Archive for the ‘Book Report’ Category

A Sirius Discussion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Today I had my post-HPatDH book discussion group. We talked about what happened in the book, we discussed what questions we have left, and what future course of action JK Rowlings may take with her liteary career.

I had food left over from the Harry Potter party, so we had that too. There’s nothing like drinking butterbeer (creme soda and butterscotch syrup) and eating licorice wands at ten o’clock in the morning.

AIEEE. Chris and Angie are here. OMG. Bye.

Book Challenge: The Sorted Books Project

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

This is the Sorted Books Project:

primitive art

Here’s my challenge to all my booky and librarical readers: go forth and rearrange books (temporarily, of course) to tell a story. Take a picture. Post it.

Harry Potter Party

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Here’s a link to the photo album of Harry Potter party pictures.

HP7 Party

What can I say. I’m exhausted. I stayed up late working on the Harry Potter trivia quiz and dying my hair pink. I think I’m going to have to practice my throwing-parties-for-kids thing, because it takes a lot more pre-party coordination than I expected. I got home to find my copy of HP7 on the stairs, but I think I need a nap before attending to it. And some cheese popcorn.

Oh, you want me to post the HP quiz? Alright then. This is a collection of questions from other sites, as well as some of my own:

What are the two variations in the title of the first book?

What are the month and day of HP’s birthday?

In the first book, what is the address on the owlgrams? (1 point for each line, 5 lines)

In Sorcerer’s Stone, what was the first password for Gryffindor house?

What’s the name for someone born into a wizarding family who has no magical powers?

On what platform does Harry get the train to Hogwarts?

From what station does the train leave?

What is Albus Dumbledore’s favorite kind of candy?

What’s the spell to create light in dark places?

Gringotts, the Wizard Bank, is managed by:

In Chamber of Secrets, what potion do Harry, Ron, and Hermione take while trying to get into Slytherin?

What is Voldemort’s real full name?

What do Hermione Granger’s parents do for a living?

What does S.P.E.W. stand for?

What is a common garden pest resembling a potato with legs?

Where do the Weasleys go on vacation, after Ron’s father wins a contest at work?

In which book do we first meet Sirius Black?

What is the name of the school Vernon Dursley says Harry goes to?

What color is the Knight Bus?

What is Hermione’s cat’s name?

What creature guards Azkaban?

In divination, what is the name for a large black dog that is an omen of imminent death?

What charm do you use against a Boggart?

What do you have to say to make the Marauder’s Map activate and blank again? (2 points)

With what spell does Harry open the One-Eyed Witch’s hump?

What kind of animal is Buckbeak?

How do you know if you are allowed to touch a creature like Buckbeak?

What does Professor Lupin drink to prevent him from turning into a werewolf?

What body part is Peter Pettigrew missing?

What makes a Crup different from a Jack Russell terrier?

What form does Harry’s patronus take?

[Leave a comment if you want me to email you the answers.]

Voldemort can’t stop the rock

Friday, July 20th, 2007

I’ve been watching live news broadcasts from Harry Potter parties all over the area. Looks like Cambridge is blowing up. It’s so exciting to see so many people into the same thing.

Is this what the Beatles were like? I wonder how long it will be before there’s another phenomenon like Harry Potter. Will it be another book, or a website, or what?

Tomorrow I get my copy of the book, and I get to host a party for kids. I hope there are more bandwagons to jump on, because it’s fun. And read-y.

HP and me

Friday, July 20th, 2007


They’re here! They’re here! They’re here! To get them before the release date, you had to buy a case (of 10), so I did. Nine are going out on the shelf tomorrow – and one is going home to the ultimate winner of our Harry Potter party trivia contest.

I’m sitting at my desk, writing out all the details to the Harry Potter party tomorrow. My list includes:
Divination table: palm and tea leaf reading
Great Hall table: butterbeer, pumpkin juice, Ton-Tongue Toffees, licorice wands, rock cookies (thanks, Hagrid!)
Sorting table: you get sorted, then make a badge to show your house
Ollivander table: making wands
Defense Against the Dark Arts and Crafts table: Bat mobiles, suspended snakes, and a coloring contest that will blow your head off
Triwizard Tournament: three challenges, best time wins
Dueling: one on one duels, judges for accuracy, enunciation, and flair
Spells practice: it’s like Red Light, Green Light but with a wand (immobilus!)
And the cherry on top is the trivia contest. I’ve been working on it for a week.

I still need to get some fishing line for the bat mobiles, and some sort of ball I can use as a snitch. Man, I’m so excited. Wait till you see what I’m dressing up as.

Cashing in on children’s joy

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

I just read an article about how Scholastic and Warner Bros. are cracking down on the nefarious Harry Potter underground raves.

Apparently the book launch parties are breaking the rules we all consented to when we signed the street date affidavit (I didn’t really read it, I just knew it meant I couldn’t bring the book out before July 21).

If you want the details, you can read the article. They don’t specifically mention libraries, but what they’re describing still applies to the party we’re planning to have.

We’re not changing a thing about our party. We’re referring to it as a Hewlet-Packard party to avoid the cops/Deatheaters, but being a nonprofit in a small community, I think we’ll be under the radar.

Still, it’s upsetting.

I’m all booked up. Harrrrr.

Friday, July 13th, 2007

So I’m feverishly finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so can reread the Half-Blood Prince before the Deathly Hallows comes out next Saturday. I forgot how long it takes to read these massive tomes, although carting OotP is good physical therapy for my gimp arm.

Anyway, I’m booked solid. I’m busy with the summer reading program at my library, and getting ready to throw a Harry Potter party on the new book release date, so I’m sure I’ll be finishing HBP none too soon before the new one comes out.

So I pre-ordered my copy of Deathly Hallows today, along with the new Thursday Next book. First Among Sequels comes out on July 25, so here’s my new bookings:

Order of the Phoenix: 896 pages
Half Blood Prince: 672 pages
Deathly Hallows: 784 pages
First Among Sequels: a paltry 400 pages

I’m not bragging, but I am saying that I’ll be fulfilling my role as a bookish librarian. Except I plan on being drunk while reading.

First Among Sequels

Kidding, mom.

“Collection development” or “censoring”

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

I’m looking through a pile of donated children’s books to decide if we want to add any to our collection. When people donate materials, most of the time we put them in the book sale. We have a solid budget, and not a lot of space, so we’re usually not hurting for more.

Sometimes, though, I get a book that makes me really ponder what we have in the collection, and what we don’t have in the collection.

Today’s example is a book called “Kidatlas: Important Places in the Bible“. I’ve been flipping through it, deciding if I want to add it to our kid’s nonfiction section. I checked the catalog, and no one has it in the system, which means it would then become accessible for other libraries (we have reciprocal agreements with the libraries in our system, like interlibrary loan but faster and cheaper).


It does that nonfiction-trying-to-be-fun thing where there are jokes like “What kind of party did Judah want to give Pharaoh Shishak? A going-away party!” which I think is hilarious. (And the tactic worked, because I then read about who Pharaoh Shishak was.)

I was mostly inspired to write this post because I wanted to share the joke. Now I’m pondering collection development and providing access to materials. I can’t decide if I want to add this book, or where to put it. It provides a well-written historic tour of biblical places, but it does say that the universe was created by God in six days. Historical tour = not disputed. Creationism = currently disputed. I’m not saying that I don’t want to add books that are creationist. The question is, does this book belong with the religion books, or with the geography books. It’s 90% geography, but 10% specific Christian beliefs. Even my personal perspective that creationism belongs with religion and not science is a biased view – I’m sure others would choose differently.

Now I’m going to go order some left-wing zines for the teen section. Fiction is so much easier.

My brain exploded, and is on the floor behind the circulation desk.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Signifying Rappers
Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present

David Foster Wallace co-authored an academic tome on hip-hop in 1990. I learned this when a patron interlibrary loaned this book. It’s on the holds shelf. I’m going to take the rest of the day off.

Eeeeee! Story time! Bunnies!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

I just had my first nice big storytime. All of them so far have been only one or two kids, so it was a big surprise when I had ELEVEN kids and seven parents. They ranged in ages from six months to four years (the storytime age is 1-3, but siblings come along) and although it was not a perfect storytime, it was damned good. If I do say. (But not in front of the children.)

The two main things I noticed the crowd doesn’t know my rhythm yet, so I tried to keep a steady pace, and announce what we’d be doing as we went. The other thing is that there was some lost concentration. That’s not surprising with the toddler crowd, but I didn’t recognize until we were in the middle of a story, and there were still about half the kids paying rapt attention, so I decided to finish the story out. The key is to switch up the plan if what you’re doing isn’t getting their attention, but with such a big age range, it was hard. I’m lucky in that the parents did a good job of trying to get their kids back in the zone. It’s not always possible, but I think you can only ask for so much from someone who can’t tell the difference between their shoes.

Here’s today’s lineup for bunny themed storytime:

*Frank discussion of what bunnies do (i.e. hop, wiggle their noses, move their ears, sit on their fluffy tails)
*Hickory Dickory Dock (regular speed, slow, fast)
*Row Row Row Your Boat
*Story: Carrot Soup by John Segal
*Patty Cake
*Row Row Row Your Boat
*Story: Five for a Little One by Chris Raschka
*Ring Around the Rosie
*Free play (wheeled out the basket of toys, and tried to keep chaos from erupting forth, spewing drool)