To everyone who is wondering what the heck is all this Harry Potter fuss about I decided to write a brief Harry Potter 101 to get folks up to speed.
What is Harry Potter all about? Harry Potter tells the story of an orphan who on upon approaching his 11th birthday discovers that he has magical powers. As part of this awakening he is summoned to begin his wizarding education at Hogwarts School of Wizarding.
Even more fantastical he discovers that the wizarding world lives right along side the non-wizarding world. The books tell the story of the adventures that Harry Potter and his friends embark on over the next 7 years.
However all is not well. Harry very quickly learns that he is a very special person responsible for the demise of the most evil Wizard ever known - Voldemort. Voldemort's proported demise is premature. The central theme of the remainder of the series is funneled towards a final confrontation between Harry Potter and the evil Lord Voldemort.
For a very detailed synopsis check out the Wikipedia entry on Harry Potter.
How many books are there? There are a total of seven books in the series. The seventh and final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being release on July 21, 2007. This is cause of all of the hoopla. This is the final book of this beloved series.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (26 June 1997) - aka Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2 July 1998)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (8 July 1999)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (8 July 2000)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (21 June 2003)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (16 July 2005)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (21 July 2007)
Are the movies different than the books? The movies are faithful to the books to a point. After all you can only include so much in a 2 hour plus movie. I'd definitely recommend to someone to read the books. The movies are good but the good are great! Thus far the first 5 books have been released as movies. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is in theaters now.
What's the difference between the kids version and adult versions of the book? Very little. The literary text is exactly the same. The covers of each version of the book are different.
Why does everyone love this series so much? Obviously this is a very subjective question. I think the biggest attraction to the books is that J.K. Rowling has done a masterful job of writing the story in such a way that you really care about a very large group of characters. You really get to know a lot about all of them. That's not an easy thing to do. Normally a book or series focuses on only a small group of people. J.W. Rowling provides a very of detail and insight to easily 20 people. The bottomline is that it's just a very good story.
In case you missed it check out my Harry Potter blog from yesterday.