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Conversations with J. K. Rowling Paperback – September 11, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

If you're a Harry Potter fan who knows more about J.K. Rowling than you know about most of your own family, then you won't find much new in this slim, large-type book. But younger kids (and Muggle grownups hoping for some insight into the world of Harry Potter) will learn quite a bit about this phenomenally successful series and its unassuming author.

Divided into roughly three sections, Conversations with J.K. Rowling begins with some fairly general questions about the author's early childhood ("Did you have any pets?"), school days ("Did you watch much television as a child?"), and career ("Can you describe the process of creating the stories?"). The book then follows with an excerpt-assisted overview of the first four Harry Potter adventures (again, great for Muggles), and ends with a smattering of quotes from Rowling's interviews with Larry King, Newsweek, Oprah Winfrey's O magazine, and Entertainment Weekly.

Kids will get a kick out of many of the anecdotes (Rowling can't remember her little sister's birth, just eating the Play-Doh that she was given that day to distract her), while older readers should enjoy more sophisticated insights into her books (like how she decided to write full-time when she still had a daughter to support). Certainly a light (and quick) read, but fun for what it is. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

In a highly accessible Q&A format, the author of the Harry Potter books reveals what it was like for her growing up her family life, pets and school days as well as her career as a writer in Conversations with J.K. Rowling by Lindsey Fraser. Excerpts from her interviews with Oprah, Newsweek and Larry King, among others, are also included, along with brief plot descriptions of books one through four.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439314550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439314558
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By hiphopgirl_1000 on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a teen fan of J.K. Rowling I was pretty unimpressed with this book. From first sight I was surprised at how thin this book was and the huge print.( Kinda like a book for a seven-year-old) Then was disappointed me even more was that the initial interview was only about 2/3 of the book. Some of the facts in the interview was interesting but much to me was already known. It seemed to me throughout the entire interview J.K. was controling every little detail she let out. That is her character though. She never really ever revealed any of her plot line in her writing either.
The rest of the book was a complete overview of the Harry Potter series. This to me was a waste of time for I have read the books like 3 times each. And reader bewarned...if you haven't read all the Harry Potter books, this section holds a lot of spoilers which might ruin your experience.
All and all this book disappointed me very much. I hope someday J.K. decides to write a book about herself because billions of people are very interested in her life.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By hiphopgirl_1000 on March 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
The first impression I got of this book is how thin it is. That wasn't the biggest one though. Let's just say when I opened it up I found the print to be HUGE. Another thing that disappointed me was from pg. 58 and on it was just an overview of the first 4 Harry Potter books. As a teen fan of Harry Potter and having read them many times I found it quite boring to have about 30 pages of just overview of things I already know. For a new fan of Harry Potter who hasn't read all the books it includes plenty of spoiler so I recommend you read the books first before you actrully read this interview book.
This book was split into three parts. The first part was called "An interview with J.K. Rowling. As enphasized on the cover this the first and only Authorized Biography of J.K. Rowling and I have found the little tidbids of information J.K. reveals to be disappointing. However that is the nature of J.K.'s character has she never reveals much about her story plotlines either. This first section of the book goes from pg. 11 to 57. It is split into four parts:
1)My family and my childhood
2)My school days
3)My career
4)My career as a writer
These few pages were mostly all that was worth reading for me.
Part Two of this book was called "J.K. Rowling books" It was split into two parts:
1)An overview
2)The fourth book
I recommend again not to read this part if you haven't read all the books yet because it does give out a lot of important storylines and spoiler. Of course it was boring for me because I've read the books many times
Part three of the book was just a bibiography and had a page of summery of the first 4 books. All and all this book only had 50 pages of HUGE print worth reading and I finished it in 40 minutes. As an teen fan of J.K. Rowling's I hope she writes a biography that tells more about her life than this after she finishes her seven Harry Potter books.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book itself is pretty small, only 96 pages of text in a larger than normal letter size, starting on page 11. Most of the
book revolves around questions and answers that you would ask your penpal: "Did you enjoy art? and "What types of music did you listen to as a child?" are two such examples. Okay, okay it is a biography, but some of the answers are found WORD-FOR-WORD in various interviews, the most obvious is the recent issue of
Vanity Fair, citing that she turned WB and every studio down at first. That isn't the ONLY answer she's taken from a previous interviews. A lot of other things that she's mentioned before, but not as funny as in other interviews. A portion of the information is indeed new, but nothing outstanding. If you are
hoping that she slipped any information at all- expect to be dissapointed. Very dissapointed. I only found one semi-significant bits of insight. She has the entire history and childhood of Sirius Black. This however what put into Vanity Fair. The questions from the author lasted only until page 57. From pages 58 to 83 the author summurizes the first four books. As if we didn't read them all already. How many people would actually pick up this book before finishing all four. Most of the commentary is followed by long snippets of the book, about a half page on average. I estimate it took up about six pages. After the commentary from page 83 until 90, there is a transcript of some interview including Newsweek, O and Larry King. These interviews are from July 2000. For those who want insight, J.K. Rowling mentions book seven will be very long, like
Encyclopedia Brittanca, because she wants "to say goodbye." This was from 2000, and yes, I read it then, when the interview came out (my family used to subscribe to Newsweek), and I'm not impressed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jake on September 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
A section-by-section review of the new authorized biography of one of the world's best-loved writers:
'Harry Potter' fans will find this section of new interviews with J.K. Rowling very good - it reveals many things I had no idea about, and I'm glad to have it in my Harry Potter collection. We gain insight into Rowling's life and work, and also info on the basis for some 'Potter' characters...she said she based Snape in part on her least favorite teacher, and that she is often reminded of him when she visits schools, because the mean teachers stand out. There are also neat tidbits about Peter Pan, the Kenedy family, and more. This section earns full marks for its information and laid-back, enjoyable format.
But it is the next section, "J.K. Rowling's Books," that brings this down a star. While this section would be nice for a "cliff notes" book about the series, or to introduce someone to the books, it is not needed here; fans will read this book, not people who need to be introduced to the series. And even if this was read by someone who doesn't know the series, it would spoil things for them. So if you are considering buying this and have not read all four 'Potter' books, DON'T! Order the books and discover how good they are on your own -- then come back for this, it'll always be there. I repeat myself: If you have not read ALL FOUR HARRY POTTER BOOKS, reading this will spoil some of the most exciting suprises. For this reason, I am deducting a star from its original five-star ranking.
Basically a list of all four 'Potter' books and weak blurbs. Does this really even need to be in the book?
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