeadia Potteria found at
the Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club. Webmaster Jenna has created a
comprehensive site that includes fan fiction (write your own Harry Potter
story and submit it), fan art (send in your sketches) and a Harry Potter
Storytellers Group (create collaborative stories).
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Copyright © 1999 Barbara J.
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