Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Summer has been normal and boring for Harry Potter until right before the end. Dementors show up in his town and attack him and his cousin Dudley. Harry uses magic to fight off the creatures and, almost instantly, gets sent a letter from the Ministry that is requiring him to go to a disciplinary hearing. At the hearing it will be decided if Harry should be expelled from Hogwarts. At the hearing it is decided that Harry will not be expelled from Hogwarts. Once there, Harry notices a lot of strange things. Skeletal horses are pulling school carriages, but he is the only one that can actually see the horses. Also there is another new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher named Dolores Umbridge. There are also rumors that Harry and Dumbledore are going crazy for thinking that Voldemort is returning. The only people that stand by Harry’s side are Ron and Hermione. Harry frequently gets detention with Professor Umbridge for lashing out at the people that think he’s crazy. Professor Umbridge soon becomes Hogwarts High Inquisitor which gives her the power to sack teachers whenever she feels that it’s necessary. Because of Harry’s frequent detentions, Professor Umbridge decides to take away the things Harry loves most like Quidditch, Sirius Black’s letters, and the ability to visit Hagrid at his hut. In retaliation, Harry forms a defense group which he calls Dumbledore’s Army. Professor Umbridge soon finds out, and Dumbledore takes the blame. In doing so, Dumbledore has to leave Hogwarts to avoid being arrested. Harry frequently has dreams of dark corridors and locked doors, and his scar prickles very often. Harry then finds out that Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, was killed, and Dumbledore tells Harry the ultimate prophecy: If Harry doesn’t kill Voldemort, Voldemort will eventually kill Harry.

-Emilio V.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available for download from Overdrive

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

To begin Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Weasleys invite Harry to the Quidditch World Cup. At the game, Death Eaters, Voldemort’s servants, show up, and at the end of the match Voldemort’s sign appears above the field. Back at Hogwarts, Harry finds out that Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament. Even though Harry isn’t old enough to compete, he is still very excited to watch. The three competing schools are Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons. The goblet of fire chooses one student from each school to participate. For Hogwarts, Cedric Diggory is chosen, for Durmstrang Victor Krum is chosen, and for Beauxbatons Fleur Delacour is chosen. Oddly after all three are chosen, Harry’s name flies out of the goblet. Regardless of his age, Harry is the fourth participant. This angers Ron because he thinks that Harry did put his name into the goblet, even though he didn’t. The first trial of the tournament is to steal a golden eye from a dragon. Harry does this, and somehow it convinces Ron that Harry wasn’t lying to him. The second task is to retrieve an item from the bottom of a lake filled with mer-people. Harry doesn’t know how he will do this until the very last minute. Harry is now tied for first place. Someone at the school wants Harry to die, but nobody knows who it is. Because of this, Sirius Black returns to watch over Harry. The last trial of the tournament is to find the Winner’s Cup. During the trial, Cedric gets hurt and Harry helps him. They then decide to become joint winners. They find the Winner’s Cup, but when they grab onto it they get transported to a graveyard. Confused about their whereabouts, Cedric is killed by one of Voldemort’s servants, Wormtail. Harry sees Voldemort and just barely escapes with his life. Back at Hogwarts, Harry clutches Cedric’s body and cries for the loss of his friend. Harry soon finds out who the traitor in Hogwarts is. It was Professor Moody, the newly recruited Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry tells Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, but only Dumbledore believes Harry.

-Emilio V.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Harry’s third year at Hogwarts is stressful in the beginning. He is constantly being buried under piles of homework. He also learns that Sirius Black, a mass murderer, is out to kill Harry. Mr. Weasley makes Harry promise that he won’t go looking for Sirius and Harry agrees. At Hogwarts, Dementors have been stationed around the school to prevent Sirius from getting in. The Dementors, however, have a worse effect on Harry than any other student because of Harry’s past. Mr. Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, teaches Harry how to cast a Patronus Charm which is the only spell that works against the Dementors. Ron and Hermione are constantly arguing because Hermione’s cat keeps trying to eat Ron’s rat. Soon they altogether stop talking because Ron thinks that Hermione’s cat did eat his rat. A few days later Sirius Black breaks into Hogwarts, but is quickly captured. Then as it turns out, Ron’s rat is not only alive, but a real human that transformed himself into a rat to spy on Harry. The man’s name is Peter Pettigrew and he was spying on Harry for Voldemort. Pettigrew quickly escapes before Harry can stop him. Harry finds out that it wasn’t Sirius Black that lead Voldemort to his parents, but that it was Pettigrew. Sirius is actually Harry’s godfather. Harry hopes that he can live with Sirius instead of the Dursley’s, but Sirius has to hide from the Ministry. Professor Lupin turns out to be a werewolf, and it was Sirius that saved the kids from Lupin.

-Emilio V.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts is even more eventful than his first. Before school starts, Harry is warned by an elf named Dobby that he should not return to Hogwarts. Harry dismisses Dobby’s warning and goes anyways. At Hogwarts, Harry hears a strange voice coming from inside the walls. Throughout the year, the voice becomes more fierce and soon students at Hogwarts begin to get attacked. Harry quickly finds out, by mistake, that he’s a Parselmouth. Parselmouth is the ability to speak to serpents. When Harry finds this out, people believe him to be Slytherin’s heir and the one who will open the Chamber of Secrets and release the monster inside. Harry then tries finding who is attacking the students. His, Ron’s and Hermione’s first guess is Draco Malfoy. They disguise as Slytherins and ask him if he is attacking the students. Draco responds by claiming that he’s not the one they’re looking for. Soon after Hermione gets attacked and petrified, and Ron’s sister Ginny gets kidnapped and taken down to the Chamber of Secrets. Ron and Harry go into the Chamber to find her and get split up. Harry quickly finds Ginny and destroys Slytherin’s heir who is a young version of Voldemort.

-Emilio V.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a miserable boy living with his aunt and uncle. He is often mistreated. He sleeps in a cupboard beneath the stairs and has to wear his cousin Dudley’s hand me downs. His life gets a massive change on his 11th birthday. A giant tells Harry that he is a wizard and that so were his parents. Hagrid also tells Harry about how his parents died which made him a hero in the wizarding world. Hagrid lastly informs Harry that he’ll be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry doesn’t know what to do or think with everything he has just been told, but it turns out to be true and Harry starts school in September. Almost instantly he becomes friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry loves Hogwarts more than anything ever before. Soon he starts participating in Quidditch practices and becomes the youngest Quidditch player in the last century. As the year goes on, the three discover the mystery of the three headed dog and what it could be guarding. They soon notice a professor that seems like he’s trying to steal the object, so they take action to prevent the robbery. Once they sneak past the three headed dog, they pass several challenges to get to the professor.

When they get to where the professor should be, Harry finds his parents’ killer Voldemort. Voldemort killed Harry’s parents to get to Harry, but somehow Harry survived Voldemort’s spell. He battles Voldemort and barely saves the mystical Sorcerer’s Stone. The end of the school year arrives and Harry, Ron, and Hermione are rewarded for their acts of bravery.

-Emilio V.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.  

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

I rejoiced when I heard there would be an eighth Harry Potter book as I’m sure the rest of the Harry Potter fandom did.  It definitely delivers the same thrills, adventure, and fun as the other seven.

The story centers around Albus Severus Potter, Harry Potter’s youngest son.  He doesn’t fit in as well at Hogwarts, but finds a friend in Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius.  Albus and Scorpius are both sorted into Slytherin and Albus’s relationship with his father worsens over the years.  Then, everything changes as the pair meet Delphi, Amos Diggory’s niece, and set off to change the past with the help of a Time-Turner and save Cedric Diggory. The rest of the story lies within the book…

This was an interesting read because it isn’t written like a conventional book; it’s written like a script with descriptions of the surroundings, acts and scenes, and the character’s names before their dialogue.  I loved seeing Harry, Ron, and Hermione all grown up with families.  It makes you feel like you’ve grown along with the characters. This book was a great addition to the series and I recommend it to everyone who loves Harry Potter and magical, fantasy adventure books!

-Kaitlyn S.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Anticipating the Next “Fantastic Beasts” Film

Mid-November, an article was released on Pottermore titled “Everything we know about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald so far.” The article revealed a lot about what we could expect from the next film.

Firstly, the film takes place in 1927, just a few months after the events that occurred in the first movie. It follows the story of Newt Scamander to Europe (specifically Paris and London), so we are traveling closer to Dumbledore’s home in Goodric’s Hollow and Hogwarts. Based on the title (The Crimes of Grindelwald), it may be assumed that this film will follow Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) and elaborate on his story. We know from the books that Grindelwald and Dumbledore have a history, and it appears as if it will be expanded upon in this movie. Based on the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it seems as if Dumbledore also had some sort of relationship with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), as we know he argued against his expulsion from Hogwarts.

It is inevitable that Grindelwald will escape from MACUSA (the U.S.’s version of the Ministry of Magic). Looking back at the books, we know that Grindelwald’s rise was not unlike that of Voldemort. It was a dark time for muggles and wizards alike. Grindelwald’s intention was also aligned with Voldemort’s: they both believed that pure-bloods were superior, and that anyone who did not fit into this category did not deserve the right to use magic. We also know that Grindelwald is in possession of the Elder Wand (because of a picture of the cast that was released along with the article), which Dumbledore later acquires as he has it throughout the Harry Potter films. The picture also depicts the mysterious Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) mentioned in the previous film sitting with Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) — Newt’s brother. Another important note — Credence (Ezra Miller) is alive! At the end of the first movie, it seemed as if he was killed after transforming into his Obscurus form. However, he appeared in the picture with everyone else, so he must’ve survived… right?

Although we already know quite a bit about the movie, there are still bound to be surprises and plot twists. I’m extremely excited to see this movie, and am glad that the characters from the first movie will be returning, along with many new faces. J. K. Rowling herself has written the screenplay, and David Yates is directing the film. It will be released in the U.S. on November 16th, 2018.

I loved the first movie and I know I’ll love this one too! It’s really intriguing to hear everyone’s backstories and how it shaped them into who they are in the Harry Potter books and movies. I can’t wait for this movie!!!

-Elina T.