Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The wait is almost over! The second installment in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series will be released into theaters on November 16!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be the second movie in a reported five-part series and the tenth in the Wizarding World universe. Fans have been anticipating this release since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out in November 2016– I know I can hardly wait!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is based on the textbook of the same name written by Newt Scamander, which is one of the book requirements for first year Hogwarts students, as shown in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. The movie begins in 1926, when magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York City from England en route to Arizona. After several mishaps, Newt becomes mixed up with a No-Maj/Muggle, Jacob Kowalski, demoted Auror Tina Goldstein, her Legilimens (a form of magical telepathy) sister, Queenie, and the Magical Congress of the United States of America. Strange events have been happening across the city, and while searching for several escaped magical creatures Newt had with him in his suitcase, he is arrested and accused of working for the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, who is second only to Voldemort.

Without giving away what happens next, the ending of the movie is clearly left open-ended and begging for a sequel. This next installment promises to bring back the characters of Newt, Tina, Queenie, Jacob, Credence, and Grindelwald, as well as new characters, like Albus Dumbledore, Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander, Nagini, and more. Plus, the screenplay was also written by J.K. Rowling! Check out the trailers here.

To prepare you for this momentous release, check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to remind you of what happened in the last movie. You can always check out any of the Harry Potter films or books to hold you over until November 16. I’ll try to see if I can squeeze in a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in either Orlando or Hollywood; I’m not picky!

Happy Reading! And Watching!

Accio, November 16!

Author Biographies: J.K. Rowling

Monday, July 31 was an extremely important day:

Harry Potter — the Chosen One, the Boy Who Lived– turned 37 years old. This means that the Battle of Hogwarts took place 19 years ago (Do you feel old yet?). July 31 was also J.K. Rowling’s birthday! To her, we Potterheads are eternally grateful.

Joanne Rowling writes under the pen names of J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith. She was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1965 and knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a writer. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Exeter University in French and Classics. The idea for Harry Potter came to her in 1990 while waiting for a train, and she began writing immediately when she got home. Over the next five years, she planned the seven books in the series and continued to write mostly in notes on napkins and scraps of paper. Rowling wrote whenever she could, finishing the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1995. Rowling was initially rejected by publishers, but the first book in the series was finally published in the United Kingdom in 1997.

Rowling is best-known for the Harry Potter series, but she has also written novels for adults, screenplays, spinoff novellas, and essays. She is a philanthropist who is involved in numerous charities and organizations, as well as founding Lumos, an international children’s charity. She has received numerous awards for her writing and charity work. Currently she lives in Edinburgh with her husband and children.

It isn’t often that a children’s series can influence generations of readers, but Rowling has managed to do just that. Stop by the Aurora or Dillsboro branch today to relive, re-read, or enjoy for the first time the Harry Potter series. You can also check out audiobooks of the series or DVD’s based on the series. Or you can check out the books Rowling has written for adults, too! And don’t forget the Indiana Digital Download Center to take your favorite books and audiobooks with you on the go!

Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter! And Happy Reading!

Website Resources: Novelist (What to Read After…)

If you’re like me and hate that slump after finishing a series and not knowing what to read next, then this blog is for you. Under the Online Resources tab on the Aurora Public Library District website, you’ll find a link to the website Novelist. Novelist offers short biographies of authors as well as synopses of over 120,000 fiction titles. Novelist also offers series and author read-a-likes, so you can find your next great read.

For example, I just finished rereading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling in anticipation for the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them movie, which will be released on November 18. So I went on Novelist to try to find series read-a-likes:

Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

inheritance-cycle

In a fantasy world, a fifteen-year-old boy named Eragon finds a rare dragon’s egg. He raises the dragon on his own and becomes one of the legendary and outlawed Dragon Riders. Now Eragon is set with the task of restoring the Dragon Riders back to their former glory and defeating the tyrannical King Galbatorix over a series of four books.

Pendragon by D.J. MacHale

pendragon-series

Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon is destined to save the magical world of Denduron. He is whisked away from everything he has ever known to a new land where he must defeat a magical ruler and play a role in the revolution to overthrow the evil Saint Dane. This series takes place over ten books where Bobby ages and matures, just like Harry does throughout his series.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

artemis-fowl-series

Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old genius who is trying to restore his family’s fortune to its former glory. Magic and futuristic technology collide in a world of fairies over the course of eight books, where Artemis grows into a criminal mastermind with an arch-nemesis.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan

percy-jackson-series

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is shocked to learn that he is a demigod after fighting off monsters and trouble for his entire life. He begins training at Camp Half-Blood and learns that his father is Poseidon, the ancient Greek God of the Sea. It is up to Percy to start a quest to dispel a war between the Greek gods. This series is told over the course of five books where tensions mount and the stakes are raised, and Percy has to save the world over and over again.

In my opinion, Rick Riordan tells stories in a similar way to J.K. Rowling, which is why I love his other series (Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, Trials of Apollo, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard) so much. If you’re looking for a series similar to Harry Potter, I would start with Percy Jackson & the Olympians and then the Heroes of Olympus series.

If there’s a series you love so much that you were depressed when it was over and ate a whole box of cookies (don’t judge), then Novelist is a great tool for you to use. Also, be sure to look into SelectReads as well. SelectReads sends monthly newsletters to your email address based on your book preferences to help you find your next favorite author and series.

Happy Reading!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter fans, dust off your wands and cloaks because the much-anticipated Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released into theaters on November 18! [Insert Harry Potter theme music here and fireworks.] I know we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for this movie ever since it was announced in September 2013, but here are some things you might not have known:

For instance, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be the first installment of five movies. [Insert internal screaming here.] That means that us Potterheads have at least five movies to look forward to that will connect us to the Wizarding World once again. Also, did you know that the Fantastic Beasts screenplay was written by J.K. Rowling herself? So it’s automatically going to be amazing.

Under the pseudonym Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling published Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its companion Quidditch Through the Ages on March 1, 2001. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a required textbook for all first-year Hogwarts students, as is demonstrated by the school supply list Harry receives in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The textbook is a history of magizoology (the study of magical creatures) and describes 85 magical species and where they are located in the world. Our copy includes handwritten notes from Harry, Ron, and Hermione, though, so you might want to check it out.

The movie provides the background story for what was happening in the life of Newt Scamander right before he published his book. Sadly, we won’t be returning to Hogwarts, as this movie is set in New York City in 1926, but we will hear about some familiar characters (Do the names Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore ring a bell?). With all of the excitement surrounding the release of the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child back in July of this year, it’s a wonder Potterheads can still summon enough anticipation for Fantastic Beasts (HA!).

So, in preparation for this event, I suggest rereading your favorite parts of the Harry Potter books and re-watching the movies. The Aurora Public Library District just got a brand new set of the Harry Potter movies just waiting to be broken in. If you don’t have time to stop into the library, be sure to check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for books, audiobooks, and more.

fantastic-beasts-wand

Accio, November 18!