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  • Radunsky, Vladimir
  • Ransome, Arthur
  • Raskin, Ellen
  • Rawls, Wilson
  • Reid, Barbara
  • Rey, H.A.
  • Richler, Mordecai
  • Rodgers, Mary
  • Rowling, J.K.
  • Rubel, Nicole
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    $17.99 list($29.99)
    1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
    $72.95 list($115.79)
    2. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set
    $45.00 $12.63 list($75.00)
    3. Harry Potter and the Order of
    $44.07 $40.70 list($69.95)
    4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of
    $64.99 list($85.80)
    5. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set
    $32.97 $28.65 list($49.95)
    6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
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    7. Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set:
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    8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of
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    9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner
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    10. Dog Heaven
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    11. Where the Red Fern Grows
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    12. The Complete Adventures of Curious
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    13. The Westing Game
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    14. Curious George Four Board Book
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    15. When I Was Young in the Mountains
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    16. Summer of the Monkeys
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    17. Cat Heaven
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    18. Find the Constellations
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    19. The Stars : A New Way to See Them
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    20. Swallows and Amazons (Godine Storyteller)

    1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
    by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439784549
    Catlog: Book (2005-07-16)
    Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 1
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Potter News You Can Use

    J.K. Rowling has revealed three chapter titles from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be:

    • Chapter Two: "Spinners End"
    • Chapter Six: "Draco's Detour"
    • Chapter Fourteen: "Felix Felicis"
    A Few Words from J.K. Rowling
    "I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m sure that I will always be a writer. It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers." --J.K. Rowling.

    Find out more about Harry's creator in our exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.

    Why We Love Harry
    Favorite Moments from the Series
    There are plenty of reasons to love Rowling's wildly popular series--no doubt you have several dozen of your own. Our list features favorite moments, characters, and artifacts from all five books. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive (what we love about Harry could fill five books!) and does not include any of the spectacular revelatory moments that would spoil the books for those (few) who have not read them. Enjoy.

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    • Harry's first trip to the zoo with the Dursleys, when a boa constrictor winks at him.
    • When the Dursleys' house is suddenly besieged by letters for Harry from Hogwarts. Readers learn how much the Dursleys have been keeping from Harry. Rowling does a wonderful job in displaying the lengths to which Uncle Vernon will go to deny that magic exists.
    • Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley with Hagrid. Full of curiosities and rich with magic and marvel, Harry's first trip includes a trip to Gringotts and Ollivanders, where Harry gets his wand (holly and phoenix feather) and discovers yet another connection to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. This moment is the reader's first full introduction to Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizards.
    • Harry's experience with the Sorting Hat.

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    • The de-gnoming of the Weasleys' garden. Harry discovers that even wizards have chores--gnomes must be grabbed (ignoring angry protests "Gerroff me! Gerroff me!"), swung about (to make them too dizzy to come back), and tossed out of the garden--this delightful scene highlights Rowling's clever and witty genius.
    • Harry's first experience with a Howler, sent to Ron by his mother.
    • The Dueling Club battle between Harry and Malfoy. Gilderoy Lockhart starts the Dueling Club to help students practice spells on each other, but he is not prepared for the intensity of the animosity between Harry and Draco. Since they are still young, their minibattle is innocent enough, including tickling and dancing charms.

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    • Ron's attempt to use a telephone to call Harry at the Dursleys'.
    • Harry's first encounter with a Dementor on the train (and just about any other encounter with Dementors). Harry's brush with the Dementors is terrifying and prepares Potter fans for a darker, scarier book.
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione's behavior in Professor Trelawney's Divination class. Some of the best moments in Rowling's books occur when she reminds us that the wizards-in-training at Hogwarts are, after all, just children. Clearly, even at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, classes can be boring and seem pointless to children.
    • The Boggart lesson in Professor Lupin's classroom.
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione's knock-down confrontation with Snape.

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    • Hermione's disgust at the reception for the veela (Bulgarian National Team Mascots) at the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's fourth book addresses issues about growing up--the dynamic between the boys and girls at Hogwarts starts to change. Nowhere is this more plain than the hilarious scene in which magical cheerleaders nearly convince Harry and Ron to jump from the stands to impress them.
    • Viktor Krum's crush on Hermione--and Ron's objection to it.
    • Malfoy's "Potter Stinks" badge.
    • Hermione's creation of S.P.E.W., the intolerant bigotry of the Death Eaters, and the danger of the Triwizard Tournament. Add in the changing dynamics between girls and boys at Hogwarts, and suddenly Rowling's fourth book has a weight and seriousness not as present in early books in the series. Candy and tickle spells are left behind as the students tackle darker, more serious issues and take on larger responsibilities, including the knowledge of illegal curses.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    • Harry's outburst to his friends at No. 12 Grimmauld Place. A combination of frustration over being kept in the dark and fear that he will be expelled fuels much of Harry's anger, and it all comes out at once, directly aimed at Ron and Hermione. Rowling perfectly portrays Harry's frustration at being too old to shirk responsibility, but too young to be accepted as part of the fight that he knows is coming.
    • Harry's detention with Professor Umbridge. Rowling shows her darker side, leading readers to believe that Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for young wizards. Dolores represents a bureaucratic tyrant capable of real evil, and Harry is forced to endure their private battle of wills alone.
    • Harry and Cho's painfully awkward interactions. Rowling clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager.
    • Harry's Occlumency lessons with Snape.
    • Dumbledore's confession to Harry.

    Begin at the Beginning
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Hardcover
    Paperback
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    Hardcover
    Paperback
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Hardcover
    Paperback
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Hardcover
    Paperback
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Hardcover
    Paperback

    If You Like J.K. Rowling, You'll Love These Authors…

    • Cornelia Funke
    • Eoin Colfer
    • Garth Nix

    New Novels to Keep You Busy

    Cry of the Icemark

    The Dark Hills Divide

    Singer of All Songs

    The Game of Sunken Places

    Children of the Lamp

    Dragon Rider

    Authors Younger Potter Fans Should Try…

    • Geronimo Stilton
    • Andy Griffiths
    • Dav Pilkey

    While You Wait
    Hot New Series for Potter Fans

    Charlie Bone

    Guardians of Ga'hoole

    Keys to the Kingdom

    Underland Chronicles

    Dragons of Deltora

    A Few Words from Mary GrandPré
    "When I illustrate a cover or a book, I draw upon what the author tells me; that's how I see my responsibility as an illustrator. J.K. Rowling is very descriptive in her writing--she gives an illustrator a lot to work with. Each story is packed full of rich visual descriptions of the atmosphere, the mood, the setting, and all the different creatures and people. She makes it easy for me. The images just develop as I sketch and retrace until it feels right and matches her vision." Check out more Harry Potter art from illustrator Mary GrandPré.

    Did You Know?
    The Little White Horse was J.K. Rowling's favorite book as a child. Jane Austen is Rowling's favorite author. Roddy Doyle is Rowling's favorite living writer.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars poem for
    on your forehead
    tere is a scar
    but where you live
    is very very far.
    hogwart is the place
    you like the most
    and in this place
    live many ghosts. ... Read more


    2. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set (Books 1-5)
    by J. K. Rowling
    list price: $115.79
    our price: $72.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439705525
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Press
    Sales Rank: 1394
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why collect halfway?
    Mixed emotion here, firstly I would like to say that I love the Harry potter books. Each one is intelligently written, and the later books just leave you desperate to read the next volume.

    As for this set however I really don't see why anyone would buy it.

    If you haven't read the books (shame on you), buy or borrow the paperbacks.

    If you are a true Hary Potter fan, then buying a set with the terrible american covers, and the idiotic american title for the original novel (it's the PHILOSOPHER'S stone, not the sorcerer's stone), seems a little heretical to me. If you want a collector's item surely the original covers and the proper titles are more worth collecting?

    The main issue I have with this set though is the same issue I have with DVD box sets that come out when you KNOW there will be more titles available (Star Wars episode 1&2 for example). Why do it? You know that you'll only end up buying a box set with all 9 novels in, and you'll never be able to sell the 5 novel set afterwards.

    This is expensive and pointless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hogwarts or Bust!
    My only beef with the Harry Potter books is that they end! I read the entire first five in a week-and now I'm seriously hooked-they're worse than crack!

    They're wonderful reading for children, a classic show-down between good and evil. The message of love, friendship, courage and loyalty shines throughout the series.

    Harry Potter will go down in history as a literary classic-for ALL ages.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!
    I love these books! Rowling is an author who follows in the footsteps of the best fantasy authors such as Tolkien and Lewis. These books will be cherished for genarations to come. I cant wait for the last two books! (and hopefully more!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful!!
    These are the best books I've ever read in my entire life! There's something for everyone in them, whether it's the fantasy world at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley or any of Harry's amazing adventures, these books have a place in the hearts of people young and old. My grandfather owns the entire series and discusses them with enthusiasm! If you haven't already read these books, you need to, they're incrediable!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Book Set That All Harry Potter Fans Should Have
    First things first: The magical world of Harry Potter created by J.K. Rowling is the greatest journey that the imagination can take at Platform 9 and 3/4.

    Secondly: A little bit about the books- [So far, we are in book 5 of 7]. It is the story of a boy named Harry Potter who has a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lighting bolt and for ten years lived a miserable life with his aunt and uncle Dursley and spoil brat cousin, Dudley, but at age of elven learns that he is a wizard. The story takes from there. In each book, Harry has to confront evil, Lord Voldemort (or He Who Must Not Be Named or You Know Who) who is responsible for Harry's scar and the his parents death.

    Thirdly: The Theme(s)-At first glance, or a read at teh back of the book, the reader gets the impression that Harry Potter and his world is nothing but pure magic: wizards and withces; unicorns and trolls; spells and curses, etc. But there is more to these books. For instence, and the most easy theme to be capture, is good vs. evil: Harry and his frieds(the good force) and Lord Voldemort and this followers( the bad force) confronting each other. Another easy to get theme is friendship: Harry and Ron and Hermoine always counting with one another in tough times. But there are also those themes that are a little bit more deeper and intense. One of them is racism/intolerance: In Harry world there are those wizard characters (like the Malfoys) that belief that only pure-blood wizard and witches are worth something; also, there are non-magic folks (like the Dursleys) that despise the magical world and its people. Another theme is corruption and power: the ministry of magic thrying to keep some things hidden from the normal-and-nest-door wizard. As the books are unfold, these and many more themes that can be apply to real life can be found.

    Lastly: This collection should be in every Harry Potter Fan Book Collection, and those that have not taken the Hogwart Express train to take a tour at Harry Potter's wordl should do it now. ... Read more


    3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5 Audio CD)
    by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré, Jim Dale
    list price: $75.00
    our price: $45.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807220299
    Catlog: Book (2003-06)
    Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
    Sales Rank: 596
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief... or will it?

    The fifth book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series follows the darkest year yet for our young wizard, who finds himself knocked down a peg or three after the events of last year. Somehow, over the summer, gossip (usually traced back to the magic world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet) has turned Harry's tragic and heroic encounter with Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament into an excuse to ridicule and discount the teen. Even Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of the school, has come under scrutiny by the Ministry of Magic, which refuses to officially acknowledge the terrifying truth that Voldemort is back. Enter a particularly loathsome new character: the toadlike and simpering ("hem, hem") Dolores Umbridge, senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, who takes over the vacant position of Defense Against Dark Arts teacher--and in no time manages to become the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, as well. Life isn't getting any easier for Harry Potter. With an overwhelming course load as the fifth years prepare for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations (O.W.Ls), devastating changes in the Gryffindor Quidditch team lineup, vivid dreams about long hallways and closed doors, and increasing pain in his lightning-shaped scar, Harry's resilience is sorely tested.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, more than any of the four previous novels in the series, is a coming-of-age story. Harry faces the thorny transition into adulthood, when adult heroes are revealed to be fallible, and matters that seemedblack-and-white suddenly come out in shades of gray. Gone is the wide-eyed innocent, the whiz kid of Sorcerer's Stone. Here we have an adolescent who's sometimes sullen, often confused (especially about girls), and always self-questioning. Confronting death again, as well as a startling prophecy, Harry ends his year at Hogwarts exhausted and pensive. Readers, on the other hand, will be energized as they enter yet again the long waiting period for the next title in the marvelous, magical series. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (5092)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Anticipated Book Lives up to Its Hype
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a marvelous edition to J.K. Rowling's library, and well worth the long, long wait and the number of pages. Although the book is the darkest novel yet in the Harry Potter saga, it reads like one of the earlier editions, happy and light with plenty of humor thrown in compensate for the overall dark tone of the novel. The plot is complex and involved, but never difficult as Rowling takes time and trouble to make certain everyone understands the mystery before moving to the next part.

    Many characters in this book become more well-rounded, and their actions are better justified. Professor McGonagall becomes a much more likable character, and we get more insight into the reason behind Professor Snape's hatred of Harry. We also see Harry's love life blossom somewhat as he ages, and he goes through typical teenage strife with his friends, Ron and Hermione.

    The ending is an exciting, heart-in-your-throat adventure that is sure to delight Harry Potter fans old and new. My only advice for reading this book: Don't make this your first Potter foray. Read the other books first. Rowling doesn't explain every detail from the first ones; she just assumes you've read them and doesn't bog you down with details you already remember (if you've read the first four).

    Basically, this is a very exciting book that well lives up to the Harry Potter saga and is sure to delight the many legions of fans who have waiting with bated breath for the newest edition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Book Five: My Fondest Dreams Realized.
    At the end of book 4, I like most others found myself wishing one thing: the fifth book. It was a far greater delay than i wanted, but it was worth it. This is the Best Book in the Series.

    I shall endeavor to avoid spoilers of any kind. Do Yourself a Favor. Dont wait for it to be out on Paperback. Read it now. If you havent read 1-4, start now so you can read book 5

    Harry is finally growing up and his questions are finally getting answered. HP5 really made me wonder what happened to JK Rowling to make her paint the Ministry of Magic as such dangerously and willingly ignorant fascists.

    The disjointed often poorly paced book 4 was full of a lot of passages where i wanted to slap Harry around for being such a whiner. Not So Book 5. The conflict is shaping up beautifully. It feels like this is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Harry Potter Book: grim and full of white-knuckle tension, and not the funniest or easiest episode, but its the finest crafted and most important episode.

    I thought Maybe JKR wouldnt beable to keep up the passion, angst and beautiful craftmanship of the first few books since they were written when she wasnt rich and famous etc. I thought fame might pull the spark out of the books, but i was wrong. If anything she's honed her craft even more.
    What always struck me about the Harry Potter boos was that there was a legitimate, tangible sense of horror underlying the bad events. Often in children's books the bad stuff is contrived to give the main character something to Do, not so Harry Potter. Book 5 makes it clearthat death is very real, and it affects everyone, and that evil is real and present, And OFTEN done in the name of good.
    Book 5 ups the ante, making it even more important to read. It is not so much a 'children's book' and more a book about universal struggles that we in which all need to immerse ourselves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the movie...
    I'm a huge fan of the horror genre and am a huge King fanatic, but I couldn't resist reading this book after seeing the Third film. I'm 17 and I found unbelievable that these books are aimed at 9-12 yr olds. The vocabulary is fantasic and Ms Rowling is quite an inticing writer.
    I should have read the fourth book first, that's a little advice for the rest of ye, because now I know the general outcome of that book - so I think I'll wait for the fourth film rather than read it.
    Anyway, being such a huge King fan, I can't help comparing different writers to him. He is - to me - the best writer in the world, just just at horror but at everything, and I found J.K Rowling right up his alley. She's brilliant, the book's brilliant, cant wait for the film!!! :-)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but dark
    There's a good reason most of us cannot recall being 15 very well and the latest Harry Potter book will show you why: his heroic behavior is being marred by hormones that make him confused, angry, and irrational. The blue cover should give you an idea of the darkness of this 5th and darkest year of Harry's schooling at Hogwarts. I was so enraptured by reading book #4, Goblet of Fire, that I paid the $30 to get an advanced hardback copy of this book. I would advise against that; it's not worth it, but is worth reading. It's nearly as long, about 700 pages, but you'll find yourself wizzing through them. The author balances action with description and lets her imagination run wild with this fantasy world. The dark tone of this book and the surprising twists will have you anxiously reading to find a good place to stop, but the evil does not let up until the final pages. Phoenixes, like the human spirit, rise perpetually, and in this book we get some long overdue explanations, but at the cost of someone's life. In this book, Harry has a complete reversal of fortune and becomes the laughing stock of the school. New characters are introduced, there is some serious espionage in this book, and the book mainly centers on the war between the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. We learn much in this book and even get to see Harry's dad who is less the saint then Harry has been told. The book also seems to be a scathing social commentary, in typical English style, against the government and the media. In this episode, they suddenly become unthinkably evil, twisting facts, commiting gross injustices, physically hurting people, and manipulating public sentiment. In this novel, the good guys get put on trial for crime, and it is mindboggling.

    Overall, a very imaginative book, different in tone from the rest, that both captures teenage angst and the disruption to daily life caused by the Dark Lord. If you love the series, buy it but don't rush to do so. It's not as good a read as the other books, and is very dark, almost depressing. It's all bad news until the last few pages, and the kids cause some terrible trouble this time.

    I have always taken issue with these stories as "childrens literature" for their moral content and bad role models. These kids break rules, lie, sneak around, and singlehandedly confront the dark lord on a regular basis. Perhaps this is why China has banned the books. Well, I think that Rawling has simply put aside these moral issues to tell a good, compelling, imaginative story. Harry is not every man, he is a very special kid, a sort of christlike lowliest child. If the kids were constantly telling Dumbledore what was going on, the story would get dull. In this book, you get a good sense of how annoying it is to constantly have adults intercede. And of course the overall moral tale is that good always triumphs over evil. In the end, it is for parents, not books to teach values.

    5-0 out of 5 stars worth the wait
    Harry's back and so is the others, well harry is having a crudy summer and when he goes back to school things dont seem to lighten up because the new teacher has the personality like a poisend beehive with a rabid badger and throw in a couple of 50 seperate posions and you get Dolores umbridge. however there are som good stuff, like ron becoming keeper, a secret program, and Harry might have a shoot at Cho but Voldemort is still out there and Harry is having this dream about a door at the end of a hallway but he wakes up. you got to read the book. ... Read more


    4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4 Audio CD)
    by J.K. ROWLING
    list price: $69.95
    our price: $44.07
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807282596
    Catlog: Book (2000-07)
    Publisher: Bantam Books-Audio
    Sales Rank: 970
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Read by Jim Dale

    Running time:20 hrs., 30 mins. 12cassettes

    Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year of magical adventures in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.This year Harry turns 14 and becomes interested in girls -- one in particular.And with Dark Magic comes danger, as someone close to Harry dies.You'll have to listen to learn more!The audio is available on July 8th.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4706)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Darkness Reborn.
    HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series and (so far) is also the longest and most dark. I had enjoyed the previous three books immensely, but had heard so many conflicting reviews about GOBLET OF FIRE, that I didn't know what to expect. After finally finishing the novel, I found that it was a most intriguing read and has become my favorite in the series so far.

    The book begins during the summer before the fall term starts at Hogwarts. Harry joins the Weasley family and Hermione for a trip to the World Quiddich Cup. The tournament is marked by strange events which foreshadow the dark horrors and adventures that lie waiting for Harry and friends back at school.

    The book builds from the opening, sinister and puzzling chapter to it's conclusion (over 700 pages later) when a line in the sand is drawn and the forces of good unite to stand against the resurrected Lord Voldemort. Whereas the previous three novels seemed self-contained and concluded in themselves, GOBLET OF FIRE ends on a cliffhanger, merely hinting at the huge struggle facing the forces of good. I have a feeling things are only going to become more dark and depressing for Harry and the gang.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids!
    Ages 9-12 shouldn't get to have all the fun! "The Goblet of Fire" is a terrific story for anyone who has ever wanted to fly or gazed longingly at a poster of a favorite athlete, wishing that athlete could come to life. JK Rowling makes it happen and if your imagination hasn't been too stifled and trodden down by the concerns of everyday life, then this book might be for you, no matter what your age. "The Goblet of Fire" is exciting, funny, frightening and impossible to put down. I kept telling myself "just one more chapter" until I had finished the final 450 pages in one fell swoop! The hype and hyperbole proved to be fully justified and Ms Rowling has shown herself to be a wonderfully creative and insightful writer. As a junior high and high school English teacher, one of my main frustrations is the fact that my students don't want to read for pleasure, even when given time to do so in class. However, the Harry Potter series has renewed the hope with which I began my career 15 years ago, that books and good, old-fashioned story-telling and imagination weren't yet out of style. Thanks, Ms Rowling, for Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the Hogwarts gang, yes, even Draco Malfoy, the kid we all love to hate! And thanks, too, for bringing back my own junior high memories after all these years with your refreshingly honest and accurate portrayals of young boys and girls discovering new experiences and getting to know each other again for the first time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
    I definitely think JK Rowling has honed her craft. I did not like the original Potter book, because I thought there wasn't much depth to the characters and everthing was predictable. As of the Prisoner book, I think she has definitely improved. I liked this so much I could barely put it down.

    The thing that separates this book out from her first two novels is that as the characters age, the plots have become much darker and much less predictable, and this one, in particular, reads almost like a mystery novel, because there is so much left up in the air.

    The ending also sets the stage for future novels.

    I think kids and adults (myself included) will find this to be the best Potter book yet (I have not yet read the Order of the Phoenix)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pushing it to the next level
    I'm a thirty-something woman and I am a Harry-a-holic. Why should this fantastic series be just for kids? Obviously I'm not the only person who feels this way. I see adults riveted by this series everywhere I go. And the best thing is kids love it too! This series opens the door that many of us need, something in common with our children. It really helps us to identify with each other. Thank you J.K. Rowling!

    "Goblet of Fire" shows us that it is not written reverently for the little ones, however. I must warn you, there is a tragic death. I'm sure most children can deal with it, but I personally was shocked. I'm not sure I'm old enough for where this series is going, but I'll let it take me there just the same.

    By opening that doorway to the sad inevitability we all face, Rowling has pushed the boundaries of how we view children's adventures. We realize now that Voldemort means business and that anything could happen as he continues his quest for power. Can Harry stop him? Voldemort continues to get more powerful with every novel and Harry is only just able to stop his nemesis from succeeding with his ingenious plots to take over all the witching world and quite possible the muggle world as well.

    This book left me waiting almost too eagerly for "Order of the Phoenix," which I read with my 9-year-old niece who seems to cope with the terrors in this series better than I am.

    If you're all growed up, read this with some kids, they can comfort you when it gets scary.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Real Emotion
    The Goblet of Fire is the first time that Harry really deals with hard problems, and dark emotions. This is also the first time the book every brought out real emotion, such as sadness. J.K. Rowling really knows how to make each book better and better. Although this isn't my favorite of the serious, it's a very close second. There were many times in which I just bursted out into laughter, and others when i cried. Every emotion is provoked in this book. I really recommend that every one read Harry Potter, even if it to read this one book in the series. ... Read more


    5. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
    by J. K. Rowling
    list price: $85.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439249546
    Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 51056
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter has had his hands full during hisfirst four years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As if excellingon and off the Quidditch field isn't enough, Harry has heard evil voices in thewalls, saved lives, and fended off convicts. Only time will tell how Harry willmanage the certain dangers in store for him over the next few years. The firstfour titles of J.K. Rowling's magical, witty, exciting adventures are nowavailable in a gift set, perfect for the legions of children whose big brothersand sisters (and parents) have made off with their copies. These grippingfantasy novels are on the road to becoming classics--don't wait to collect theselovely hardcover editions, illustrated by the talented Mary GrandPré.Each boxed set includes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, HarryPotter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner ofAzkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Ages 8 and older)--Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (397)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Spellbounding
    I remember when I was a child reading books that I found unable to put down, every page full of intrigue and excitement, my imagination would run wild and I was transported into other worlds; as I got older books became something I read for exams and no longer fun, I rarely picked up a book for light entertainment and it was a few years before I started to read books again purely for pleasure. Once I had time to rekindle my love of books I discovered I still got lost in a good novel but never felt involved the way I had as a child.

    A few weeks ago one of my sons bought himself J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter set of books and enjoyed reading them, well he is twenty-five and more into Graham Greene, so I thought if he found them an enjoyable light read I would give them a go. I picked up the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, from the eye catching brightly coloured, shinny box holding the set of four books and settled down with the intention of reading a couple of chapters, four hours later I was still there engrossed, unable to put the book down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This may sound cliched, but the books are magical.
    I admit that I had never heard of Harry Potter until the huge fuss over the release of the fourth book. I didn't buy into the hype until a friend of mine dragged me to the movie... I admit that I became a Harry believer after the first 10 minutes of the film and wanted more. I immediately asked to borrow her books and read all four over the next two days. After reading her set, I decided that I had to have my own copies.

    The Harry Potter books are wonderfully imaginative and great for children of all ages (I myself am a 31 year old child!!) I loved being taken out of the real world and submersed in a world of fantasy and magic. Some say the stories and events are derivative of other classic "good vs. evil" stories; I don't happen to feel that way. The attention to detail of both the Muggle (non-magic folks) and the Wizard worlds is staggering and fascinating and unique. The J.K. Rowling style is also very refreshing and accesible to everyone even with the immense attention to specifics and details.

    These books are great and I highly recommend them. They are so unassuming and pleasant and can teach kids a lot about acceptance, forgiveness, and the true meaning of goodness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
    I have been a true Harry Potter fan for 6 years now. These books are GREAT. Harry Potter books are fantasy books about wizards and their wonderful world and about a young boy who falls into a world of magic and adventure. Harry Potter is full of bravery and is one of the best characters I have ever had the pleasure of running into. He is surrounded by good and the bad but he faces it all with courage in his heart and love by his side. Harry Potter Books have turned millions of children into readers and never fail to be exciting, sad, and funny. I have fallen in love with the characters that J.K. Rowling presents in Harry Potter Books and envy them for their unique and realistic personalities. If you haven't read these books you are positively insane and you must immidiately read them or be shot. These are the greatest books ever written and I applaude J.K. for her writting that always ceases to fall past perfection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
    This is the best way to get all the Potter Books to keep and read forever! This is a great idea for gifts for people of all ages.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!
    This series is without a doubt the best books I have ever read. J.K Rowling sure knows how to write fantasy. I can realte to all the characeters and get lost in a magical world where anything can happen. These books have inspired me to write my own fantasy series.Wyhen I read Harry Potter, I feels happy, sad, excited, anxuious,scared and in suspense the whole time. Trust me, this sries is worth buying and is going to be around for a long time. J.K Rowling and Harry rock! ... Read more


    6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1 Audio CD)
    by J.K. ROWLING
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $32.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807281956
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
    Publisher: Listening Library
    Sales Rank: 903
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Read by Jim Dale
    8 hours 17 minutes, 6 cassettes

    Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is.That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were.But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright.From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4768)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great kids' book that appeals to all ages.
    I'm not much into kids' books but when my mom brought home Harry Potter, I remembered it from the NY Times bestseller list. In bed one night I flipped open to the third chapter and after five minutes, reverted back to chapter one. After 11 years of torture living with his foster family (Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley), Harry is shocked to learn that he is actually a world famous wizard! When he was only an infant, a powerful, evil sorcerer killed his parents but was unable to destroy him. All that's left of the encounter is a lightening shaped scar on his forhead. The incident having driven the sorcerer into exile, Harry is a celebrity everwher he goes, from diagon alley(for school supplies) to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts, Harry befriends other schoolmates as they learn the arts of magic. While trying to keep his grades in check, Harry learns of a plot to undermine the scools headmaster. Harry risks his reputation and life as he does his best to get to the bottom of the situation. A captivating read, The Sorcerer's Stone contains the imagination of Roald Dahl, the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the humor and suspense J.K. Rawling throws in to even it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting,mysterious fantasy...
    I strongly encourage people to read this wonderfully written fantasy. When I first started to read the Harry Potter books,I just loved it so much,I had to read more. I'm now through the fourth book (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and waiting for the fifth book in the Harry Potter series. This particular book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is fantastic.It is about a boy called Harry Potter who lives with his aunt and uncle(Petunia and Vernon)...also with his huge (fat) cousin , Dudley. He starts to get letters from Hogwarts, but, his uncle Vernon refuses Harry to open the envelope which contains Harry's Hogwarts letter. One day letters start pouring inside the house. Harry grabs one but fails to open it.Soon Harry,Petunia,Vernon,and Dudley are in an old house on the sea.The game keeper of Hogwarts comes and takes Harry to Diagon Ally to buy his Hogwarts school supplies. Then Harry takes the Hogwarts express to Hogwarts.He then gets sorted into Gryffindor House(out of Hufflepuff,Ravenclaw,and Slitherin houses).Then he sets off on the most thrilling adventure you could ever imagine.This book will make you sweat as you read it.It is the best book you could ever read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The One Book that Started It All: the Harry Potter-Mania
    Harry Potter, a fatherless and motherless boy, has never seen a unicorn, has never heard of wizards or witches, and has not a clue what Quidditch means. The only thing that Harry has ever experience is the miserable life that the Dursley's have given him for the first ten years of his life. But everything changes when letters from no one start arriving at the Dursleys addressed to him. Also on the same day that Harry turns eleven years old, a giant of a man arrives at the place where Harry and the Dursleys are staying and tells Harry that he is a wizard and that him, Harry, has been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
    At Hogwarts, Harry does not only meet new friends like Ron Weasly or Hermoine Granger, or enemies like Draco Malfoy, or learns about magic and how to fly on a broom. He also come face to face with Lord Voldemort, his life-time enemy and the person that killed his parents and tried to killed him but only managed to give him a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lighting bolt. But is Harry ready to survive this new life that has been hidden for him for a long time, and is he ready to take hold of the destiny that awaits for him...from now on?

    And once "The Sorcerer's Stone" is picked up, can it be put down? Well, I know I could not do it. The world created by JKR is the most amazing and fantastical trance. I loved every single word found in this amazing tale of modern fantasy. Harry Potter is a true hero because is he not only a wizard but a teenager with human characteristics.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for kids, teens, geezers and fogies
    It's not often that a new series comes out that captures its audience in such a magnificent way as Harry Potter. This series has influenced many other writers, including Stephen King! It has helped children to bond with adults in a fun and magical way. It has introduced a new world to all who read.

    In the first book of this series, we are introduced to many of the main characters that play a crucial role in Harry's life. We travel to Hogwarts, a school of Magic where truth be told, I think many of us would like to attend. We meet deep characters, some good and some bad and we learn of magical villages that can be accessed only by those "in the know."

    If you haven't done so already, make the HP series part of your library and share it with your children, friends and family.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling (Broomstick) Ride
    It's not often that a new series comes out that captures its audience in such a magnificent way as Harry Potter. This series has influenced many other writers, including Stephen King! It has helped children to bond with adults in a fun and magical way. It has introduced a new world to all who read.

    In the first book of this series, we are introduced to many of the main characters that play a crucial role in Harry's life. We travel to Hogwarts, a school of Magic where truth be told, I think many of us would like to attend. We meet deep characters, some good and some bad and we learn of magical villages that can be accessed only by those "in the know."

    If you haven't done so already, make the HP series part of your library and share it with your children, friends and family. ... Read more


    7. Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set: Two Classic Books from the Library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    by J. K. Rowling
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 043932162X
    Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 352
    Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Now, the classic books from the library of the Hogwarts School ofWitchcraft and Wizardry--Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them andQuidditch Through the Ages--are available in hardcover in a sturdy boxedgift set. (These books are written by J.K. Rowling herself under the pseudonymsNewt Scamander and Kennilworthy Whisp.) Finally, Muggles will have the chance todiscover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is bestnot to leave milk out for a Knarl. The Quidditch textbook explains where theGolden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence, and why theWigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their clothes. Both books,designed to look like Harry Potter's actual, used Hogwarts textbooks, featuresilly scribblings from Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Proceeds from the sale of thisgift set will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world.Harry Potter fans, rejoice! (All ages) ... Read more

    Reviews (308)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you cannot go to Hogwarts, let Hogwarts come to you
    Although not a necessary addition to everyone's personal Harry Potter library, these two little books are quite interesting and a lot of fun to read. They are both quite short, totaling less than sixty five pages apiece, but they are wonderfully put together and made to look like copies of real books from the Hogwarts library. None other than Albus Dumbledore himself writes the introduction to each book, explaining how and why these books are being made available to Muggles for the first time and explaining how proceeds from each book go directly to a fund, set up in Harry Potter's name by Comic Relief UK and author J.K. Rowling, which is dedicated to help children in need throughout the world.

    Quidditch Through the Ages, penned by Quidditch expert Kennilworthy Whisp explains the ultimate sport of wizards from top to bottom, giving the centuries-old history of the game as it has evolved. First and foremost, he explains why wizards and witches employ brooms to fly on in the first place, and then he proceeds to give an account of the changing rules of the game from its early days of primitive baskets set atop poles to the standardized and world-sweeping format of today. Of most significance and interest is the story of how the Golden Snitch was introduced into the sport. Different strategies and maneuvers are named and explained, the thirteen Quidditch teams of England and Ireland are identified, some of the seven hundred types of fouls are explained, and some of the most memorable games and individual performances are detailed (including the Tutshill Tornados' Roderick Plumpton's amazing snag of the Golden Snitch only three and a half seconds into a game back in 1921).

    Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander is a compendium of all the fantastic beasts currently known, from the Acromantula to the Yeti. Prior to the actual listings, Scamander explains the criteria by which some beings have come to be labeled beasts (it's more complicated than you might think) and devotes some time to the obvious question as to why Muggles seem to spot such creatures only rarely. Each listing also carries the classification assigned each beast by the Ministry of Magic, which is important information given that these beasts range from the harmless to the controllable to the incredibly dangerous. Along with fascinating descriptions of the animals we have already encountered in the Harry Potter books, there are some real jewels of information included here, solving several Muggle mysteries such as that of the true identity of the Loch Ness Monster. Fantastic Beasts is a copy of Harry Potter's own personal copy of the book, and its margins are dotted with little notes ranging from the mundane to the bitingly funny written by Harry, Ron, as well as Hermione. Now, if we could only get our hands on A History of Hogwarts; I'm sure Hermione has a copy they can use for the printing of a Muggle edition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get your Harry fix and support a great cause!
    Although the wait for 2002 and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is going to be a hard one for a lot of people, these two brief but fun books should fill the gap admirably as well as supporting a great cause. Released for the first time (well, to the general Muggle public), here's two of Harry Potter's schoolbooks, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through the Ages."

    Slim and quick reads, these books nevertheless are a great deal of fun. "Quidditch" provides us with a brief evolution and history of everyone's favorite broomstick-riding sport, with rules of play, focuses on top world teams, and the revelation that Americans don't really play Quidditch on the world-class level, preferring an American variation called "Quodpot." "Fantastic Beasts" is a brisk and humorous guide to mythical, er, totally real monsters and magical creatures from the Acromantula (giant spider) to the Yeti. This book is Harry Potter's own personal copy, and is enlivened with Harry and Ron's writing and jokes in the margins of the book. Both books feature a wonderfully dry-humored introduction by Albus Dumbledore. Both books are written with a friendly and light sense of humor that's delightful to read and makes great background for the serious Harry Potter fan. Quidditch team Chudley Cannons' motto is said to have been changed from "We shall conquer" to "Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best."

    The most important reason to buy these books, however, is to support Comic Relief UK, the British relief organization set up to help children in the disadvantaged countries of the world. Although we can't save the world from manticores or score the winning goal in a Quidditch World Cup match, we can still be heroes by supporting this great cause.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Warning
    If your children are Harry Potter fans and read these books the odds are very good that they will throw quotes and 'facts' from these books at you at every opportunity.

    These books are very short and filled with information that fills in and enhances the novels of the Harry Potter series. I have found that the information within them rounds out Rowlings magical universe.

    If you are looking for a novel however these are not for you. They are reference books describing some of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter series or explaining the origns and rules of Quiddich. Good easy fun.

    I would also like to add that these books would be ideal for a child who does not like to read but likes the H.P movies. They just might entice the non reader to pick up the H.P novels.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two words? Must have.
    Harry Potter is a very popular series, and for any fan of the series, this is a must have. It will give you more information about the world of "Hogwarts" and you will feel good about yourself since it's also for a good cause, i only hope J.K. Rowling will write more of these. Books, Movies, and these schoolbooks i consider the official harry potter merchandise, and then Harry Potter themed candy, figures and such is nice also. I have both of these books, and i read them all the time. It's a good price too. I hope you purchase them, have fun reading!

    5-0 out of 5 stars While You Wait.
    This is a great "While you wait for book 6" collection. It has the spirit of the Harry Potter books.

    The writing is as good as the harry potter books. but the content is not.

    For breaif looks into the history of the Harry Potter boos they are great. Particularly for the history of monsters. Hoever id you are looking for a solid READ this is not the book collection for you. ... Read more


    8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2 Audio CD)
    by J.K. ROWLING
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $32.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807281948
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
    Publisher: Listening Library
    Sales Rank: 1284
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    The Dursleys were so mean that hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

    And strike it does.For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

    But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone.Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever?Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told?Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself?
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2308)

    5-0 out of 5 stars PERHAPS THE FUNNIEST ONE SO FAR
    Potter 2, THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (1998), may be the funniest one so far. Strangely, I think it is also the one that includes the greater number of physically unpleasant or revolting details, scattered all along the story.
    In spite of it, the reading was pleasing to me (I must add I read the Spanish translation first: an eloquent one, but the translators should have probably saved a lot of words). There is a good deal of suspense in the book. Gilderoy Lockhart can make you fall off your chair with laughter. Dobby the house-elf is another brilliantly comic character (we'll meet him again in The Goblet of Fire). Mrs Rowling developes her characters in a way consistent with the 1st book (look up the Weasley twins or Snape, for instance, in Potter 1, since their first appearances until now, and you'll see what I mean). Though the adventurous fever that hits Hermione Granger came as a surprise to me: even her friends Ron and Harry (not half as well-balanced as she is) feel it's strange.
    Like in Potter 1, Harry is the less remarkable character in the story, in a way. He's not specially funny or wise or a good student or anything (unlike Malfoy, he's not even specially nasty). Actually, if it wasn't for his scar and his quidditch skills (well, his desperate courage at deadly situations too), JK would have had to choose Mr Filch or that Norris cat to play the hero: Potter would have been as invisible as his cloak. Yet after reading up to the 5th title in the "saga", I think there is some purpose by the author: JK works hard on her books, she's a careful (even too careful) story-maker and character-painter: it cannot be a coincidence that inconspicuousness about Potter's personality. To those having read The Order of the Phoenix this fact is even more urgent, because Potter becomes "remarkable" there -but in the most unfortunate way!! But this lines are not about that book.
    Sometimes one can even feel -say, angry with Potter, in this book. He seems to think (erroneously!!) that the best way towards sorting out problems is keeping them hidden from the people who can help solve them: that is Dumbledore in the first place. If Potter's side wins the battle in the end in this book is in spite of him rather than due to him... which is true also about the rest of the series so far. BR>
    Finally, that McGonagall's idea, no exams for the pupils because of the hard events they've lived, I think it's foolish: no serious school in the world, even in the fiction world, would ever do such thing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "There is more than one way to burn a book"
    The above quote was from the Coda of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I quote it because while looking through all the one star quotes you see a lot of 'Don't let your children read it, it should be banned ect...' In other words they want to ... burn the book 'cos of their frail mind and 'idea's.' What also irritates me is the large amount of fellow Christians here bashing it and calling it 'Satanic' I am a strong Christian, and guess what? It's not. Witch's magic? Oh dear if a kid can't handle that however will they handle the real world? The point of a Fairy Tale is to prepare kids for the real evil in our world! No these books aren't The Narnia. The Chronicles Of Narnia is my favorite series, and these books o course are not supposed to be anything like them so don't expect them to be. Harry Potter isn't allegory (well according to Lewis's idea neither was Narnia) so don't expect the same level of skill or style. He had witches and goblins as well, will you ban him next? (Oh I forgot some "Christians" think Lewis is evil as well.) Besides "The Last Battle" was more horrific on a psychological level and in its vivid description of battle and mayhem then anything in this book (remember the horses and dwarfs?). There you have the destruction of lands, and all hell (literally) being rained down upon them. Here they have people in a state of shock and a villain getting killed. True the purpose behind the events in Narnia were different, all I'm saying is that the 'disturbing for children' was even more in "The Last Battle". These books are in no way evil; they are however entertaining, un-offensive and fine for kids. Don't worry about polluting minds, being sent to hell or comparing it to a completely different style of writing, just sit and read them for what they are. The ironic this is I never even intended to read a Harry Potter book, I made a promise I would in order to get someone to read Bradbury and here I am defending it, so... don't pre-judge and just get and enjoy them!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh how fun! What an adventure!
    Year two at Hogwarts has a rough start for Harry, who misses his train and has to make his own way to Hogwarts, breaking every rule in the book along the way. He's in a lot of trouble, yet he still manages to hold his head high and trudge along through school.

    Draco doesn't let up as he taunts Harry and tries to cause even more trouble for our hero. We are introduced to new characters that we'll see later in the series. While we don't learn much about Harry's past in this sequel, we learn much more about Hogwarts, the teachers, and the students.

    If the HP series were a journey "Chamber of Secrets" would be the bridge from "Sorcerer's Stone" to "Prisoner of Azkaban" where we learn much more about the hows and whys.

    It's truly a thrill to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book to follow the first!
    This book was enjoyable, but it was a little slow in how it finally present the clues to discover the final showdown, I think it gives the good lesson in good things are worth waiting for. I didn't like how the characters were acting like total incompetents in seeking help and basically acting like airheads, but I guess that should be expected at 12 years old and only second years.

    For a small summary: see the movie!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So Silver
    Harry Potter two, didn't have as much going on as the first book, but had much more suspense. Action: amazing. Writing: great. Illustrations: beautiful. All what I call a five star book! ... Read more


    9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3 Audio CD)
    by J.K. ROWLING
    list price: $54.95
    our price: $34.62
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807282324
    Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
    Publisher: Listening Library
    Sales Rank: 1410
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Running time:11 hrs., 48 mins.10 CDs.

    For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black.Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

    Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well.And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

    Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends.Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2274)

    5-0 out of 5 stars perhaps the best of the 4 books
    This is the third book in the wonderful Harry Potter series (7 total, only 4 are published at the moment). Harry is to begin his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During the summers, he lives with his aunt and uncle. They are not at all fond of magic and keep Harry away in his closet, forbidden to use magic (by the school) or have any contact with his friends. Harry's parents were murdered by an evil wizard when Harry was only an infant. Harry survived, mysteriously, unscathed except for a scar on his forehead. Harry arrives at Hogwarts having learned that a man named Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison Azkaban. Presumably he wants to kill Harry Potter. Black was a convicted murderer and worked for the wizard who killed Harry's parents.

    The school is almost in a lockdown with the frightening Dementor guards looking for Black and guarding the school. Harry, of course, gets into mischief anyways and winds up involved in finding Sirius Black. There are plenty of surprises and Rowling writes this book with fast pacing and an interesting story.

    This is one of the strongest books of the four, and with this book, the series is beginning to get noticeably darker and less for children than it was before. While not very frightening for an adult, the book may be scary for a young child. Though these are marketed for children, the Harry Potter series is as much for adults as it is for children. Excellent reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jim Dale's reading is a must-hear!
    First of all, don't expect Tolkien or Lewis. You won't find such literary depth and deftness here. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books are much more akin to Roald Dahl's quirky, alternately lighthearted and dark children's stories. However, that's not to say Rowling's books aren't well-written, enormously entertaining and fun. They are. In fact, I can honestly say that very few books of late have delighted me as much -- *especially* the CD versions. For as much as I enjoy *reading* the Harry Potter books (and I have them all in print form), I love *hearing* them even more. Jim Dale's readings (especially the briskly-paced and richly charactered third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) have to be heard to be believed. Dale is a master storyteller. He switches between characters seamlessly, giving each one a different voice and personality. His English accent is a delight, and the pronounciations are crisp. I especially enjoy hearing the voices of Draco Malfoy, Hagrid and Professors Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall (who has a delightful brogue). I recently purchased the third book on CD in anticipation of my 3-hour drive (each way!) to Chicago for a conference. I loaded up my car's CD changer and listened all the way down and back, hanging on every word. Dale's fabulous reading turned what could have been a long, uneventful trip into a delightful escape to Hogwarts. In fact, when I returned home, I didn't want to get out of my car ... and, I'm nearly ashamed to say, kept looking for excuses to run errands just so I could continue listening to the exciting story unfold! Rowling's books seem tailor-made for *hearing*, as if she wrote them specifically to be read aloud. So if you've ever wanted to try an audio book, and if you enjoy reading the Harry Potter series, I highly recommend Jim Dale's presentations. Thankfully, the audio versions are UNABRIDGED so you can enjoy every single word. I hope Dale continues to be the reader for the Harry Potter series. I can't imagine any other voice for them. He's a perfect match for Rowling's words. By the way, I'm 39 years old. And I was raised on science fiction and fantasy books. I rank the Harry Potter books right up there with some of my all-time favorites. As I said in the beginning, Rowling's books are not as deep or clever as many of the classics of the genre, but they're every bit as entertaining in their own right. I recommend the books, but I *highly* recommend Jim Dale's reading of them. Especially Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The foundation of HP
    It was the release of this book that finally got me to pick up the series that had so many children and adults raving. It was one of the best book decisions I ever made. HP has proven to be an exciting and fun way to bond with my nieces and nephews along with many coworkers and friends.

    "The Order of the Phoenix" does take the reader deeper into the dark world which Voldemort, the nemesis of HP and all good witches/warlocks has tried to plunge them. This book finally sheds light on part of Harry's past that helps to explain the present. Along with Harry, we learn more about his parents and about how things were at the time Voldemort killed them.

    We are also introduced to an integral character, Sirius Black. Is he a good witch or a bad witch? Read this "Prisoner of Azkaban" to find out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much Better than the Movie!
    I've found the books to be much better than the movies! Especially with book three, since as the books get longer it seems more and more is cut out of the movies. To discover the real hidden clues to what lies ahead reading the books is a MUST!

    This book was more enjoyable than the previous two for me in that it was more detailed. Had more substance in its plot, and it was written for a more advanced mind (all the books increase in difficulty level and for me enjoyment level).

    For a small summary: see the movie!, otherwise Harry blows up aunt, doesn't get in trouble, ministry of magic is more worried about the escaped murderer they think is after Harry, turns out escaped murderer is no murderer and is Harry's godfather, harry has to deal with dementors with a powerful protronus charm (protective spell), harry learns spell from new dark arts teacher who was friends with his parents and he is a werewolf, in the end this book doesn't have the normal happy ending--traitor escapes and harry's godfather barely escapes dementors (prison guards) to live on the run.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wooow... amazing
    I'm 13 years old and I can relate to the main character and the story. The 3rd book is mostly about teenagers and Harry's life change.Teens make a lot of changes. The book keeps you guessing until the end.It's an amazing and mysterious book. ... Read more


    10. Dog Heaven
    by Cynthia Rylant
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590417010
    Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 4878
    Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (70)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I just love Dog Heaven!
    This book is such a wonderful way to help anyone who has lost a dog, especially children. I teach preschool and one of my student's lost his dog. I gave him this book as well as I'll Always Love You. His parents said the books really helped, and it really helped our entire class learn about the passing of a beloved family member. It's hard for children to understand death anyway, but when it's someone like a dog or cat who just loves so unconditionally, books like this one really help to alieviate any fear that the pet is in pain, or that pet might forget us! I HIGHLY recommend this book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comforting to Think about Where our Sasha is now
    This is a great book for kids and adults alike who may be grieving the loss of a beloved dog. The illustrations are charming, and the sentiments are great. (God makes dogs special treats in heaven, and they play with angel children, who need their company.) I have given this book to an adult friend who also lost a pet, and she found it very comforting too. We still miss our Sasha dog, but this book helped our family through a rough time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars TEACHER RECOMMENDS!
    I have given this book to countless children (and adults) who are grieving the loss of a furry friend. Being a teacher, I am quite often faced with a student who experiences the loss of a beloved pet. If you believe dogs go to heaven, this book offers wonderful comfort in allowing children to imagine what it might be like for their dog in heaven. I would recommend this book to almost any parents trying to ease some of that heartbreak for their child and quite possibly themselves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A very sweet image of Heaven!
    I got this book for my 6 year old son to read for school (to earn AR credits). At the time, he had been very anxious about death, having lost one pet when he was 3 and having another who was very old. We also had two older neighbors die in the past year. He had often had deep worries about death and dying. I was almost afraid for him to read it - worrying that it would bring out those feelings again. But I am so glad he did read it.

    The comforting way Dog HEaven is depicted was JUST what we needed. He did ask me if this was real - non-fiction, as he put it. I told him that nobody who is living today has ever been to heaven, so people just have to guess what it is like, and this is what the author believes it is like. That did the trick.

    When our second dog passed on, it was very helpful to the children to remember the ideas in Dog Heaven. They were happy that Penny would be able to be with our other dog - Edison; and they had a good time thinking about Edison "showing Penny around in heaven". And also, thinking about our neighbor being there to give biscuits and throw balls to Penny.

    It should be on the bookshelf of every family who has a dog!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
    This is a sweet book which I initially bought due to my love of dogs. I wanted to share that love with my children and teach them about God as well. Recently our dog passed away and my 4 year old was having a hard time dealing with it. This book helped her to think of Moose being in a special place where he doesn't hurt anymore, he can run and have fun. ... Read more


    11. Where the Red Fern Grows
    by WILSON RAWLS
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553274295
    Catlog: Book (1984-08-01)
    Publisher: Random House Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 1546
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Author Wilson Rawls spent his boyhood much like the character of this book, Billy Colman, roaming the Ozarks of northeastern Oklahoma with his bluetick hound. A straightforward, shoot-from-the-hip storyteller with a searingly honest voice, Rawls is well-loved for this powerful 1961 classic and the award-winning novel Summer of the Monkeys. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion.When the victory over the mountain lion turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but learns the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his dogs. This unforgettable classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. (Ages 9 and up) ... Read more

    Reviews (804)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting novel
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    In spite of being labeled as a sad sob story, Where the Red Fern Grows is a priceless novel filled with adventure and excitement. I believe that Rawls uses the two dogs Old Dan and Little Ann plus the emotional ending of the novel to attract the female gender. But to the same affect attracts the males with the adventures that these dynamic three undergo. Billy, a young boy, whose had a dream of owning a pair of coon hunting dogs. Works two long years of backbreaking work to finally raising enough money to purchase the two dogs. He embraces the dogs as if they are his children, working with them none stop so that they could become the very best coon-hunting team in Cherokee county. A lot of the time this book is required reading for many middle school students. So I believe Rawls uses this never give up attitude to encourage the young readers. After working so hard and accomplishing many goals with the dogs Billy enters a competition and wins. Thrilled with his accomplishment he ventures to other events. First place after first place Billy and the team seek higher standards. As you read, we follow the threesome on an adventure of a lifetime. Traveling on foot Billy and his two dogs head to the Tournament of tournaments the Coon Hunting Championship. Billy, unknowing of the dangers of the journey, runs into a little trouble on the way. As the book slows down and almost loses readers, this journey to the championship keeps us into it. Fortunately the team arrives in one piece and enters the competition. The team wins but to Billy's surprise the dogs aren't satisfied. Because they still have one coon to get, Shadow, the coon that cannot be caught. Rawl takes us on an adventure, and yet again has you sitting at the edge of your seat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars And So The Adventures Begin
    If you are going to read a book to your class, Having your class reading a book, reading a book to yourself, giving a book to a friend or relative, or any thing else, Where The Red Fern Grows ,by Wilson Rawls is the book for you. it is a wonderful and touching story about a boy, Billy, and his dogs. It starts out with a man looking back on his childhood, and how he dreamt of having some fine dog. Finally he got enough money to buy the dogs his heart was set on, and so the adventures begin. This book is very well written. It brings you to the place, time and point if view of Billy and his family, and without being too descriptive or boring. There aren't those chapters which you find in moast descriptive books where all that seems to happen is you know EXACTLY what a certain character looks like. Not only that, it is a real page turner. No matter how much you read you have to know what happens next. With every chapter comes a new adventure! If someone told you that a book about a boy and his dogs catching raccoons would be a page turner, you probably would not believe them, but you are never satisfied to stop after any chapter. Some people find the way that they talk with a southern accent gets in the way, but soon you will get used to it. I think it ads to the atmosphere. You should definitely at least try out this book and when you do, which should be soon, you will find it is a excellent read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is there a better story out there?
    NO, this has to be the best story I have ever read. I read this book recently to my 7 year old son. Wanting to show him the power of books. I was worried he'd be upset by the ending in this. I shouldn't of worried. I was the one who ended up crying and reading it to him at the same time. As an adult I felt foolish. He wasn't near as upset about it as me and I KNEW what was going to happen since I read it as a child myself. WOW, the power of a book. Simply amazing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time when I was a little girl
    I hate it when a reviewer gives the story away, so I won't. Safe to say, though, that when I was a little girl, I read a book in one night, under the covers with a flashlight. That book, of course, was WTRFG. I just re-read it again after 20 some-odd years. I am surprised to find that I cried as hard as I did as when I was 9. I was once again, so engrossed that I read it in one night, ignoring the fact that I had to work the next day. It is a beautiful story, a timeless one. A childhood favorite. I am amazed that it didn't win a Newberry Honor medal, or some other kind of award. This is one of the books that helped instill a loving of reading at an early age. A GEM, don't miss it. A story about a young boy on the brink of manhood and his love for his pups....whom he worked so hard for. You will laugh and cry, at age 9, 29, or 99. Buy it for your kids, and rea it for yourself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!
    Wow! this is one of the best book I have written in a long time. If you have not read Where the Red Fern Grows trust me it is the kind of book you will have regeted if you did not read it. Ok well the book is about a boy named Billy that works for his own needs. Billy wants to get 2 dogs that he can train to get racoons. He eventually works for weeks to get the money for his dogs and then gives the money to his grandfather for him to buy the dogs. Old Dan and Little Ann are the names of the two dogs. The exciting advetures that Billy,Old Dan and Little An go through are thrilling and endless. To top it all off the story has a twist at the end. You should definetly read this book to find out whuat happens! ... Read more


    12. The Complete Adventures of Curious George
    by H. A. Rey, H.A. Rey
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $20.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618164413
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-25)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 764
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Sixty years have passed since a curious little chimp in Africa met theman with the big yellow hat and got into the first of many scrapes. Decadeslater, George is as curious--and naughty--as ever. To celebrate the 60thanniversary of Curious George's debut, this special edition is a collection ofseven classic adventures by Margret and H.A. Rey, along with an introduction bycritic Leonard Marcus, a retrospective note by publisher Anita Silvey, a historyof the Reys by Dee Jones, curator of the de Grummond Children's LiteratureCollection, and a photo album. The many generations of fans of the "good littlemonkey who was always very curious" will be fascinated to learn how H.A. andMargret escaped on bicycle from German-occupied Paris, with just their wintercoats and several picture books (including a draft of Curious George, then calledFifi) strapped to the racks. Photos and essays reveal H.A. to have been agentle, humorous man, while Margret, by all accounts, was spirited and brutallydirect, with a keen business mind. The chemistry between them workedbeautifully. Between them, they created one of the most beloved characters inchildren's literature. This handsome volume includes Curious George,Curious George Takes a Job, Curious George Rides a Bike,Curious George Gets a Medal, Curious George Flies a Kite,Curious George Learns the Alphabet, and Curious George Goes to theHospital. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    5-0 out of 5 stars George stays in your mind forever !
    I loved George so much when I was little, even before I could read. My mom bought me one and she ended up buying all the other Georgefs books. Mine were written all Japanese, George's books are everywhere in the world and famous. I am 36 year-old (!) now, I still can remember some of the stories I read and adorable drawings of the books. I think this book even had an influence my "personality development" as a child. Good influences such as: be independent, be curious, be creative, be bold, be unique, be humorous, be even a little rebellious, be lovable. Very good chilren's book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Memories of old and new
    I absolutely loved Curious George when I was a child. It is so thrilling to watch that same excitement in my 3 y.o. daughter. She practically begs me to read her a story from the book every night. During the day, she loves to flip through the book looking for her favorite pictures. It's not often that children enjoy the same things that delighted their parents as children. I am so happy to able to share these stories with her!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Too much monkey
    The Curious George stories are cute in small doses but after awhile they become rather repetitive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Read at Bedtime
    When I was a child, curious George was one of my favorites, and now this fine book allows me to pass along George's adventures to my own children. Perhaps the best thing about this book is that it contains so many curious George stories. You could read a different story each night for several nights. My children have quickly become as fond of George as I was when I was a child. The accompanying illustrations are very colorful and they definitely grab a young child's attention. I highly recommend this fine children's book. It is a great book to share with your children and perhaps serve as a reminder to your own childhood.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Perfect under the tree!
    This makes a great gift. Curious George is a very fun character, who gets into really interesting situations. There's a lot of "story" here, and hours of reading fun.

    I like this one as it's become a cherished book for my kids. They read it together, and have lots of fun with it. ... Read more


    13. The Westing Game
    by Ellen Raskin
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140386645
    Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Non-Classics
    Sales Rank: 4171
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For twenty-five years, Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite and is now being reissued with a brand-new jacket by Kevin Hawkes and an introduction by Ann Durell.

    This highly inventive mystery involves sixteen people who are invited to the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. They could become millionaires, depending on how they play the tricky and dangerous Westing game, which involves blizzards, burglaries, and bombings. Ellen Raskin has entangled a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot filled with humor, intrigue, and suspense.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (457)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, lacking in content
    The story starts off with openings for six brand new apartments over looking Lake Michigan, six letters were sent to seemingly six random people and the deal was too good for all six to pass it up. A few weeks later the owner of the apartments, the mansion next door, and the local mill which makes paper is found dead in his bedroom on the night of Halloween by one of the people who lived in the apartments. A week later his will is read aloud to all the people who were receiving gifts, coincidentally only the people who lived in the apartment building which turns out to be sixteen people. When the will is read the sixteen heirs are split up into eight random groups of two people, each group then is given a set of what appears to be random words. This set of words are their clues, they have to find out who murdered the owner of the place whose name is Samuel Westing if they can figure it out they get the mansion. They are told that one of them is actually the murderer which sparks suspicion. This sets a game like atmosphere. Next the book describes the individual teams and how they try to use their clues. Many puzzling things happen on the way that change your view of the case.

    The rest is for you to read, I have not told to much so still buy this fascinating book. I enjoyed the book a lot and believe firmly that it deserves four stars out of the possible five. I enjoyed this book because it was very entertaining and hard to put down. This book also is a fantastic murder mystery which can appeal to both grown ups and to very young kids, however, the book is very different than a detective story. In fact the author, centers his writings on the characters which are very well explained and you can tell what each one is thinking. The author is able to do this brilliantly, by forming a game out of the mystery where the heirs to the will believe for a good portion of the book that to inherit the most money they must find out who the murder was.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The years pass, and still a must-read
    'The Westing Game' was my favorite book as a pre-teen, so when I returned to it years later, my expectations were low. Was I wrong! This book might be accessible to younger readers, but no one who loves a mystery with incredible characters should miss this for the world.

    While the plot centers around a less than run-of-the-mill whodunit, the book mainly focuses on the characters: each unique, bizarre, and ultimately endearing. The author manages to make them quirky without making them caricatures. The developing relationships between the 'heirs' as they attempt to unravel the mystery, is, I think, far more important than the mystery itself; they also develop in their sense of identity. These are all themes any adult can appreciate, woven into the story with humor and sly understatement, yet in effect deeply moving.

    The plot is complex and suspenseful, layered so impenetrably that at least one surprise at the end is inevitable. Yet even when wrapped in the most logical of puzzles, the author never loses the human touch. There are many scenes portrayed with hilarious, touching absurdity; and Raskin is dead-on with her take on human nature, even when her depiction seems exaggerated.

    Read it for a good chuckle--but in the end it may be more than that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    This book is about 16 "heirs" who, if they solve The Westing Game, will recieve a large sum of money. The characters are sorted into eight groups of two and are given a small list of clues.

    The 'Game' is full of mystery and alias'. You'll never guess it! Go ahead and try. Read this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No Reason To Ban
    I just finished THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin. Even with re-reading the last few pages, I still have yet to understand why this clever, complex, yet entertaining book was so controversial. The tangled storylines make you think, not assume the plot. This book was assigned to me as a "banned book" for my Children's Literature class at West Virginia State University. Banned or not, I recommend this book for amateur sleuths and inquisitive older children alike.

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!
    This book was great! I really loved the story and all of it's twists and turns. Although it was a little confusing with all the people, I think anyone my age would love this book. If you like mystery, comedy, and just about any kind of book, buy this one!!!!:) :) :b ... Read more


    14. Curious George Four Board Book Set
    by H. A. Rey, H.A. Rey, Margret
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $12.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618154248
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-24)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 2643
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Curious George, the beguiling little monkey, is one of the most beloved of all children"s book characters. Now this collection of four board books featuring Curious George is available in a sturdy, reusable, carry-along box. Brightly colored and suitably scaled for the youngest readers, the books feature art from the original storybooks by H. A. Rey. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Childhood Favorite
    I added this book to my registry because Curious George is a book I remember loving strongly when I was very young. Curious George is a classic, and I wanted to share that enjoyment with my little one, when she becomes old enough to understand it more.

    This set comes in a sturdy box that buttons to close and contains four different Curious George books inside. The books are all board books and each one has the bright and delightful cartoons that I remember inside.

    While my baby is still too young to get the gist of the stories, she does enjoy chewing on the book, hehe, and the bright colors keep her attention. This is an awesome gift set, especially for the good price. ... Read more


    15. When I Was Young in the Mountains (Reading Rainbow)
    by Cynthia Rylant
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140548750
    Catlog: Book (1985-05-01)
    Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 20046
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For twenty years, Cynthia Rylant's story of childhood in the Appalachian Mountains has been an enduring favorite. Growing up in the mountains is depicted with a spare, lyrical text and beautiful, tender illustrations by Diane Goode. The book was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal.

    To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, When I Was Young in the Mountains is being released with a commemorative copper-colored band.

    Illustrated by Diane Goode
    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story!
    I read this book to my children (then ages 3 and 6) and they both loved it. I always look for stories about people who live or lived differently than we do today to help my children realize how EASY we have it today. They were especially interested (and amused by) the "johnny house" (my son still paraphrases the part about the child promissing not to have more than one serving of okra again after having to make repeated trips to the johnny house at night).

    The illustrations were charming and complemented the text beautifully.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Appalachia never looked so good
    Author Cynthia Rylant has written a tender story of her childhood days, living in the Appalachian Mountains not so long ago. Accompanied by the excellent illustrator Diane Goode, the book is a straightforward look at life amongst the best-known American mountain folk. Scenes of daily life include everything from needing a brave adult to accompany you out into the dark scary night (on your way to the outhouse) to getting baptized in the local swimming hole.

    The book is remarkable for its lack of overt sentimentality. Some might disagree with me, but I was struck by how this book did not fail to note the less than desirable elements of living in the wilderness. Swimming in a swimming hole of your own might be fun. Just watch out for snakes. And baths required an awful amount of work. Pumping the water. Carrying it to the house. Heating it. Goode's delicate illustrations accompany the text of this story perfectly. If Rylant says that the proprietors of the local store (Mr. & Mrs. Crawford) were identical, then gosh darn it, the people look identical. And I especially adored the moment when the narrator's grandmother kills a big nasty snake in the woods. The next picture displays the narrator, her brother, and two other red-headed childred posing sheepishly for a traveling photographer, gigantic dead snake draped across their heads.

    I cannot think of many other book that take place in Appalachia. And I certainly can't think of any that are better than this. A sweet good-hearted story, "When I Was Young In the Mountains" understands what it meant to live a difficult life with pleasure and human warmth.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When I Was Young in the Mountains
    This is a magical book for those of us who remember grandmothers who were just like this. For me, a nostalgic evocation of time spent years ago in the West Virginia mountains with my grandmother doing the very things that are mentioned in this book. A very special book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A love song to the Appalachian region
    Cynthia Rylant's enduring favorite "When I Was Young in the Mountains" is the tale of her own childhood growing up in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. The gently repetitive text details her everyday life, from swimming in a swimming hole (even if there were snakes!) to taking a bath to drinking cocoa made by her grandmother. Each page starts off with, "When I was young in the mountains . . . " By the final page, we see that not only did Ms. Rylant appreciate her low-tech, memory-making childhood, but she wouldn't have traded it for anything.

    Diane Goode's softly colored illustrations beautifully dovetail with the text, whether she's showing a river baptism, a nighttime trip to the "johnny-house" after too much fried okra, or a stint at the water pump. It's a lovely ode to the simple life, and to being happy with what you have instead of worrying about what you don't have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories
    Reading this book was truly a joyous experience for me. I grew up in southern West Virginia and spent many days with my grandmother at her house out in the hills. Ms. Rylant's book reminded me so much of my own childhood! This book is beautifully written and illustrated, and brings to the reader a wonderful feeling of warmth and friendliness. Her descriptions are true-to-life, heartfelt, and easily understood by young children. ... Read more


    16. Summer of the Monkeys
    by WILSON RAWLS
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440415802
    Catlog: Book (1998-12-29)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 28460
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (82)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Monkey Trouble
    A boy named Jay Berry Lee, lives with his mom, dad, and his lil sister Daisy.He lives close to his grandma and grandpa.They live in a Cheroket Nation in Oklahoma.His grandpa owns his own store.
    Jay was walking outside and all of a sudden,he saw monkeys.His grandpa told him that the monkeys belonged to a circus,and they are really smart.He also said, they are offering a reward,$2 a monkey except they are offering $100 for the smartest monkey.He is the leader and he looks different than the other monkeys.His grandpa gave him some apples and traps so he could catch them.But the big smart ($100) monkey saw the traps and told the other monkeys so they wouldn't be traped.so, he didn't catch any.
    Then Jay Berry went back to his grandpa and he gave him a net.Will he catch any monkeys this time?Read the book to see what happens!! THIS IS A VERY GOOD BOOK!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Summer of the Monkeys a review by Ali
    Have you ever wondered what its like to meet a real live monkey. Well Jay Berry Lee got the chance to in this book, Summer on the Monkeys, by Wilson Rawls. For Jay Berry's birthday he got an animal trap. He got this trap from his grandfather so he could go catch the lose circus monkeys and so grandfather could get the reward money.
    Also in this book, Jay Berry's little sister, Daisy, tells him that there is an Old Man of the Mountains. She told him that he was technically the leader of the mountains; in other words, he was the supervisor of the mountains. She also said that this Old Man of the Mountains is only visible to the people that believe in him. Daisy says he comes to visit her all the time. Jay Berry is so gullible that he believes there is really an Old Man of the Mountains.
    The climax is when Jay Berry finds the monkeys. This was a funny occasion. People have a way of knowing what's going to happen next. That's what I like about this book; knowing something weird is going to happen next. If you really like mystery books, I encourage you to read this book, Summer of the Monkeys.

    3-0 out of 5 stars NOWHERE NEAR WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS
    Though this is a coming of age story, it is nowhere near the book that WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS was. Jay Berry Lee resides in Oklahoma circa 1900 when he hears a circus train has crashed, losing 29 monkeys. 28 of the monkeys have a $2 bounty on their heads and one chimp has $100 on his.

    Jay Berry dreams of catching the monkeys and buying a pony and a gun. Meanwhile, his sister has a crippled leg and his family cannot afford the medical care to fix it. Hmmm, I wonder how this story is going to turn out?

    Though entertaining and fanciful, the story looses some credibility when the monkeys get the boy drunk on moonshine. No, really. I wouldn't make that up.

    Everyone lives happily ever after. There is nothing to offend anyone in this book. Not even PETA. The monkeys are ethically treated throughout the novel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book ever
    The book Summer of the Monkeys is a book that sometimes can bring a tear to your eye. The author Wilson Rawls likes to do that in his books a lot. This book is about a boy that is fourteen years old. His name is Jay Berry and he lives in the river bottoms. He has a sister that was born with a crippled leg. His sister's name is Daisy. Jay Berry has been saving money for almost his whole entire life for a 22 rifle and a horse. At his grandpa's store, he saw a sign about lost monkeys and it was offering 2 dollars a monkey and a hundred dollars for one monkey called Jimbo. Jay Berry tried everything he could to catch them monkeys but the monkeys kept on tricking him. Read this book to find out if he finally catches the monkeys and gets his dream.
    This book will make you laugh and make you cry. It is filled with adventure and excitement. You don't want to miss it! by Josh

    5-0 out of 5 stars Summer of the Monkeys a review by Peter
    Have you ever tried to catch a whole bunch of wild monkeys? Well, in the book

    Summer of the Monkeys Wilson Rawls the protagonist, Jay Berry, tries to catch a

    load of monkeys that escaped from a circus train wreck. Each monkey is worth $2, but

    one of the animals that also escaped from the train wreck was not a monkey. The animal

    was a chimpanzee that was supposed to be as smart as almost any human, and he was

    worth $100!!!

    One bright morning Jay was walking down the path to his grandpa's house.

    When he got there his grandpa told Jay about the monkeys that had escaped from the circus train

    wreck and how much each was worth, but the thing was that the owners wanted the

    monkeys unharmed and alive. At first, Jay thought that it would be a quick and easy way

    to earn some cash, but he will soon learned how hard it really is to catch monkeys!

    Jay went down into the forest thinking he could make friends with the monkeys

    However, as he entered the forest, all was completely silent. Then the silence was broken by the

    monkeys. As Jay got closer he started to smell something like whiskey. Then Jay saw

    them. They were hooting and hollering like a dog chasing a rabbit and drinking sour

    mash. When Jay walked up to them the big, hairy, wet chimp offered him a cup of the mash,

    but Jay screamed, "NO! NO!" That really did it. The chimp went ballistic. So Jay took the

    tiny, round cup and drank it. Then the chimp gave Jay another and another and another

    until Jay was so drunk that he fell asleep. When he awoke his perfectly good blue pants

    were missing. Now he had to go home with no pants on. What will happen to Jay when he gets

    home?
    Will this be the end of Jays monkey catching days? Ladies and Gentlemen, I

    encourage you to read the book Summer of the Monkeys. ... Read more


    17. Cat Heaven
    by Cynthia Rylant
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0590100548
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Sales Rank: 11528
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (32)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you would want for your kitty is in "Cat Heaven"
    Thank you Cynthia, for such a sweet, touching, loving book. I have read it many many times - although I have yet to get past the page of kitty coming back and watching her family from outside without getting teary eyed!

    I also read this book with my 3 1/2 year old daughter, and it always sparks more wonderful conversation and questions about God and Heaven and angels. She is very pleased that the kitties in Cat Heaven have lots of "little pink fishes" to eat, lots of toys to play with and lots of love!

    Your whimsical, wonderful illustrations are refreshing and uplifting, and although the words are simple and few, they speak volumes to anyone who has ever loved and or lost a special cat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must-read for cat lovers
    I read a review of this book in a magazine and decided to purchase it. I ended up buying 2 copies - one for myself and one for a close friend whose cat is terminally ill. She found it so touching and comforting, and her son enjoys the story as well, particularly the pictures of cats sitting in God's lap and on top of God's head. I purchased it for my own family because we too have a terminally ill kitty. I knew it would be a wonderful way to prepare my daughter for our kitty's eventual passing. Of course losing a beloved kitty is tragic and heartbreaking. But this book does provide true comfort by encouraging the readers to envision their cat in a wonderful, loving place that truly is cat heaven.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful gift for the grieving cat owner
    I bought this book after loosing my kitty Juliet and it was such a comfort. It is a children's book, but it also comforts the adult heart after the loss of a beloved cat.

    I have given this book as a gift countless times to friends who have suffered a loss and also to adults whose children are having a difficult time understanding why their kitty is no longer with them. This is a real comfort when it comes to pet loss.

    There is also a version called Dog Heaven that is equally beautiful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This will touch your heart!
    I bought this book after loosing my kitty Juliet and it was such a comfort. It is a children's book, but it also comforts the adult heart after the loss of a beloved cat.

    I have given this book as a gift countless times to friends who have suffered a loss and also to adults whose children are having a difficult time understanding why their kitty is no longer with them. This is a real comfort when it comes to pet loss.

    There is also a version called Dog Heaven that is equally beautiful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for all ages
    We lost our cat several weeks ago, and I bought this book to help my young daughter with her feelings of grief. *I* was the one who ended up crying while reading it aloud to her, not because I was sad, but because the words and illustrations are so comforting. My daughter and I talked after reading it, and agreed that now we can picture our beloved kitty doing all of the wonderful things in the book. Cynthia Rylant was already our favorite author (the Mr. Putter and Tabby series is fantastic, as is the better known Henry and Mudge series.) She has captured our feelings once again with Cat Heaven -- it's just perfect. ... Read more


    18. Find the Constellations
    by H. A. Rey
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395244188
    Catlog: Book (1976-03-15)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 2026
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A delightfully illustrated, informative beginner's guide to locating and identifying constellations in the northern hemisphere, with an extensive index, glossary, and time table for sky viewing. ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The 'essential' first book on the stars
    H. A. Rey's classic "Find the Constellations" ranks among the clearest, most intuitive books on stargazing in print and is a must for any young person's personal library. Rey, using his wonderful talents as an illustrator and storyteller masterfully presents the stars in a simple to digest format, explaining the essentials one needs to know in order to appreciate and understand the night sky. Rey also adds the myths that gave the constellations their place in our culture and creates a book that provides countless hours of learning and enjoyment.

    Every adult should give their children or their favorite niece or nephew a copy of this book and enjoy with them tender nights discovering the wonders of the heavens.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The "essential" first book on the constellations
    H. A. Rey's classic "Find the Constellations" ranks among the clearest, most intuitive books on stargazing in print and is a must for any young person's personal library. Rey, using his wonderful talents as an illustrator and storyteller masterfully presents the stars in a simple to digest format, explaining the essentials one needs to know in order to appreciate and understand the night sky. Rey also adds the myths that gave the constellations their place in our culture and creates a book that provides countless hours of learning and enjoyment.

    Every adult should give their children or their favorite niece or nephew a copy of this book and enjoy with them tender nights discovering the wonders of the heavens.

    5-0 out of 5 stars teach this unto thy children
    I've long been a fan of Rey's (of Curious George fame) The Stars, a New Way to See them, but that is a bit more complex and geared towards adults and advanced students. This book is ideal for children and parents alike because Rey breaks down the major constellations one by one and draws them so they look like real pictures, not like those horrible drawings in the NY Times and other publications. His lion looks like a lion! The text is very basic, easy to follow and explains the basic astro stuff like stars, planets, magnitudes, but not much more. The major reason to buy this book if you already have his other book is for the handy sky charts. Unlike his more advanced book which has an entire sky map, this book as more handy "sky view" charts which are an easier way to learn the night sky. Another winner from H.A. Rey that anyone can profit from if interested in learning the stars!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's the Greatest!
    I'm a doc with over 3 years of post-doc training and I can't think of a single science text which is more enjoyable to read. Even after 16 years of astronomical observation, I still think of the constellations as Rey drew them (they are easier to remember), and I still get this text out when I want to show someone how to enjoy astronomy. If all science writers were like Mr Rey, we wouldn't be too worried about scientific illiteracy in this country. Along with its twin, The Stars, it stands alone. This treasure is "for kids from one to ninety-two."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful crumb-cruncher book!
    This was one of my favorite books as a child, and I think the sticking power comes from two ares. First, this book is wonderfully illustrated by H. A. Rey of "Curious George" fame. Second, the book is useful--it can be used every night, with the one qualifier being that the sky must be clear.

    Being a city boy (San Francisco Bay Ares), the light pollution dround out the lesser magnitude stars, so what I saw in the sky matched up with what I saw in the book.

    I never went anywhere with astronomy, but it is a fun hobbie, and you can impress people with the knowledge of the stars. This book makes you look smarter than you really are, and isn't that what life is about? ... Read more


    19. The Stars : A New Way to See Them
    by H. A. Rey
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395248302
    Catlog: Book (1976-11-18)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 3946
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This is a clear, vivid text with charts and maps showing the positions of the constellations the year round. ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A permanent addition to my stargazing library ! Wonderful!!
    About 12 years ago, I checked this book out of the library and was immediately pleased to discover how quickly and easily I was able to become familiar with a sky that used to be a confusing jumble of stars. I ended up renewing the book over and over again until I finally bought myself a copy. The author does such a wonderful job of drawing the constellations by connecting the stars in a way that makes them so easy to find. He also provides a little bit of history about each constellation which adds to the significance of what you are learning. An excellent manual for those who want stargazing to be easy and a whole lot of fun!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The One Book to Take with You to a Desert Island
    This book will change the way you look at the night sky. Instead of just looking up and seeing a random scattering of stars, you will look up and see familiar old friends who rise and fall every year right on schedule. Even in city lights you will be able to pick out the brighter constellations. Leo, Virgo, Gemini, and all the other stars of the zodiac, which were only known by the horo- scopes in the daily paper, will take on new meaning as the flight path for the planets. Trips to the southern latitudes will be seen as an opprotunity to see new stars not visible from home, and trips out into the country will become opprotunities to try and spot some of the dimmer constellations. And best of all, it's very easy. H.A.Rey has taken the old confusing star charts, and reconnected the lines. Now Leo the Lion now actually looks like a lion! And Gemini the Twins, actually looks like a pair of twins! It is a wonderful book for everyone from ages eight to adult. And for those young- er, Rey has put out an equally wonderful children's version called "Find the Constellations." If you've ever had a child who has looked up at the night sky and asked you, "Daddy, what star is that?" and you didn't know, you need this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book ever on Stargazing
    This is my first book I ever read on stargazing but it feels like I know the stars since ages. The format is very simple, organized and interesting. The author assumes no prior knowledge and goes on to explain the cosmos in a very very simple language.
    I just love it and am going to recommend this to whoever is interested in Stargazing...the first and the best book on the subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A "New" Old Book
    Here is a book review of an old book, written by H. A. Rey, the author of the "Curious George" books (no relation to me!). _The Stars: A New Way to See Them_ was first written in 1952. Houghton-Mifflin's 3rd edition, dated 1973, is available in bookstores and online at Amazon.com. I recently picked up a used 1966 edition.

    Rey's book was written for children to help them learn to recognize the constellations. As you may know, few of the constellations seem to resemble the character or object they are supposed to represent. It takes an awfully good imagination to see Bootes as a shepherd, or Auriga as a charioteer, or Aries as a ram. Rey takes those same star patterns and rearranges the lines to produce stick figures that actually look like something. Not only that, they have the appearance of the intended object or character of mythology. Perseus looks like he's coming to Andromeda's rescue. Monoceros looks like a stick-figure unicorn, and Camelopardalis looks like a skinny giraffe.

    Rey's book _The Stars_ is laid out in four parts: Part 1 is "Shapes in the Sky", where he describes old and new ways of arranging the stars. Part 2 is "Meet the Constellations", where he shows a diagram of each constellation and gives a bit of information about it. In Part 3, "The Stars Throughout the Year" he has twelve sets of calendar charts - with and without the lines drawn in -- and explains that the sky is always changing, as the earth travels in its path around the sun. Additional calendar charts include viewing areas farther north and south than most of us are familiar with. Part 4, "Some Whys and Hows" goes into some technical details on the celestial sphere, the path of the ecliptic, why we have seasons, the earth's orbit, solar and sidereal time, precession, and other topics for those with an inquiring scientific mind. It is not necessary to read or understand this section to enjoy the book, but it adds to its value as a learning tool. Rey tells about the moon and its phases, gives a good description of a cross-section of the Milky Way galaxy, and gives some facts about the planets. The planetary tables won't do me much good in the twenty-first century, though. My 1966 edition has planetary tables from 1961 through 1970. The newer edition may have updated tables, however. A 2001 reviewer of the book on Amazon.com says it has planetary tables for the next ten years.

    The back pages of the book contain a good index and glossary, a whole-sky chart, an index to the constellations by their English names and by their classical Latin names, and a list of the twenty brightest stars. Hans Augusto Rey has provided enough information in this little 160-page book to satisfy any "Curious George", me included.>Now, if you prefer the classical representations of the constellations, you might not care for Rey's rearrangement of their appearance. For instance, the tail of the Great Bear becomes her nose, and Hercules's body becomes his head. But at least the figures are memorable, and if it helps kids - or adults - to learn the star patterns in the night sky, I would say it has accomplished a lot. I highly recommend this book to stargazers everywhere, young or old. Amateur astronomers can use it to help young people and astronomy novices get comfortable with wandering the skies at night.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was stunned...
    I bought this book for a (now ex)girlfriend, a Ph.D. candidate in Astronomy, as a gag gift.

    Having a fairly good science background, I thought it was a children's book that would have no use to me.

    My GF fell in love with the gift and it has lasted much longer than our relationship. Using this book, she explained things about astronomy to me that I had never even heard of. She went on to use it in teaching an undergraduate astronomy course.

    Rey uses his talents as a children's author to make concepts clear and give an excellent basic understanding of astronomy. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in astronomy, or even someone dating an astonomer ;) ... Read more


    20. Swallows and Amazons (Godine Storyteller)
    by Arthur Ransome
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 087923573X
    Catlog: Book (1986-01-01)
    Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
    Sales Rank: 23248
    Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Shortlisted for the Keith Barker Millennium Children’s Books Award.

    Aboard the Swallow, John, Susan, Titty and Roger find themselves under attack from the fierce Amazon Pirates, Nancy and Peggy.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Swallows and Amazons forever!
    I read this book for the first time when I was 37 and loved it so much I took to the sea and had adventures of my own. It's a wonderful, wonderful book for anyone who has ever dreamed of being on a boat -- or even for anyone who hasn't. Pemmican, bunloaf and chocolate have become staples of my diet; the descriptions of Susan's meals are out-of-this-world. In addition, the book is filled with practical lessons for sailing from how to line up markers to get into a hidden harbor to how to sail at night. I am Titty and my friend is Susan because he keeps careful lists and is always prepared. Our boat is "Summer Song" and we sail on the coast of Maine. We're looking forward to David Godine's publication of the complete series of books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting book for children [and adults] of all ages!
    The first book in the Swallows and Amazons series, this book contains the adventures of the swallows, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, and their amazon pirate friends, Nanci and Peggy. Adventure is the keyword for this book. Battles with the amazons, the taking of Captain Flint and his walking of the plank, fishing for sharks and camping on desert islands. Swallows and Amazons contains all of this and more. An exciting read for all ages, it is a guide to adventure, camping and sailing that can't be beat. A must for any bookshelf

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Delight
    I first read this when I was a child, and remember crying buckets when it finished because I thought there was no more - in fact I was wrong, there are eleven more books, all wonderful. These stories are full of joy, inoocence and adventure, and are a tonic in our dark and uncertain times. I visited the scenes of some of them in England, and was surprised at how geographically exact they are. The characters are real, the stories believeable, and, with the various illustrations by the author, they create a truely magic world. They are also books about how to do things. You can, for example. p[ick up quite a good education in sailing and seamanship from reading them, along with how to smelt gold, burn charcoal, survey tidal mudflats, and all manner of other things. Hal GP Colebatch's book, "Return of the Heroes," which I have reviewed in its own page, sets out a good deal about Ransome, and among other things indicates some relationships between him and Tolkien. If you love sailing, and the innocent, sunny golden days of childhood, buy these books and do yourself a favour. If you have hildren, buy these books for them!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic deserving of a wider audience
    I didn't discover Ransome's series until I was in my 20s, but I picked the first one up out of curiosity and was hooked.

    As a child, I was a great explorer, going all over the local landscape, giving names to the different topographical features. I loved to camp and ramble. I loved boating, although I never sailed, and a picnic on an island in the river nearby (and a chance to explore said island on my own while everyone else was fishing) was a joy I'll never forget.

    This book, and the others in the series, recapture those happy days for me. This one is very innocent, with no real violence or menace, but full of joyful adventure. The children are great role models; they're feisty and independent, yet still respectful of their elders. They're imaginative but know when to set aside their fantasies and deal with realities.

    The book also conveys the joy of adventure and the great outdoors, and also shows that everyone has something important to contribute. Sure, one member of the group might be more interested in cooking and provisions, but that's necessary.

    The adults take a back seat in these books, generally, but they're there. This one, especially, can be seen as a test by the parents to see how responsible their children are, and it's implicit that the kids are doing their best to prove themselves to their parents. The parents don't neglect them, they're there if they're needed, and check up on them regularly, but they also give them space to ramble and have an adventure.

    Today it may seem as if these parents are letting their kids run wild; but I think families today could use books like this. When you have kids who are shuttled back and forth to band practice and swim team and heaven knows what else, they need the time to just relax and let things happen. When kids live in front of the TV and play video and computer games all day, they need to be reminded that there is all sorts of adventure outside. When kids are smothered by overprotective or controlling parents, they need space to be independent and prove themselves.

    The only caveat I can give this book is sometimes the language can be confusing. The accumulation of sailing terms can bog a novice down, and there are some Britishisms that may puzzle some American readers, like referring to something called "bunloaf" and calling dessert "pudding." But heck, that's only minor, and ideally will inspire readers to do some research.

    I highly recommend this for older readers, for children who enjoy the great outdoors or for children who have the opportunities and need to be inspired to take them. Adults, like me, who have happy memories of exploring will enjoy this as well, and it may inspire more adventures! These books may inspire you to buy more camping equipment, so beware! :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale of times gone by
    Recently I've started going back and re-reading some of the books I loved as a child - something insprired by Francis Spufford's wonderful "The Child That books Built".

    One of my favorite series from my childhood was the Swallows & Amazons series. How I loved the idea of sailing off with the Walker and Blackett children; I had the biggest crush on Nancy that I've ever had for a fictional character!

    So, here I am re-reading them and they are truly as marvellous as they ever were. If you have any interest in sailing, camping, the lake district or just plain good story telling, read these books.

    The first in the series, Swallows & Amazons, is also, arguably, the best of the bunch. This is the tale at it's purest and before more and more characters come in to dilute the stories a little. Don't get me wrong - a number of the other books are also five star candidates but there will always be a special place in my heart for the one that started it all.

    For children today, I think these tales will still give something. For their time the girls in the stories were very strong characters - in particular Nancy Blackett holds her own with any of the boys. And where we do find some rather ... examples (the girls cook while the boys mend sails) I think we can easily put it in the context of the time, and use it as a touchpoint for how far equality has come (or perhaps to use examples of families where it really hasn't changed much).

    Arthur Ransome is very detailed about the specifics of sailing; for me that was part of the beauty of the books. I never did learn to sail but I always thought I could after reading his novels! But, if that's not your cup of tea, feel free to skip those parts - you won't lose much by doing so. ... Read more


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