- Age Range: 9 and up
- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- 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: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Conversations with J. K. Rowling Paperback – September 11, 2001
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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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SECTION ONE: AN INTERVIEW WITH J.K. ROWLING
'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.
SECTION TWO: J.K. ROWLING'S BOOKS
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.
SECTION THREE: BIBLIOGRAPHY
Basically a list of all four 'Potter' books and weak blurbs. Does this really even need to be in the book? I think not, and I've deducted another star from the five-star ranking because of it.
All in all this is a great book (obviously much better than the unauthorized ones are said to be), and I would reccomend it to the obsessive 'Harry Potter' fan, but not to others. 3/5 ***
The second part of the book includes Fraser's brief essay on the world of Harry Potter and another on Goblet of Fire, a discussion which is augmented by snippets from interviews Rowling gave at the time of that book's release.
Good for kids, and at 96 pages of largish print, a very quick read.
Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
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.