Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Book Review: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1)
Published By: Pottermore Limited
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Page Count: 71
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Middle Grades/Young Adult - Fantasy

I love the Harry Potter universe. It's be far one of my favorite places to spend time. I've read the novels and watched the films countless times. There is just something special about Hogwarts that keeps calling me back. I have been very pleased with the updated version of Pottermore (well aside from getting a Borzoi as my Patronus), so I was ecstatic when the Pottermore Presents collection was released. I preordered all three titles and got giddy the moment they popped up on my Kindle.
This first edition in the Pottermore Presents series focuses on a variety of characters and topics that I feel revolves around "good guys" side. These are the people I rooted for through the series, the ones who hold special places in my heart.

The first chapter focuses on Minerva McGonagall, my favorite Hogwarts professor. Maggie Smith did a brilliant job of bringing McGonagall to life in the films. I will always see her in my mind when I think of this talented witch. I loved that Rowling gave us more backstory on this character. I loved learning about McGonagall's childhood and her time as a Hogwarts student.

The second chapter revolves around Remus Lupin. (sniff) I still haven't truly gotten over what happens to him in The Deathly Hallows. Rowling does a wonderful job of giving more backstory to this complicated character - including a detailed account of how he came to be a werewolf. Lupin is far from perfect, but there was always something about him that kept me firmly on his side. The only time I got frustrated with him was when he tried to push Tonks away rather than admitting how he felt about her. Their love story always gave me such flutters.

The third chapter is dedicated to Sybil Trelawney, who was probably one of my least favorite Hogwarts professors. I fully admit this is because she wasn't always kind to Hermione which colored my perception of her. I found a new sort of respect for her after reading this segment. In many ways, I pity her as she has no true home beyond the walls of Hogwarts. Like Harry, she doesn't fit in.

Lastly, Silvanus Kettleburn gets his moment in the spotlight. This was a name that didn't automatically ring a bell for me. Kettleburn was the Care of Magical Creatures teacher before Hagrid was given the post. Kettleburn, like Hagrid, was fascinated by magical creatures. He rarely thought through the consequences of his interactions with magical creatures which is why he retired with only one arm and half a leg. I certainly would not want to teach a course that was so fraught with peril. I also was unaware of his contributions during the Battle of Hogwarts. I feel confident that Kettleburn would have been a great ally of Newt Scamander.

This short read is a must for any Potter fan. It was so nice to learn more about characters who have played pivotal roles in the series and to meet Kettleburn.


One Last Gripe: I wish this was longer. My thirst for knowledge has not been abated.

Favorite Thing About This Book: Learning about characters before they became Hogwarts professors

First Sentence: Minerva McGonagall is many things: gifted witch, stern Hogwarts professor, lifelong Quidditch enthusiast and occasional tabby cat.

Favorite Character: Minerva McGonagall

Least Favorite Character: Sybil Trelawney



Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing from the Pottermore archives: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

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.

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