Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Rowling, J. K.
New York : Scholastic, 1999
IL 5-8  RL 7.0
ISBN 0439064864

(6 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

I'm Harry Potter. Have you heard of me? Yeah, apparently I'm the most famous kid in the wizarding world. But then again, you muggles probably don't understand -- not that I do! It's a little overwhelming to be a normal 11 year old boy living with my cruel and unfair aunt and uncle one day, and then a famous wizarding boy the next. But that's all last year -- it's in the past now.
I have finally found a place where I fit in at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But then I got this message from an Elf telling me not to go back to Hogwarts because disaster will strike! Of course I didn't listen, but how was I to know what would really happen? So when someone -- or something -- is out to get the kids in school, who are they to suspect? Draco Malfoy, know for being loyal to the dark side, a monster, or ME!?!? (Read pgs. 253-254) To find out all this and more of what goes on in Harry's Magical world, read HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling. (Valerie Y., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School, Concord, New Hampshire)

Booktalk #2

Harry Potter, by now you've probably heard this name many times, and hopefully you've read the books. If you haven't, you don't know what you're missing. Harry Potter is a young boy who lives with his evil Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley. Harry is a special being because he is a wizard. Harry goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and his two best friends often get involved in suspicious things, which there are many of at Hogwarts. When they find a secret diary, they have to investigate further. Which leads to many other eerie adventures and surprises (Read p. 304-305) To find out more about Harry and his adventures, be sure to read HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. (Ali P., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School, Concord, New Hampshire)

Booktalk #3

Harry is getting ready to return to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year.  After his adventures in his first year at Hogwarts, faculty and students alike await another exciting year.  Harry does too, after a visit from a weird guest, his runaway from his mean aunt and uncle and his magnificent entrance on the first day of school.  Harry's year gets much stranger when Angus Filch, Hogwarts' caretaker, finds his cat, Mrs. Norris, turned to stone.  Soon, more students are found, frozen solid, and Harry almost loses someone who is very close to whatever is hidden in the Chamber of Secrets.  To learn about the secret chamber and find out all about Harry's peculiar year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, read J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.  (Thomas G., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School, Concord, New Hampshire)

Booktalk #4

Ask students if they have ever kept a journal or diary with a show of hands.  Also, in this same way, ask them if they have ever written one in secret code.  If so, ask some participants to tell how they made the code up.  After this discussion, ask if anyone has ever gone down into a cave.  If answers are yes, ask what feelings came up, if it was a commercial cave or an undiscovered one, what they expected to find down there.  Afterward, introduce the second of the Harry Potter novels and tell them it deals with secret diaries and spooky caves, as well as new and interesting characters. ("Naomi Bates" <>)

Booktalk #5

Harry Potter is looking forward to going back to school after spending a miserable summer holiday with his aunt and uncle. He had been forced to live with his aunt and uncle after his parents were killed. It was obvious that he wasn't welcome in their home. His life changed dramatically when he received word that he was actually a wizard and would be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His first year had been an adventure and he looked forward to leaving his dreadful relatives behind in the Fall. A short time before Harry is to leave, he is visited by a house elf who warns him not to return to Hogwart's, Dobby does all he can to keep Harry out of Hogwart's including trying to get him expelled for using magic when he was forbidden to. Harry does return to Hogwart's and is reunited with his good friends Ron and Hermione. But all is not well at Hogwart's. Strange things are happening and there is a rumor going around that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and that a monster has been let loose. The legend of the Chamber states that only the true heir to the dark lord Slytherin can open the Chamber. People begin to think Harry is responsible. But when his best friend Hermione is a target, people begin to doubt that Harry has anything to do with the dark events at the school. Join Harry as he shares his life during his second year at Hogwart's.

Booktalk #6

Itís been a long and miserable summer with the Dursleys. Harry canít wait to get back to Hogwarts to begin his second year of school and see his friends again. Unfortunately however, almost as soon as the school year commences, strange and frightening things begin to happen. The door on Platform 9 3/4 doesnít open for Harry and Ron, so they miss the Hogwarts Express. Once they arrive at school by flying car Harry is again faced with his arch enemy Draco Malfoy, and if thatís not bad enough thereís a new, extremely annoying, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who seems to think that Harry is his new best friend.

Then one night large letters appear on the wall: "The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware." Shortly after, someone Ė or something, turns several students into stone. Rumor spreads that Harry is the long-dreaded heir of Slytherin, one of the school's founders, who supposedly created a Chamber of Secrets that houses a horrible monster that can only be released by the heir. Once again, Harry, Rom and Hermione must decipher the puzzle and save the day before itís too late.
(Susan Dunn, Colorado Blue Spruce YA Book Award, 2003)

SUBJECTS:     Fantasy
                       Witches -- Fiction
                       Wizards -- Fiction
                       Schools -- Fiction
                       England -- Fiction


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