Harry grows on you
Potter books mature with characters
By ALEX EASTON
HARRY POTTER is not for kids any more.
Ever since the release of JK Rowling's first in the series ? Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ? there has been a low-level debate over whether the books were only for children, or for adults too.
As promised by Rowling, the books have matured with their stars ? each darker than the last and aimed at an aging audience.
The penultimate book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, takes that shift to a new level.
Rowling has never shied from violence ? a teacher dies 'off screen' in the first book; Harry relives the murder of his parents in the third; a minor character is killed in the fourth, and a major character dies in the fifth.
That escalation has intensified and the Half-Blood Prince would likely frighten many of the children now happily ploughing through The Philosopher's Stone.
Rowling, who reaped $43 million from the first day's sales of the Half-Blood Prince, could fairly argue that the book is aimed primarily at 16-year-olds ? teenagers the same age as the book's hero.
It's not for young kids.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince carries on with Rowling's beautiful style of story-telling, though, like the fifth book, it lacks the humour of the earlier Harry Potter novels.
She also sets up a complete break with the boarding school formula ? that has defined the Harry Potter books ? for the last in the series.
I am already impatient with the wait.
n Harry Potter competition details, Page 84
The magic of JK
and sticky tape
STEVEY-LEE GINGER has read the books in the Harry Potter series so often her copies are held together with sticky tape.
The 16-year-old from Byron Bay finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince just over 24 hours after it was released this month.
Her summary of the first five novels is below:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry learns of his magical roots, forms a bond with Hogwart's principal Dumbeldore, and takes an instant dislike to potions master Snape. Harry, Ron and Hermione work together to defeat Lord Voldermort.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Harry saves Ron's sister Ginny and de- stroys Tom Riddle's diary.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry gains a parental figure, his godfather Sirius Black. The series takes a darker turn from here.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Is Stevey-Lee's favourite. Voldermort's supporters rise again and Voldermort himself is re-born.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Harry and Dumbeldore try to convince the wizarding world Voldermort is back. Harry and friends battle Death Eaters to access a prophecy about Harry's future. Another major character dies and Voldermort lives on.
n What did you think of the latest Harry Potter?
Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opin- email@example.com