Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Book 57 - The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter

Book - The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter
Author - David Colbert
Year - 2001
Genre - Non-Fiction

When you pick up a book about Harry Potter and it has plastered on the front cover 'Not Approved by JK Rowling or Warner Brothers' you instantly start to think that you are holding a load of rubbish.  The amount of 'cash in' books that are released whenever a massive phenomenom is always incredible, and usually they contain little more than rehashing of things that you already know, and often some pretty shoddy illustrations.

This book I had bought years and years ago - simply because it was for sale very cheap - and I don't think had even considered reading.  However, I picked it up to have a quick flick through a few weeks back, and was pleasently surprised enough with what I found to give the whole book a read.

Instead of some cash in where it 'reveals the secrets of the book (which you could probably find out if you just read the book anyway', instead it looks at Harry Potter from a real world point of view.  For example, it has a section on the 'real life' wizards who are mentioned in the book, and gives a real history of Nicholas Flamel - the creator of the Philosophers Stone - who was a real person living in the 1400s.  It explores the roots of some of the names of the characters - Draco meaning 'Dragon', Beauxbatons meaning 'Beautiful Wands' - and so on.  It explores the real world legends behind mythical creatures such as hippogryphs, veela and manticores.  All done in a breif enough way to not become overly scientific, but with enough information for you to come away feeling you have actaully learnt something.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter books - which from this blog it should be obvious that I am - then this is worth picking up.  And as I have said before, if you haven't read them, read them.

7/10

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