What and How Children are Reading in the UK

I spotted this tweet from J. K. Rowling’s agents, The Blair Partnership last Friday:

The tweet was responding from an article in the Times newspaper about the latest report from Renaissance on the reading habits of school children in the UK. Perhaps a surprise to followers of social media campaigns, J. K. Rowling has increased in popularity over the last three years of recording, with the Harry Potter series holding the top three places for favourite books for primary school pupils. For some take-aways and to download the report, see after the break.

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Harry Potter Hogwarts Tournament of Houses: Prizes for Audience Members

I had actually forgotten I was supposed to get a prize for being an audience member in Game #2 of the Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, where my fellow Ravenclaws defeated Slytherin, with the help of the studio audience play-along with our handy little signal devices. After several enthusiastic emails from the company charged with sending these out, the prizes finally arrived this week.  I was rather hoping for some unique-to-the-show, available-nowhere-else item, but what we were sent was a Ravenclaw shaker bottle, available for purchase on Amazon. I had recently made a resolution to try to stay better hydrated, so I will certainly enjoy this. Still, I was a bit disappointed to get the erroneous cinematic raven emblem; especially since there is a slightly cheaper but more book-authentic version with the bronze color and the eagle available..  I wasn’t the only one disappointed, as seen here in a video posted by a fellow audience member. 

The ToH stickers on the box were pretty cool, though, and since I was lucky enough to attend with my husband we have two of them. I’m going to try to peel it off the box and recycle it for use somewhere else. Stay tuned to find out if my Ravenclaw ingenuity makes this a successful endeavor.

I am still enjoying the Covid-19 mask and the t-shirt they let me keep, though, both of which are eagle- and bronze-bedecked.

And, of course I still treasure the memories of the fun I had of seeing, and playing the game.  And I met many awesome people I met in the process, some of which have become online pals. Best of all was the joy of cheering Hogpro’s own David Martin onto victory! Look for me to be toting a my nice new water bottle around next year’s Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival, which will be back, in person, in 2022.

Fantastic Beasts Secrets of Dumbledore: A Collection of Reviews and Asides

No, I still have not seen Secrets of Dumbledore and probably won’t for a week or two, believe it or not, between a son’s wedding in a different time zone and thesis deadlines.

I know, though, that readers are coming here for discussion and brilliant commentary on the latest Fantastic Beasts entry, so, because I haven’t posted anything this week about the movie, I have put together a list of seven interesting online pieces about Secrets for you to surf — and, I hope, a list to which you will append your favorite reviews, YouTube exegetes on fire with theories, or Hollywood rumor. It’s open microphone night at HogwartsProfessor.

Enjoy this smorgasbord of sorts, seven special opinion slices, and share some of your own!


J. K. Rowling – There’s No Smoke Without Fire

As our Headmaster showed yesterday, J. K. Rowling enjoyed a lunch in London with some of the women she has been corresponding with over the last year. Several newspaper headlines and thousands of twitter comments later, my attention is still on the minutia of what the photographs show us.

Rowling is wearing a red badge of the type worn by school prefects in the UK as a badge of authority. The wording in schools will be either ‘PREFECT’ or ‘HEAD GIRL[BOY]’ depending on office, and the colour will be usually related to the house the prefect belongs to. The writing is indistinct but it seems J.K.R has been elected Head Girl of Gryffindor.

Simultaneously Dr Beatrice Groves and myself spotted that she is also seen holding an electronic vaporiser or vape pen. On her homepage there is a mysterious plastic bottle, next to some hand cream and hair bands. I have long thought that this might be a bottle of nicotine solution, but the lunch party is the first evidence that Rowling vapes.

Dr Groves has predicted that we will see Cormoran vaping in In Black Heart, and my guess is that he will be using, rather than a vape pen, something much more industrial, emitting clouds of distracting vapor and useful as a missile in a fight.

J. K. Rowling & Stephen Fry on ‘Beasts’

From our friends at The Rowling Library, the Rowling-Fry conversation that aired last night on UK television. Enjoy!