Potter Reviewer is Skilled Well Beyond Her Years

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I was browsing through the Chron this morning online and came across a review for the new Harry Potter book. I’m not a big fan of the books or movies, but I decided to give it a read after accidentally seeing some spoilers earlier this week.

It was a well-written review, something I would expect from a veteran reviewer, which is why when I read the tagline at the bottom, I was totally and utterly shocked!

What was the last line that was so shocking?

Rosalind Casey, 15, attends Duchesne Academy.

Are you kidding me? The reviewer that wrote this:

If the book’s conclusion smells faintly of letdown, the opening is nothing of the sort. Half-Blood Prince begins with a chapter Rowling says she has been trying to use for years, and it has finally found its rightful place in the series. The conversation between Britain’s Prime Minister and the wizarding world’s Minister of Magic provides not only a very clever plot review, but also an example of the half-comically bizarre, half-earnest writing that defines Rowling’s style.

is a 15-year-old girl??? It gets better.

The style and mood always have been among the series’ strong points, especially in the early books. Book 6 is no exception: Rowling sets a vivid, distinctive tone sure to swallow readers back into the page-turning world of Harry Potter. It retains the school-days jollity and wordplay of previous books, while including darker, more mature undertones.

Another of Rowling’s strengths is her characterization and her gift for subtly and skillfully aging her protagonists. Now 16, Harry has matured considerably from the awkward boy of Sorcerer’s Stone and the snappish, brooding adolescent of Order of the Phoenix. It’s the same Harry, still stubborn, still hot-headed, still leaping to act on brilliant ideas that may or may not actually work, still sassing teachers, and, ultimately, still lovable. But Harry now understands more about himself and his peers. His harebrained schemes are slightly better thought out, his behavior slightly more disciplined, his crushes decidedly more mature. When, about halfway through the book, someone refers to Harry in typical British manner as a man, it is finally possible for readers to agree.

Jollity??? Wow. Kudos Ms. Casey and kudos to your English teachers. I hope the New York Times Book Review is reading this.

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