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    $17.99 list($29.99)
    1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
    $15.98 list($16.95)
    2. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
    $13.57 list($19.95)
    3. Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)
    $5.85 $3.20 list($6.50)
    4. The Giver
    $72.95 list($115.79)
    5. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set
    $10.20 $9.88 list($15.00)
    6. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's
    $45.00 $12.63 list($75.00)
    7. Harry Potter and the Order of
    $44.07 $40.70 list($69.95)
    8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of
    $64.99 list($85.80)
    9. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set
    $10.87 list($15.99)
    10. Cirque Du Freak #9: Killers of
    $32.97 $28.65 list($49.95)
    11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
    $4.99 $1.80
    12. Five Children and It (Puffin Classics
    $10.87 list($15.99)
    13. Warriors: The New Prophecy #1:
    $9.71 $8.47 list($12.95)
    14. Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set:
    $8.06 $3.89 list($8.95)
    15. Hoot
    $6.29 $1.30 list($6.99)
    16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    $6.00 $2.00
    17. Half Magic
    $32.97 $30.20 list($49.95)
    18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of
    $8.96 list($11.95)
    19. Carnival at Candlelight (Magic
    $9.71 $5.99 list($12.95)
    20. The Red Book

    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. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl (Hardcover))
    by Eoin Colfer
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $15.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786852895
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Miramax
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    Book Description

    Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl is back…and so is his cunning enemy from Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, Opal Koboi. At the start of the fourth adventure, Artemis has returned to his unlawful ways. He's in Berlin, preparing to steal a famous impressionist painting from a German bank. He has no idea that his old rival, Opal, has escaped from prison by cloning herself. She's left her double behind in jail and, now free, is exacting her revenge on all those who put her there, including Artemis. ... Read more


    3. Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)
    by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 037582670X
    Catlog: Book (2005-08-23)
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 1770
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    4. The Giver
    by LOIS LOWRY
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440237688
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-10)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 959
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


    From the Paperback edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2207)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel - Worth all the praise & adoration it gets!
    After Lois Lowry produced the entrancing 'Number The Stars' it didn't seem possible that she could produce a work, for children, to top it. With 'The Giver' she easily met that goal.

    'The Giver' appears to be a rather simple story of a young boy (12 years old to be exact) named Jonas who lives in a seamingly perfect society. He is given the task of becoming the 'Receiver of Knowledge'; an apprentice to the 'Giver of Knowledge'. But that is where the simpleness ends.

    The 'knowledge' spoken of in Jonas' job title is all of the memories of pain and suffering that were collected to rid all citizens of uncomfort. The Giver telepathically has to give Jonas all of these memories so he can suffer the pain of famine, war, disease, and death - to spare the community.

    The themes in this novel are profound. The thought of a 'utopia' is considered extensively, but it is clearly shown that a perfect world can not exist -- therefore, 'distopia'. The novel also deals with life, death, indivuality, and more; an amazing amount of thought-provoking subjects for a book with a grade 4.5 reading level.

    This book, however, may not be suitable for younger readers. Death is a common theme and the murder of an infant is described. There are mild nods to sexuality, but many young readers will dismiss these as benign.

    A must read for students as well as adults! Excellent job, Ms. Lowry. You gave America another profound and excellent novel - one that will be on schools' required reading lists for many years to come!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A children's version of 1984, only more entertaining
    My own personal grudge against the book comes from the extent of the writing profession, and how it beared so scary and remarkable a resemblence to one of my unpublished ramblings into the SF genre. I had plans of doing a novel where all emotion is stripped away, set in a world much like THE GIVER. Then when I read it, I was somewhat concerned for my own work.

    Anyway, this is often comparted to a children's 1984. Yes, while it does bear resemblance to 1984, this book is wonderful on its own terms. The story is the world has been taken down into a utopia, a place with no crime and no feeling, no true feeling. The family establishment is essentially nil with no sexuality at all (this resembles the dominant theme in my own work). Birth Mothers are the source of the population, though it does not give the identity of the fathers. Work and family comes about by selection. Jonas, the hero, has been selected to be the Reciever of Memory. It is here he realises how shockingly sterile and devoid of beauty his world truly is. The ending, somewhat vague, rewards the reader by not giving away to much detail.

    For those readers who will be travelling on to Orwell after this, go to ANIMAL FARM, my own personal favorite, and then 1984 for when they're older.

    Like all good children's literature, this book deserves to be read by both adults and children alike. Bravo Lowry!

    Other significant works by Lowry: Number the Stars.

    Mike London

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant dystopian novel
    This is a complex, beautiful book that offers a look into a futuristic dystopia in which there is no color, no aberation, no hot or cold, and no personal choices. Drugs are taken to repress sexual urges and even out temprament, and careers are chosen for children based on their aptitude. Children are raised in prearranged family units. There is no privacy and no personal choice, but is this really a bad thing if people have no concept of those things? There is no hunger, emotional pain, violence, crime, war, or sadness.

    Growing up in this world is Jonas, a bright 12 year old who is about to receive his career assignment. He is given the important but extremely rare job of "Reciever": the keeper of "memories" of what life was like before the creation of his utopian world. Slowly, he begins to see color, to learn what love, hate, death, and heartbreak are like. He begins to understand that some of the "happy" things around him maybe aren't so happy.

    The brilliance of this book is that the world unfolds gradually. Lowry does not hit us over the head with an up-front description: in fact, the place starts out sounding fairly normal if a bit Montesori. Slowly, though, the reader realizes quite how foreign this world is. Lowry is a deft writer with an excellent sense of subtlety.

    Ultimately, this book is about the importance of cultural memory. The idea of cultural memory is probably a new one for kids, and some of the concepts of death and destruction might be a little disturbing, so I recomend that parents read this book too so that they can discuss it with their children. This in no way means that I think that it is innapropriate for kids: I just think that it is an amazing starting point for discussion about what makes us human. Please read my review of "A Wrinkle in Time" (also made today) for my thoughts on how these two books are related.

    This is a moving, thought-provoking book that is a great read for adults as well as kids. Adults might find it interesting that the idea of a drugged-to-make-them-"normal" population where everyone is encouraged to analyze and discuss every aspect of their lives sounds eerily familiar...

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant dystopian novel
    This is a really brilliant book, which everyone should read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Giver
    Kiddoes, I just finished rereading this book for about the eighth time, but I'll try to transport my mind back in time to when I first read it. I think you'll get a better perspective that way.

    It's about a society that wants to be 'perfect'. Well, actually, 'perfect' wouldn't be the best word. I suppose that they want everything to be structured and uniform. They call it in the book 'Sameness'.

    There are books and movies about futures that stink, but, let me tell you, this is an especially insane one.

    The land is climate-controlled, and completely the same. Flat; no hills, no valleys. No colors, even. And it isn't just the outside that's controlled... The people don't love, aren't sad or guilty... basically, they don't feel human emotions. Only the Receiver is allowed to experience those things, and he is the keeper for the entire community... without him, the memories would be unleashed and the community would revert to chaos.

    People have their jobs chosen for them, their mates chosen, even their children. You get to old? You're 'released'. (Releasing is killing, if you haven't figured that out.) A twin, and smaller than your brother or sister? You're released. Make a mistake, like flying in the wrong direction? Released. It's scary about what you can't do...

    Jonas is chosen as the new Receiver, and (surprise) he's the character that the book centers around. We read about his life before he is selected, during, and afterwards, and I don't know about you, but it was a major shock to me that there wasn't color.

    I'm not sure if I can say that I LOVED this book. Loving would imply that I loved the concepts, and also would imply that I wasn't horrified while I was reading it. Happy little kiddoes in America aren't really exposed to this kind of stuff... not even CLOSE to it.

    But I really respect it, and totally understand why it's a classic. Lois Lowry got a fan with this book; Number the Stars didn't quite do it for me.

    And another thing I think people need to understand about this book is that even though the text is simple and that youngsters can READ it, the concepts are meant for older kids. ... Read more


    5. 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


    6. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales)
    by M. T. Anderson
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152053409
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 532
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Lucky for Lily Gefelty, her two best friends are the stars of their own middle-grade series of novels: Jasper Dash (better known as the Boy Technonaut) and Katie Mulligan (beloved by millions as the heroine of the Horror Hollow series). It's going to take all their smarts to stop this insane, inane plot from succeeding.

    This first installment of a riotous and wonderfully weird new series marks the Harcourt debut of award-winning author M. T. Anderson. With Whales on Stilts, he's entering new territory, creating a smart, sassy, and self-aware comedy that fans of Lemony Snicket will snicker and snort over.

    Look for future installments of M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales, coming soon!
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
    A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down. You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

    With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

    Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great fun!
    We just finished Whales on Stilts--we'll I was reading it to my nine year old and he couldn't wait to finish it so I finished it after him--anyway--very funny, over the top--lol!We loved the end of the book "literature circle" discussion prompts and essay question starters. We spent an hour making up our own silly book club discussion questions after reading MT Anderson's and had fun using his format to lampoon other books my son had to read for literature circle this year.We hope there will be more to come!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Monstrous Thrills! Gruesome Chills! Sidesplitting Laughs!"
    "On Career Day Lily visited her dad's work with him and discovered he worked for a mad scientist who wanted to rule the earth through destruction and desolation." Lily Gefelty has always considered herself a little drab next to her friends Katie Mulligan and Jasper Dash, who each have their own adventure book series. But when Lily uncovers a plot to take over the world at her fathers workplace in the clearly labeled Abandoned Warehouse, it's her turn to step into the limelight and save the planet. Cleverly masked as "a midsize company devoted to expanding cetacean pedestrian opportunities," the goings on in the Abandoned Warehouse are not what they seem (er, actually...). Lily and her friends discover that Mr. Gefelty's boss, Larry, is really a whale-human hybrid intent on destroying the world using whales, stilts, lazers, and mind control. And it's up to Lily to stop him.

    At first glance, you may think that "Whales on Stilts" is a silly, cheesy story geared towards ten-year-olds. You'd be right. However, "Whales on Stilts" goes so far beyond cheesy that it's positively hilarious for readers of any age, ten on up. If Douglas Adams had made a foray into juvenile fiction, this uproarious book may have been the result. Lily is so normal that she's the perfect main character to put into such a ridiculously overdone book. The other characters are uniquely strange in their own rights. The plot is straightforward and wouldn't be interesting at all in other circumstances, but the story is so stuffed with hilarity that the obvious and cliche plot is perfect. The best part of the book, in my opinion, actually occurs after the ending - an "educational" section written by one Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke, who seems to have a bit of trouble writing objectively ("1. How are Katie, Jasper, and Lily different? ... Do you have any friends who are different from you? What are they like? Why don't you think that Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke has any friends? She bought a big grill for her backyard, hoping that people would come to cook their ribs...."). "Whales on Stilts" is definitely a must read, because who knows when you'll need to know how to defeat an evil whale-human villain and his lazer-eyed whale minions?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stilted Whales
    A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down.You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

    With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

    Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you. ... Read more


    7. 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
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    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


    8. 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


    9. 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


    10. Cirque Du Freak #9: Killers of the Dawn : Book 9 in the Saga of Darren Shan
    by Darren Shan
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316156264
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-11)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 32690
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    11. 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


    12. Five Children and It (Puffin Classics - the Essential Collection)
    by E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar
    list price: $4.99
    our price: $4.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140367357
    Catlog: Book (1996-12-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 87506
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    To Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother, the house in the country promises a summer of freedom and play.But when they accidently uncover an accident Psammead--or Sand-fairy--who has the power to make wishes come true, they find themselves having the holiday of a lifetime, sharing one thrilling adventure after another.

    Asleep since dinosaurs roamed the earth, the ill-tempered, odd--looking Psammead --with his spider-shaped body, bat's ears, and snail's eyes --grudgingly agrees to grant the children one wish per day.Soon, though the children discover that their wishes have a tendancy to turn out quite differnetly than expected. Whatever they wish whether it's to fly like a bird, live in a mighty castle, or have an immense fortune --something goes terribly wrong, hilariously wrong.

    Then an accidental wish has horrible consequences, and the children are faced with a difficult choice: to let an innoncent manbe charged with a crime or to lose for all time their gift of magical wishes.Five Children and It is on of E. Nesbit's most beloved tales of enchantment.This deluxe gift edition, featuring twelve beautiful watercolor paintings by Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky, is sure to be treasured addition to every family's library.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    4-0 out of 5 stars My review of "Five Children and It"
    This book is about Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother who discover a Psammead,
    or Sand-fairy, who agrees to grant the children one wish per day.
    Soon, their wishes start to turn quite unlike what they expected.
    Then, an accidental wish has terrible consequences, and the kids
    are faced with a hard choice: to let an innocent man be charged
    with a crime, or to lose their gift of magical wishes.

    I read this book in one day, and I thought it was pretty good.
    This book turned out to be fairly interesting.
    I would probably read "Five Children and It" again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sandy delight
    This 1902 fantasy, a gift from my parents when I was in fourth or fifth grade, features an irritable Psammead whom Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother dig up in a sand pit. Then the magic begins. The sand-fairy does not like granting wishes, and his misshapen body with bat's ears and snail's eyes bloats when he does. The wishes, lasting only until sunset, all take unexpected, funny turns.

    The sand-fairy and other personalities and Victorian details render the magic entirely real-world, believable. This was my favorite children's book and I relived the delight when I found a copy to share with my own children. That this volume is illustrated by one of my favorite people from one of my favorite families triples the delight.

    The book is too challenging for independent reading for children under 10, but it's a great read-aloud for small children, as are the classics of Frank Baum, E.B. White and C.S. Lewis.

    Edith Nesbit was like J. K. Rowling a single mother in need of a means to support her children. Her books in their era were as popular as Harry Potter in this one. Some of her observations are surprisingly humane. Nesbit's treatment of a clan of Gypsies, for example, transcends the deep prejudice of her time. Not to worry, the book is not preachy or teachy. It's just grand, eloquent fun. Alyssa A. Lappen

    5-0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for...
    E. Nesbit's classic story of about some Edwardian children who find a sand fairy one summer is an unsentimental delight. Each day the odd fairy grants them one magic wish, be it beauty, wealth, great size, etc. which will only last until sunset. Somehow each wish they make turns into a disaster, but through their own cleverness and a bit of luck, the children are able to make each problem work out in the end. Nesbit's writing is particularly full of amusing asides and offbeat humor in this one. Her turns of plot are inventive, and as the plucky children face their outlandish predicaments, it becomes clear that Nesbit has her finger on the pulse of the way real children might think. Her work has held up quite well considering it is over a hundred years old. This novel would be suitable for kids in about fourth or fifth grade.

    3-0 out of 5 stars sadly, this classic does not stand up to the test of time
    Edith Nesbit is a charming writer. She tells her story with wit and humour, and interjects sly digs that engender a wink and a smile, but while the premise is timeless and interesting, the prose is extremely dated, making the book a bit tedious to read for any length of time. Also, the ideas and prejudices exhibited by the characters date the material.

    The five siblings of the title, who have found a Sand-fairy willing to grant them one wish a day, continually make silly wishes that get them into trouble. Their first wish is to be "as beautiful as the day". Right there you get a sense of the book's outdated charm. This is of interest more as a tribute to a talented children's writer of a bygone era rather than for its own sake.

    I wanted to enjoy this classic, but I found it hard slogging through. That is just my opinion, however, but I'd suggest you read a bit of the text before purchasing it unless you're already familiar with, or particularly interested in, author Nesbit.

    Caveat: The occasional black-and-white line drawings are by H.R. Millar, not the Paul Zelinsky watercolors promised in the Editorial Reviews section.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A cynic's delight
    I doubt I would have liked "Five Children and It" even as a child: an ordinary child's troubles are so much more troublesome than the challenges these kids face, it's almost (but not quite) funny. Cyril, Robert, Anthea, and Jane live in a countryside mansion replete with servants, they take trips to toy stores where they can buy whatever their hearts desire (the author informs us that this is the way children ought to be brought up), and inside a gravel-pit they have found a prehistoric sand-fairy that grants them wishes, one each day, but all their wishes have been turning out rotten so far. Well, boo hoo.

    It isn't the concept that bothers me; it is the execution. Baum's and Carroll's heroines face comparable situations, but neither authors' books evoked such negative reactions from me. The reasons why the children's wishes fail I found especially abominable: when peerless beauty is wished for, the maid won't let them in since they look like "eyetalian monkeys"; when wealth is asked for and antique guineas appear by the bushel, the kids are arrested for thieves; when stolen jewellery magically reappears, it is Beale, the gameskeeper, who is immediately and incontrovertibly the chief suspect; when the four wish (accidentally) for the baby to grow up, the Lamb (Or Devereuz, or Hilary, or St Maur, as he should be rightly called) becomes a snappish fop. Nesbit draws miscellaneous moralistic lessons from her tale ("I cannot pretend that stealing is right"), but what use are these lessons when you are arrested whether or not you tell the truth? I would much rather Nesbit turn a cynical eye on the people she is describing, instead of using her keen powers of observations to weave an antithetical yarn.

    At least her prose is reasonable enough. Nesbit's language is lucid, and while her sentence structure is rather sophisticated, it is not unduly so. Sadly, the same cannot be said of her characters. The four children who are the novel's protagonists are essentially the only developed characters, and while they are developed rather well, with plausibility and realism, they are bland. They are honest, noble, polite, friendly, sociable, and well-off; they treat the servants and people of lower station as functionaries, tools, ways of getting from A to B, and so does the author. Thus, there is little desire on the reader's part to come to know them better. They allow little conflict, little empathy. I'm probably the first to levy the charge that they have little wit and, if not for the fact that the wishes disappear at sundown, they would have great difficulty dealing with ther wishes.

    But more about those wishes: it is quite surprising how many of them are accidental. In fact, there is little premeditated wishing going on past chapter six: otherwise, Nesbit would have been hard-pressed to find a reason for the children to wish for marauding Indians. What lesson are we, as readers, to draw from this? "Word your wishes carefully?" I'm reminded of the movie "Big," in where a twelve-year-old wishes to be grown-up to impress an older girl, and instead becomes Tom Hanks and scares the heck out of everybody. Just once I'd like a book where the characters get their hearts' true desires and have to come to terms with THAT. ... Read more


    13. Warriors: The New Prophecy #1: Midnight (Warriors: The New Prophecy)
    by Erin Hunter
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060744499
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 91235
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    14. 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


    15. Hoot
    by CARL HIAASEN
    list price: $8.95
    our price: $8.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375829164
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-11)
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 16545
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and-here's the odd part-wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.
    Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen's Florida.


    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (112)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hoot
    I read Carl Hiaasen's first novel for young readers called HOOT. I think that the book is real good. It made me be happy and it made me laugh a lot. I live in the state of Florida so I know what he means by hot summer days.

    My favorite part of this book is when Officer Delinko's patrol car gets spray painted by the vandal, which is Mullet Fingers or should I say Napoleon Bridger Leep. It was funny when Officer Delinko falls asleep and when he wakes up sees his patrol car windows are spray painted black. Officer Delinko thought it was early in the morning, but it was really nine thirty. I laughed my head off in this part. Another part I liked was the part that Roy mooned Dana and Dana got real mad and chased Roy about three blocks.

    My favorite character was Beatrice. She seemed so tough, but she cared about the owls. She really didn't like her step mom so I laughed when Beatrice bit the ring off Lonna's toe.
    With this book I learned you should take care of your environment and stick up for what you think is right! This is a GREAT book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Novel
    The site of Coconut Cove's future Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House is experiencing a slight problem: documents removed, alligators in the port-a-potties, and painted-over patrol cars. But who's behind the clever vandalism and pranks? New Florida resident Roy Eberhardt isn't aware of this going on, but he has often noticed a barefoot boy running down the street faster than anything.Roy was curious, he starts to search around and even follows the boy once, only to be told by Beatrice Leep, a.k.a. Beatrice the Bear, to mind his own business. Despite Beatrice's warning and plenty of bullying from the jerk Dana Matherson, Roy follows the boy, whose name is Mullet Fingers, one day and ends up in the middle of an environmetal mission to save a society of burrowing owls from being bulldozed.

    Full of colorful characters, Hoot is a quick-witted adventure that will keep readers hooked. With down-to-earth Roy, dumbfounded Officer Delinko, and construction site manager Curly.The author delivers an appealing cast of characters that keep the plot twisting and turning until the highly charged ending.
    This book was great because the plot was some what a reality in a lot of places. Also,friendships,courage and comedy put this story together to make one outstanding novel. I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Appropriately named
    I love all of Carl Hiaasen's works and HOOT, even though it's touted for the younger set, is no exception. With the same great writing, style, and sense of humor that is found in McCrae's THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (though that one's definitely NOT for children), Hiaasen hits his mark once again with this book. Using endangered species as the jumping off point, Hiassen weaves a tale that only he could come up with. The twistedness of his ideas, coupled with great writing, make this one of the most unusual books ever written. Thanks to Carl Hiaasen for giving us this stellar work.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hoot
    With rich detail and the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, Carl Hiaasen wrote an award winning novel, Hoot. In the story Roy Eberhardt moves to Coconut Cove, Florida from the rolling mountains of Montana. Making new friends is hard but Dana Matherson, school bully, takes all the blame for a wonderful relationship with a tough brother and sister. Going through fights and playing tricks doesn't stop this adventurous threesome from defending something precious and small. Mother Paula's House of Pancakes is coming to Coconut Cove, and right on top of a field of burrowing owls! Competing against an angry grounds keeper and curious policeman, the three will do anything to save the owls. Hoot was an adventurous and funny read. I recommend this book to anyone with a great sense of humor. There are new surprises on every page!

    -Tator Tot

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great detective story
    In reading the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, I have come to the opinion that the author wrote this book as a mystery novel to show what the job of a detective is like. In the setting of this book there is supposedly a group of vandals some where in the neighborhood. In front of the Mother Paula's stake house, stakes were torn out of the ground, and large sized alligators were put in the guest latrines, leaving it up to officer Delinko to solve. I think the plot of this book shows a great example of this with an outstanding scenario and never ending amounts of suspense. ... Read more


    16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Puffin Novels)
    by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0141301155
    Catlog: Book (1998-06-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 927
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What happens when the five luckiest children in the entire world walk through the doors of Willy Wonka’s famous, mysterious chocolate factory? What happens when, one by one, the children disobey Mr. Wonka’s orders? In Dahl’s most popular story, the nasty are punished and the good are deliciously, sumptuously rewarded.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (254)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Obedience Counts
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a great book by Roald Dahl. In this story Charlie Bucket is the main character. He is a poor boy that lives in a shabby house. Charlie and four other children (Mike, Veruca, Violet, and Augustus) all win a tour of Mr. Wonka's secret chocolate factory. Each of the children had found a golden ticket in a Wonka bar. Once they were inside the factory each kid, one by one, got into trouble, except Charlie. Some were so bad they were changed for life! But Charlie obeyed Mr. Wonka and got a big surprise.

    I like this book because it has lots of excitement, action, and humor on every page. My favorite part is the end when Charlie's grandparents, who have not been out of bed in years, are put into Mr. Wonka's great glass elevator screaming and howling. The funny thing about it was they did not know they were going to live with Mr. Wonka in his chocolate factory!

    People can learn to obey from this book. Four children disobeyed Mr. Wonka and got hurt, but Charlie obeyed and got a reward. I recommend this book for kids age six to eleven. It is also fun and exciting so you will definitely want to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A delectably delicious book....
    This book is so delicious I just want to eat it! "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" might be in many people's eyes a story about morality but to me, it's a story about children and their love of all things sweet, sticky and delicious. Charlie Bucket is the delightful boy (who is so poor all he gets to eat is cabbage soup) who finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar he buys with money he finds in the street. This ticket entitles him and a companion to enter the wonderful world of Mr. Willy Wonka, the most famous and mysterious chocolate maker that the universe has ever known. Other competition winners include such heinous but wonderfully over the top characters like Augustus Gloop, the greediest boy in the world, and Veruca Salt, a spoilt brat whose father buys 10,000 chocolate bars so she can win a golden ticket. These greedy children and their frightful companions get their come-uppance in various hilarious ways that will have you spluttering with laughter with every page that you turn. Dahl's most famous creation in this book though are the Oompa-Loompas, a race of small people that Mr. Wonka has saved from extinction in the days when he traveled the world. This is a glorious, glorious book, filled with amazing characters, incredible sweets such as the everlasting gobstopper for the child with limited pocket money, and the chewing gum that that is a whole three course meal in itself. Your mouth will be watering throughout the story, and the river of chocolate will make you drool a waterfall. A scrumptious book for everyone no matter what their age.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone will love it
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is brilliant. Roald Dahl's language is eccentric and refreshing. This book is about a boy named Charlie Bucket who lives with his poor family right near a the greatest chocolate factory in the world. When the owner of the chocolate factory, Willy Wonka, sends out five golden tickets, the whole world erupts in chaos. No one has been allowed in the great factory for years, and everyone knows that Wonka is a magician with magic. The story will make anyone hungry for a good candy bar and is easily amusing. I would recomment that everyone read this book at least once, though it was directed towards kids in grades 2-6.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Author Study
    Charlie is in a family that is very poor. He lives in a small cottage with his grandparents and parets. He also lives by a great chocolate factory. Charlie is so poor that he only gets one Willy Wonka bar a year. No one has seen anbody or anthing go in or out of the chocolate factory.
    One day in the newspaper it said that the chocolate factory was opening up. There were five golden tickets on Willy Wonka bars to get into the factory in the whole world. The prize is you get to go into the factory and bring any person of their choice. You have to read the book to see if he gets a golden ticket.
    It was a good book to us because even if you saw the movie the book changed so you didn't know what was coming.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Snozzberries galore...
    There's plenty that adults can learn from children's books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is such a book. Not only is it a great read, it says something about greed, gluttony, and the dangers of the fantastic.

    The story is probably familiar to many (thanks to the 1971 film adaptation), but the basic plot is this: Willy Wonka, a reclusive, famous (almost Howard Huges-like) owner of the largest candy factory in the world wraps five golden tickets in candy bars and distributes them to the world. No one has been in or out of Wonka's factory in years, but these tickets allow the ticket finders access to it for one day, as well as a lifetime supply of world-famous Wonka candy. Four tickets are quickly found by families who have the money and the means to do so (one of the finder's father even stops production in his factory so that his voluminous workers can unwrap the thousands of candy bars he's purchased in hope of finding one of the tickets). This is discouraging to Charlie Bucket, who comes from a destitute family who eat mostly watery cabbage and boiled potatoes. Charlie only gets one chocolate bar a year for his birthday - his father's job screwing on the tops of toothpaste tubes doesn't bring much income. Charlie's luck changes when he finds a dollar bill in the snow (after his father loses his job in the toothpaste factory the family begins to starve, and Charlie conserves energy by walking slowly, which helps him find the dollar). Luck leads to luck, as Charlie buys two candy bars and the second one contains a golden ticket. Charlie's 95 year-old (wow!) grandfather agrees to accompany Charlie. So, Along with four other spoiled brats and their families, Charlie and Grandpa Joe tour the Wonka factory. Inside, the factory is filled with amazing things, and the spoiled brats show their worst side and also expose the dangerous side of the fantastic. A river of chocolate is great until you fall into it. Trained squirrels are great unless they mistake you for a bad nut and through you in the chute. Chewing gum that tastes and nourishes as though it were an entire three course meal is great as long as the forumla is right and doesn't turn you into a giant blueberry. Being allowed into the Wonka factory is an amazing experience unless you're a spoiled brat who needs to grab, chew, eat, or touch everything you see. In this case being a brat brings dire consequences. The reward for not being a brat is something unbelievable, but the "losers" still get a lifetime supply of candy and chocolate.

    Fans of the film (which is mistitled "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" because Charlie is really supposed to be the hero here) will notice some great differences in the story. The famous "Oompa Loompa" song is not in the book, but they do sing, but they sing longer and more detailed songs than in the movie. One of the songs goes on about the evils of television:

    The most important thing we've learned
    So far as children are concerned,
    Is never, never, NEVER let
    Them near your television set -
    Or better still, just don't install
    The idiotic thing at all.

    They do not sing "Oompa Oompa Ommpity Doo, I've got another problem for you" such as in the movie. They also give credit where credit is due: the brattiness of the kids is also blamed on the parents. So in a way the story also becomes a lesson in parenting. The Oompa Loompas sing:

    For though she's spoiled, and dreadfully so,
    A girl can't spoil herself, you know.

    Alas! you needn't look so far
    To find out who these sinners are.
    They are (and this is very sad)
    Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.

    In this way the Oompa Loompas almost serve the purpose of a Greek chorus. Whenever of the brats "gets it" they sing about the tragedy and probable causes of the event. This book is a very enjoyable read for any age. If you're an adult, don't deprive yourself of great children's books such as this one. If you're a kid, don't deprive your parents of your great books such as this one. Make them read it. Force them to read it. You know you want to. ... Read more


    17. Half Magic
    by Edward Eager
    list price: $6.00
    our price: $6.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152020683
    Catlog: Book (1999-03-31)
    Publisher: Odyssey Classics
    Sales Rank: 16910
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Since Half Magic first hit bookshelves in 1954, Edward Eager’s tales of magic have become beloved classics. Now four cherished stories by Edward Eager about vacationing cousins who stumble into magical doings and whimsical adventures are available in updated hardcover and paperback formats. The original lively illustrations by N. M. Bodecker have been retained, but eye-catching new cover art by Kate Greenaway Medalist Quentin Blake gives these classics a fresh, contemporary look for a whole new generation.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (98)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite childhood books
    There are some memories from childhood that I can never quite place specifically. Things that linger in memory, but are so faint that they are like a sniff of fresh apple pie from down the street that you can't determine which house it is coming from. I recall reading some "magic" children books--at one time, I thought they were Andre Norton, who had several young adult novels with the word magic in the title, but I was never able to find the exact one. Until I ran across this book in the store, and realized a chapter into it that I was eating apple pie.

    I love this book, but it may be because I remember it so fondly. I've been trying to catch up on children's fantasy the last couple of years--reading E. Nesbit, Norton Juster, P.L. Travers, E.L. Konigsburg--and, of them all, Eager is my favorite. In Half Magic, fantasy is rolled with some of the logic of science fiction, in that the wishes that the magic coin gives the children only occurs in halves, and they must figure out how to use it. As children, they are quite believable--maybe not as realistic as Nesbit, but not the Bobsey Twins either.

    I should note that Eager was himself a fan of Nesbit's, and his stories do resemble her's in some ways. His affinity for her is clearly laid out here, where the children visit the library and one of their favorite books is The Enchanted Castle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A jumping-off point for years of fantasy enjoyment
    I first read this book at the age of 10. I am now 45 and have not changed my opinion that it is one of the most delightful books for children ever written. It involves four fatherless children and a magic charm, which brings many forms of magic to enrich and improve their lives. The story is written with humor and enormous imagination. I couldn't wait to get back to the library to read all the other Edward Eager books it had. Noting that Mr. Eager always gave credit to Edith Nesbit as his inspiration, I also read all the Edith Nesbit books available. I have continued to re-read them throughout my life; I have read them to my kids, and intend to read them to my grandkids. The Bodecker drawings carry the stories beautifully. I now work at a public library and recommend Half Magic to any child who wants stories about real children and magic, because this book opened such a magical dimension to my own reading life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MAGICALY ENCHANTED
    Half Magic
    This novel, is about 4 children looking for an adventure. One day the oldest of the children jane finds what she thinks is a nickel. It turns out to be a magical coin. this takes them on the adventure they have been looking for. It takes them to visit sir lancelot, a desert, and turns the littlest one into a ghost. Their mother feels like she is having a nervous breakdown and is becoming mentally ill. Will they get through all these adventures without getting killed by three knights and a half statue, half dog? I give this book 2 thumbs up. It is a marvelous book for children.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Magic divided by two= A Great Fantasy
    Half Magic

    Half Magic is a magical fantasy by Edward Eager. Edward Eager has written several books about magical adventures.
    Half Magic begins when four children find an interesting looking coin in a crack in the ground. Soon they find out that if you wish something while holding the coin it comes half true. The children go on many magical adventures by wishing everything twice. After awhile the magic starts wearing down. The children decide to give the coin to another child so the magic can go on forever and ever.
    I liked this story because it has lots of different settings. If you don't like fantasy very much you could enjoy this book because it travels into history and takes you through some historical events. I would recommend this book to a third grader up to a sixth grader who likes magic and adventures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Magical Book
    A Magical Book
    Half Magic
    By: Edward Eager

    Half Magic is about 4 children, Jane, Mark, Martha, and Katharine who get a magical coin that only works by halves. Jane the oldest always seems to be different from her siblings. Because she doesn't appear to agree with them much. Mark the only boy and is the second oldest child, doesn't mind much about being the only man around the house and doesn't become annoyed with his sisters much theat often although he wishes to have a dad. Martha the middle child is always ignored by her family. But she is let to say her opinions and ideas very often in necessary times. And Katharine the youngest does mostly annoying things to her siblings that might explain for being shoved under a movie theater seat! But Katherine doesn't mind she just choose to sleep through it.
    So these creative children's adventure takes time long ago when movies didn't have any sound and had to be written down. The 4 children's adventures include many things put back in history into Camelot and in the desert. There are man more places that journeys have been taken. Now the old charms to only be worked by halves. The children at first had the coin and coincidently made a wish. But they had not known that the coin had given there wish but only half of it. Then one day when there mother had the coin, she thought it was a nickel and made a wish that she would be home, and only got half of it. She than found herself in the road halfway from home. And there she found a very nice gentleman who gave her a lift there home . Then the children got suspicious and knew what it was now. They had also find out theat you had to wish more than its value to get what you really want. Like " I wish I was twice as far from here.
    They had many more adventures then that besides being half invisible . The nice gentleman got to know the family even more on this incredible journey. I believe the theme is " never make a wish without making it worth twice more than what you really want". As my opinion this book is one of the best book I 've picked up on the library's shelf not even knowing what great things were in the book. ... Read more


    18. 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
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    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


    19. Carnival at Candlelight (Magic Tree House #33)
    by MARY POPE OSBORNE
    list price: $11.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375830332
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-08)
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 11684
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    20. The Red Book
    by Barbara Lehman
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618428585
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-27)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 5285
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    Book Description

    This book is about a book. A magical red book without any words. When you turn the pages you"ll experience a new kind of adventure through the power of story. In illustrations of rare detail and surprise, The Red Book crosses oceans and continents to deliver one girl into a new world of possibility, where a friend she"s never met is waiting. And as with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over. ... Read more


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