Teacher and coach

Into the world of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

While both of The Maker’s older brothers have read at least some of the Harry Potter books (The First has read them all), The Maker himself has not, as they are a little above his reading level.  He has, however, seen three of the HP movies (and part of a fourth), and has also played a few of the HP video games on his Gameboy.  (The Wife also read one of the books a couple of years ago, I believe in an attempt to be able to engage in HP-related conversations with the First.)  Up to now, I have had only tangential contact with the Harry Potter tales, though that has now changed.

A few days ago, the Maker was engaged in a project in which he was attempting to make a book about wizards.  I believe the primary impetus for this project was the fact that one of his brothers received a DVD of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” for Christmas, and the Maker had watched it and was intrigued by all of the magic and other wizardy-type stuff.  He was experiencing some frustration making his book so he came to me for help, asking me if I knew anything about wizards.  In addition to pictures of wizards, one of the things he seemed to want to put in his book was a list or description of wizard spells, but he didn’t know many wizard spells, and for the few he did know, he didn’t know their correct spelling, or any details about them.

After a failed attempt to find some wizard books at the library for him (there are apparently few HP-like books for younger readers), it occurred to me that there might be something online that he would find useful, and after a quick google search I found this wikipedia entry called “Spells in Harry Potter”, and printed off a copy.  Not only does it list every spell from every Harry Potter book (that’s 30 pages of spells), it also tells you how to pronounce each one, plus provides a “Suggested Etymology” for each one, since pretty much all of them appear to come from Latin (though the entry notes that the “phrases resemble Latin words of appropriate meaning but are not proper Latin themselves”).  The Maker was thrilled, and was soon reading all about many of the spells he had heard from the movies he had seen.  He also soon realized that some of the spells he remembered from the movies were not in the list, which led us to this list of non-canonical spells in Harry Potter.

I also picked up a copy of the first HP book (HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone), and we just read the first chapter.  (The maker interrupted me several times to let me know what was coming up next, or to say, “Oh, I remember this part.”)  I confess I was surprised at how immediately engaging the story is; I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it.

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