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Librarian Top Picks
08 February 2019
This week, we celebrated international Harry Potter Night (albeit over two days in the daytime…!). In honour of all the fun we have had, this week’s suggestions are the vast array of books available set in this magical world! Whether reading them is like revisiting an old friend or you’ve yet to encounter the magic - every book on this list is spellbinding.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter's summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors - and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone. Dobby's sinister predictions seem to be coming true.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far-from-ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves. But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter - but that doesn't stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe'en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through alive!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors' attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord's return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort's savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort's darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is now broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves, and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander's years of adventure and exploration have yielded a work of unparalleled importance, admired by scholars, devoured by young witches and wizards, and even made available to Muggles in the early years of this century.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Kindnesses are rewarded and selfishness shown to be the ruin of many a wizard. Burping cauldrons, hairy hearts and cackling stumps are met along the way. Each tale is brought vividly to life with Riddell's trademark humour and elegance.
Quidditch Through the Ages
Packed with fascinating facts, this definitive guide by the esteemed Quidditch writer Kennilworthy Whisp charts the game's history from its early origins in the medieval mists on Queerditch Marsh, through to the modern-day sport loved by so many wizard and Muggle families around the world.
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
These stories of heroism, hardship and dangerous hobbies profile two of the Harry Potter stories’ most courageous and iconic characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. J.K. Rowling also gives us a peek behind the closed curtains of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and you’ll encounter the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn along the way.
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
These stories of power, politics and pesky poltergeists give you a glimpse into the darker side of the wizarding world, revealing the ruthless roots of Professor Umbridge, the lowdown on the Ministers for Magic and the history of the wizarding prison Azkaban. You will also delve deeper into Horace Slughorn’s early years as Potions master at Hogwarts - and his acquaintance with one Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Harry Potter Series: Illustrated by Jim Kay
Want the world to come to life? Read the beautifully illustrated copies by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay. Each illustration in book one uses a different technique and double page spreads give the wow factor. It really brings out the best of this modern classic. Reimagine the main characters, places and magic itself!