To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend; to read it a second time is to meet an old one.
-- Selwyn Champion

Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readersHigh school readers
10 stars

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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by J. K. Rowling     Illus. by Mary GrandPre
Long Novel
Genre:

Harry and friends Hermione and Ron drop out of Hogwarts to complete the task given to him by Dumbledore. While they attempt to locate and destroy the remaining horcruxes, Voldemort and his Death Eaters are in hot pursuit. Will they be able to discover and destroy Voldemort's soul before he destroys them?

     All I can say is 'WOW!' This is the best of the Harry Potter books by far. Unlike the others, it jumps right in to the action. The first chapter peeks in at a secret Death Eaters meeting to set up the stage and drop some clues (or ARE they?), but then the rest of the book follows Harry. We only get to see what Harry experiences or finds out about after the fact. This method of story-telling makes for really suspenseful reading.

     Ms. Rowling pulls no punches. By the end of chapter 4 (a scant 60 pages into this 759 page tome) at least one significant character is gone from the story forever! And she doesn't stop there! I don't want to ruin it for you so I won't tell you how many characters die, just know that it is more than one. However, she doesn't kill arbitrarily; each event (deaths, discoveries, etc.) is significant and important. Pay attention!

     This book was hugely satisfying! It tied up all loose threads from the previous books and was exciting and emotionally moving. While I have never considered Ms. Rowling to be poetic or evocative in her style of writing (for that, read authors like Gary Soto or John Stienbeck), there is no doubt that she has written a great story. And that's what this whole series is: a great story! Please do not read this until you have worked your way through all the others. The impact will only exist for people who have lived with these characters through all their years at Hogwarts. You will not be disappointed!

NOTE: If you comment, please do not include "spoilers"!! Don't ruin it for those who haven't read yet.

(Last modified:07/30/2007)

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