Winners Announced in the Harry Potter Blogsplosion Giveaway!

Details

Eight lucky winners have been chosen in the Harry Potter Blogsplosion giveaways!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - Congratulations to Gisele who left a comment on July 27th

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Congratulations to Wehaf who left a comment on July 4th

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Congratulations to Vanessa who left a comment on July 24th

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Congratulations to Felicia who left a comment on July 7th

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book) – Congratulations to Thao who left a comment on July 25th

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (DVD) – Congratulations to Vicky who left a comment on July 11th

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Congratulations to Crystal who left a comment on July 25th

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Congratulations to Cole who left a comment on July 17th

 
Congratulations to all the winners!! 
 
 
Winners: Please contact me with your name and mailing address by August 7, 2011 to claim your prize.  Shipment is to the US and Canada only.
 
Thank you to all of the participants! 
 

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Wrap-Up!

I do hope that you’ve enjoyed the 15 days of posts dedicated to Harry Potter!!!  However, all good things come to an end.  Whomp whomp.  In case you didn’t get a chance to enter all of the giveaways, here is a quick listing and link to them.

All giveaways are open until midnight on Saturday July 30th.  Winners will be announced Sunday, July 31st.   Good luck to all the participants!

I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all my friends who guest blogged over the past two weeks: Adam, Savanna, Sam, Todd, Adam S, Amy, and Zach!  You were wonderful guests and without you the blogsplosion wouldn’t have been as big a success as it was!  I also want to thank  all of you fabulous participants for paying homage to Harry Potter with us here at the blog.  You’re fabulous.

Until next time…..

…Happy Reading!

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Day 2: Adam’s Film Review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This is the first movie blog post for Kim’s Harry Potter Blogsplosion, so where better to start than with the first movie. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was an excellent movie, and it got viewers excited for the series of movies that would be made after this one. Starring (at the time unknowns) Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint as the trio of heroes Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, this movie of wizards and witchcraft tells a story that people of all ages will love.

At age 11 , Harry Potter doesn’t really know about his past. He lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin who all treat him like a piece of dirt. They force him to do all of the errands around the house, on top of making him live in a little cupboard underneath the stairs. On his cousin’s birthday and a trip to the zoo, Harry begins to realize that he has the powers to make things happen just by thinking about them.  There is no explanation for how this occurs; only that Harry can somehow cause physical changes in his environment by merely thinking about them hard enough. At the zoo he helps a python escape, while trapping his cousin in the snake’s cage.  After this event it is revealed that Harry is in fact a wizard, and is then invited to attend the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Initially his aunt and uncle balk at the suggestion, but after some convincing by Hagrid, the groundskeeper of the school, they agree to let him go.  Hagrid takes Harry under his wing and informs Harry about some of his past and who his parents were. While on the train he meets two other new students, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and the trio become fast friends. They then meet Draco Malfoy, who is less than pleasant to them. While at the school Harry and his friends learn more about Harry’s parents and learn more about the powers they hold and how truly powerful they can be. They learn of a break-in at a nearby wizarding bank, and they begin to try to solve the mystery themselves. Can they make any progress under the threat of expulsion after less than one year at school?

The movie itself is highly entertaining. The plot is highly imaginative and in my opinion really makes the book (written by J. K. Rowling) come to life. As I was watching the movie, I truly believed in magic and truly believed that there is a school in England where students learn witchcraft. The way the movie was filmed was very magical and very out of this world. The director, Christopher Columbus, shot the movie in a very interesting style. He made the real world of England very dark and dreary by including a lot of gray and dark tones. In contrast to that, Hogwarts was always shot in a very colorful and vibrant light, making it seem more magical. The colors really popped out and really reflected Harry’s attitude: clearly he wasn’t happy being treated the way he was in his ordinary “muggle” life, but really became his own person and more true to himself at Hogwarts.

The acting was top-notch, especially given that the majority of the cast was so young. I’m not saying that young actors aren’t good, but they were all relatively unknown before the movie was shot, and they were all able to carry this big movie with many high expectations beautifully. One performance in particular that impressed me was Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. She played the brainy side-kick to Ron and Harry very well, and really stole the scenes she was in. Also Alan Rickman as Professor Snape was a standout as well, as he adds the quality of a good mysterious character to the movie and really adds to the sense of the unknown and foreboding in the movie.

All and all, the movie was a highly entertaining piece of work. I was as entertained watching the movie as a 25-year-old as I was when I first saw it at 15. I really enjoyed the acting, the direction, and the amazing world of wizarding that came to life. Like always, I leave you with a question: do you believe in magic?

4 out of 5 stars

Until next time, happy viewing.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Warner Brothers
G, 152 Minutes

Harry Potter Blogsplosion Day 1: #39 A Review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling + GIVEAWAY

Cover Image

 Welcome to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter.  Set in a series of 7 books that were originally labeled as “young adult fiction”, J.K. Rowling began what is widely known as one of the best and most universally acclaimed fiction series ever written.  We begin the incredible tale with a lonely boy that lives at number 4 Privet Drive, who unknowingly has magical powers.  We follow Harry through his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and become introduced to all of his friends and foes along the way.  With such an amazing start to an awesome series, it’s no wonder Rowling has achieved such success with this book and the rest of the series.
 
We begin Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with the mundane and depressing life of Harry Potter, who endures constant teasing by his heavyset cousin, Dudley.  Harry has experienced this, along with an almost constant stream of taunts and oppression by his aunt and uncle, with whom he now lives, for as long as he can remember.  He has no memories of his parents: only the knowledge that they died when he was very young in a car wreck and that he was brought up by his mother’s sister and her family.  He experiences a number of odd events and feelings that he can’t explain, and he has always felt different from other children in school.  His world then turns upside down one day when a letter personally addressed to him announces that he is in fact a wizard, and has been accepted into Hogwarts, a magical school that specifically caters to witches and wizards (how he gets the letter is a funny story indeed).  After some persuasion from the groundskeeper of Hogwarts, who pays Harry’s family a visit on a flying motorcycle, Harry’s Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon agree to send him to the school, partially glad to be rid of him and partially upset that their free labor has left their care.
 
At Hogwarts, Harry experiences a freedom he seldom knew existed.  He soon befriends Hermione Granger, a know-it-all that helps Harry to adjust to wizarding life, and Ron Weasley, a funny and slightly aloof housemate of Harry’s that comes from a large family of wizards and witches.  Together the three experience the ups and downs of wizarding life, but they come to find that not all is as it seems.  Tales of a break-in at the wizarding bank Gringott’s circulate around Hogwarts, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron come to find out that a three-headed dog is guarding a mysterious object that could have been stolen from the bank.  Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late?  Will Harry be able to adapt to his new life as a wizard?
 
One of the best features of this book is the fact that it is extremely accessible.  Rowling’s writing and tone appeal to all ages, and she makes the story of Harry Potter intriguing and extremely vivid and realistic.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to follow Harry as he was introduced to a magical world of wizards and witches that exists not too far from our own “muggle” lives.  Rowling takes care to tell us every detail of the wizarding world, down to how the new arrivals to Hogwarts travel via a special boat that crosses a lake under the power of magic.  It is so detailed and imaginative that you can’t help but be pulled in to it.  We learn about all the rules and regulations of Hogwarts at the same time as Harry, we are just as naive about the powers of magic as he is.  This is why this book is special: we become Harry and become extremely invested in his well-being.  I can safely say that reading this book was one of the best imaginative experiences I’ve had with a book, and it took little to no effort to see the wonderful world that Rowling has created.  Even if you don’t traditionally enjoy fantasy/adventure novels, this is one book that you cannot pass up.  I guarantee you’ll love it! 
 
4 out of 5 Stars
 
This is my eleventh completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge
 
Scholastic (1997)
Hardcover 309 pages
 
Giveaway
 

One lucky winner will have the opportunity to win a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Paperback) by J.K. Rowling.  For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight of Saturday July 30, 2011.  Winner will be picked at random and announced on Sunday July 31, 2011.  Giveaway open to US & Canadian residents only. Good luck!!