I freely admit it: I am an avid Harry Potter fan. From the day I heard TR Reed, London correspondant, on NPR raving about this new sensation of a book, I was hooked. I went to Barnes and Noble that day and requested this Harry Potter book. The attendant was not sure what I was wanting (imagine that!) and was wondering where I had heard about it, as several other people had been in that day with similar requests. I had to order the book. Once it was in my hot little hands, I devoured it. I loved it so much I read it to my 6th graders the next year -- Harry was the perfect age for them. At Christmas we finished the first year and they wanted more. We finished the second year by Summer and some of them had even asked for their own copies for Christmas. I found this remarkable as I knew most of them would only be getting one or two presents that year. Unfortunately, Harry Potter didn't go over quite as well in my next VERY CONSERVATIVE (might I add out-of-touch) Christian school.
Every time there is a new Harry Potter I have this tiny little fear that wells up: will it really still be good? Will JK Rowling still be able to carry the story, provide a twist I didn't see coming? The more the press promotes the book, the more cynical I become, yet there has not been a year in Harry's life that I haven't loved and been surprised by. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price is no exception. I devoured the book in 48 hours (as is my habit) before which I turned an absolute deaf ear to the publicity surrounding the novel. I loved how there was almost no gap between the end of 5 and the beginning of 6. I was completely taken aback by the ending, although I did have the Half-Blood Prince figured out correctly. I have heard questions about the 7th book -- will it actually happen? I can only hope yes. I loved this book as Harry takes the final steps in growing into a man.
I give this book an "O" for Outstanding (see the scale for Ordinary Wizarding Levels or O.W.L.s)! Thanks for another fantastic summer read JK Rowling!