The Potter-saurus: 1,500 Words HP Readers Need to Know

Eric Randall, an editor and journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the like, has written a fun book that I know my family will be using on car trips for a long time. It’s called The Pottersaurus: 1,500 Words Harry Potter Readers Need to Know and what it is is a delightful collection of the “big words” in Joanne Rowling’s oversized books. Arranged alphabetically, each word has a definition and at least one citation from a Harry Potter novel. Here’s one example, chosen randomly:

Pirouette — A spin in place. Crabbe did a pirouette in midair at the Shrieking Shack after Harry, hidden by his Invisibility Cloak, threw a stick at his back. (PA, Ch. 14) Hermione did a graceful pirouette while practicing to apparate. (HBP, Ch. 22)

My children love this stuff. They’ve been immunized sufficiently that they flee from school work dressed up as a game but they love explaining words that their parents don’t think they’ll be able to define. Best is catching dad with a britishism, though… Who knew a “pouf” was a “footstool or couch with no back”? I thought they were throw cushions.

Even better, Mr. Randall has a Pottersaurus website where you can play Word Quidditch. Forgive me for confessing that I played it between classes one day, just to hear the cheering sound effect for a few minutes (I’m not getting much of that from my cadets at the end of the year).

Highly recommended for families and for parents needing a good cheer!

Interesting Miscellany: Three Bits of Stuff on my Desk

Every once in a while I need to clear my desk of these notes I think you might be interested in. Today’s pile includes the story of a man and magician who has made predictions of exactly how Deathly Hallows will end, the thoughts of a favorite L.O.O.N. who is anything but Loony, and a review of Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader on Amazon I hope you can read.

First, the magic man who knows the ending of Deathly Hallows:
[Read more…]

Rita Skeeter Covers the Vatican

The most frequently requested article from the old Hogwarts Professor site after “Obviously Dumbledore is not Jesus” has been this piece on the scandalous use of the Pope by Canadian Harry Haters and Culture Warriors the day before Half-Blood Prince was released. I re-print it now in anticipation of similar shameful efforts in the third week of July this year. Harry Potter is a phenomenon those who style themselves latter-day Savonarolas almost certainly will not let pass without a volley and flourish.

“Pope Opposes Harry Potter”? Hardly.
Michael O’Brien and the Kuby Letters: Rita Skeeter covers the Vatican

A Time Line and Commentary on the Kuby Letters, supposedly written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), on the subject of the Harry Potter novels written by Joanne Rowling.

February, 2003:

The story begins at the press conference releasing the Pontifical Council on Culture and Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s of “Vatican statement on New Age Religions’ Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life (A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”). [Read more…]

Do you want Autographed Copies of Zossima Press books?

If you do, just click here. The link will take you to the Zossima Press web site shopping cart. I’ll autograph anything you order there that I’ve written. You betcha.

Shamelessly mercenary John

PodCast at Sword of Gryffindor, Nativity, coming posts

Sorry about the absence from the weBlog this last week! End of term duties here at Valley Forge and our celebrations of Nativity on Sunday, not to mention re-organizing and re-writing Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader for the wizard at Zossima Press to send off to the printers, have kept me from the fun here! God allowing, I’ll post something brief more often as we prep for exams at school.

Today’s exciting news is that Travis Prinzi edited his podCast interview with Wendy B. Harte and myself that we did on western New Year’s Day. I hope I didn’t say anything especially bone-headed or, if I did, that Travis was able to cut it out during the edit. Please write out below all the mistakes you think I made!

I drove to Boston this weekend for Nativity services at the St. John Chrysostomos Mission in Saugus (if you live up that way, you really should go). My daughter Hannah drove the minivan with my wife co-piloting, so I was in the back with the other six children. What a hoot! We listened to Order of the Phoenix tapes (Scholastic, Jim Dale) and I was delighted by several inspirations about the Disillusionment Charm (and postmodernism), the Thestrals (and existential epistemology), and Voldemort’s narrative misdirection (and Rowling’s much bigger twist) that I look forward to sharing with you at HogPro.

Thank you for stopping by — and Merry Christmas!

Post-posting: If you haven’t been following the comment boxes on Dragon’s blood, you’ve missed a few more references from canon. Fascinating that Dragon’s steak has healing properties, no?