The magic of Harry Potter |

The magic of Harry Potter

Spellbinding tales keep readers young and old interested

Jerry Raehal

On the 'Net

Read a synopsis of the first six books, as written by Desiree Holland, on

Harry Potter event

Moffat County Library presents a Harry Potter Party from 2 to 4 p.m. July 21 at the library, 570 Green St., in celebration of the seventh book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows."

There will be crafts, games, trivia challenges, book reviews, snacks and prizes. People are welcome to dress up in wizard-like costumes.

This is the third time the library has put on a Harry Potter Party.

"We've had a good response" the first two times, said Linda Knoche, youth services director with the Moffat County Library. "I expect more this time because it will be on the book release day."

Harry Potter contest

Want "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows" for free?

Downtown Books and the Craig Daily Press are sponsoring a writing contest, in which the top three entries will get the series' seventh book free.

Submit a story of as many as 800 words on Harry Potter - ranging from how you think the final book will end, whether Severus Snape is good or evil, or any other Harry Potter subject you would like - to editor@craigdaily... or drop writings off at the Daily Press office at 466 Yampa Ave.

Submissions must have the name and a phone number of the contestant to be accepted.

All accepted stories will appear online at, and the top three entries - judged by representatives from Downtown Books and the Daily Press - will win a free copy of "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows." Winning entries also will be featured in the print version of the Craig Daily Press.

For more information, contact editor Jerry Raehal at 824-7031, ext. 204, or at editor@craigdaily...

— Kaleigh Cutler first began to read a Harry Potter book at age 10.

It did not interest her.

A year later, Cutler gave it another try after she saw her friend Cheryl Linnemeyer reading it.

This time, she was caught up in the magic of author JK Rowling’s series on teenage wizard Harry Potter.

Now, at age 16, Cutler has read the first four books in the Harry Potter series seven times – each. She’s read the fifth book 3 1/2 times, and the sixth book twice.

Now, she is rereading the books in preparation for what is expected to be the final book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallow,” scheduled to be released July 21. The fifth movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” opens Wednesday.

“I’m not fanatic,” Cutler said. “I’m a fan. I don’t have posters on my wall or clothes of Harry Potter. I just have all the movies on DVD : and I have all the book in hardcover form.”

Cutler is not alone in being spellbound by the tales of Harry Potter. The first six books have sold more than 325 million copies and have been translated into more than 63 languages. The seventh book is expected to set a U.S. record for first-print sales at more than 12 million copies.

Those kinds of numbers don’t come from children alone.

Linda Knoche, the director of youth services at the Moffat County Library, also is a Harry Potter fan.

Why is there such a draw toward Harry Potter? Cutler and Knoche agree it is Rowling’s writing touch.

“Harry Potter has got the element of fantasy with the challenge of finding out the mystery,” Knoche said.

The mystery is one reason Cutler rereads the books over and over again.

“It really doesn’t matter that you already know what is going to happen,” she said. “The way JK Rowling writes, it draws you in so you want to read it again. Every time you read it, you learn something new or notice something that you hadn’t noticed from the time before.”

The books can create quite a debate. Knoche said there are adult book clubs about Harry Potter, while Cutler says it’s not uncommon for the books and movies to create a stir with her friends.

“Someone will say something that they didn’t like in the book, and it will become kind of heated discussion about whether it was a good thing or whether it wasn’t,” she said.

Perhaps the big debate entering into “Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows” is Severus Snape’s allegiance, after he killed Albus Dumbledore, who was Harry’s mentor and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry schoolmaster.

The day after the sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince,” was released, Web sites were filled with debate about Snape’s actions throughout the series. Since then, books have been written about Snape’s allegiance, and it has been a marketing tool for the final book.

“It’s highly debatable,” Cutler said in regards to Snape, noting her friends don’t agree.

Rumors and debates are just part of the game Rowling plays in the series.

“I have heard a lot rumors that JK Rowling is going to kill off a lot of important characters” in book seven, Cutler said. “But by the way JK Rowling writes, it’s not really possible to predict what is going to happen.”

One rumor is that the seventh book is not the last book in the series, as it was originally thought to be.

“I think that is the hopeful part of people speaking,” Cutler said.

And she said she hopes the rumor is true.

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