One-Minute Book Reviews

August 3, 2007

Harry Potter and the 24 Violent Deaths

Filed under: Children's Books — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:21 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Still hoping to get to that 759-page Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on my desk. The most interesting brief review of the novel I’ve read that’s easily available online is Philip Hensher’s “No More School” in the July 28, 2007, issue of the British weekly The Spectator.

“I think there are 24 named characters who meet a specified violent death in this volume, and over 50 others, we are told, are killed anonymously,” Hensher writes. Still, he liked it better than the last couple of books in the series: “It has the great virtue of not being much concerned with that boring school.”

It’s fascinating that parents who closely monitor video-game ratings and don’t allow their children to watch NC-17 movies rushed out to buy this one for Conner and Schuyler.

To read the review, search for “Harry Potter” at www.spectator.co.uk.

© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

4 Comments »

  1. I wrote about this book in my blog, but since that post contains some spoilers and you have not read the book yet, here’s an excerpt:

    It was…OK. Keep in mind I’ve never been a fanatic. I read the first one because I was working in an elementary school library at the time and felt I should, especially since my own son (then 12) read it. I kept up with the series for the same reasons, work and my son, but not to the point where I would re-read the previous books before a new one came out. This was one time, though, when it would have been helpful to do so, because I did not remember many of the incidents that came to their ultimate conclusion in this book. Unlike many series for children, this is one that must be read in order, or the later books will make less sense. They don’t really stand alone. I do think the epilogue leaves room for a sequel…

    Don’t get me wrong – I think Harry Potter has been great for kids. It’s a coming-of-age story …, full of the kinds of things kids love. The magical powers of the wizards are satisfying to children who otherwise often feel powerless. It’s exposed them to some lessons about racial/ethnic cleansing/purity, as well as some clever character and magic spell names that incorporate Latin and Greek root words. But more than anything, Harry Potter has encouraged so many children to READ, rather than just vegetate in front of a screen. I don’t care if there were 24+ named characters who met a violent death in this last volume …; that pales in comparison to what kids can see on TV (even cartoons!), movies, and in computer games every day.

    Comment by speedytexaslibrarian — August 13, 2007 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  2. From what I’ve read so far of “Deathly Hallows,” you ‘re right that the books need to be read in order. I plunged into the last volume without having read the others and feel as though I’ve walked at a sprawling cocktail party full of people I don’t know.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 13, 2007 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  3. Believe it or not, Wikipedia has pretty good summaries of the earlier books. You can link to each of them from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter#Series

    Just don’t read the rest of the article these links are in – spoilers!

    Comment by speedytexaslibrarian — August 13, 2007 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  4. Great tip. If I can get through “Deathly Hallows,” I’ll link to the summaries in my post about the book, too.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 13, 2007 @ 9:35 pm | Reply


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