Harry Potter (Series)

Recommended by Hope Siegel


Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

Harry Potter the Instant Classic

My second recommended book is, of course, the man, the myth, the legend: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. It’s just one of those books that I have to recommend, even if you have read it. It’s a classic book, an epic series and an even better franchise. Anyone looking for outlining inspiration should take a look at Rowling’s process. She took 5 years laying out the entire series. She’s the ultimate planner (by NaNoWriMo standards). Here is a more detailed look at how she outlined Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But, without Further Ado, a look at the first book itself:


The Following is a semi-spoilery look at Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Anyone who hasn’t read the book (and I mean read, not like “watched all the movies” because that’s a different experience all together), should not go past the Dust-jacket summary placed next to the image of the cover:

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

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.








What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said before? Going past the obvious adoration I have for this book, and the epic proportions of this series, it presents us with characters that are lovable and a their inter-personal conflicts which are never blown out of proportion (aside from, perhaps, Harry and Draco’s conflicts which go immediately to the extreme). Specifically the conflict between Hermione and Ron which is more of a subtle hatred which develops into a friendship when Hermione becomes friendlier. If you’re looking for a children’s level example of good character relationship building then I’d say check out this series. Also for good mystery development, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone‘s twist ending is well hidden and makes many plot points sting with second hand embarrassment in a second reading. I can’t say it enough that this series is a classic for a reason. Simply put, it’s engaging and charming. If you haven’t read this book before then WHY ARE YOU NOT AT THE LIBRARY RIGHT NOW?! If you have, still check it out for an example piece, especially if you’re writing about magic or boarding schools or for children.

Last week of Spring 2017, Carry On My Kiddos

Hey ya’ll, welcome to the last week of school/last two days of exams. As we leave school and Writing Club for this year I have something I want to say… *ahem* *clears throat* *ahem* “Hi.”


I have a pitch for you… Book you’ll want to check out: Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. Since we finally have ” free time” to “read what we want” on our hands (air quotes for those of you working/interning this summer), I’ll be posting about books you might want to check out or books that I’ve been reading etc. My first pick is Carry On because I love this book to death. If anyone has any suggestions for books please send them to me or right them in the comments and I’ll try to check them out. I want to make a recommended book list on the website because good writers come from good readers, and good readers come from good/fun/entertaining books. Without Further ado, my thoughts on Carry On.

Warning Spoilers from the description of the book below (no details on key story elements, but what you’ll find on the book jacket):

Actual Description:

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.





My Thoughts:

I’ve been trying to get my friends to read this forever because it’s so passionate about what it is. If you’ve ever read Fangirl (also by Rainbow Rowell) this is based off of the fanfiction in that book. If you haven’t it’s based on the story of Simon and Baz, the protagonists of the Harry Potter-esque series, in their eighth year. Because of the premise of this story it reads like the eighth book of a series that you need to reread and a fanfiction. Anyone looking for feels and Harry Potter nostalgia should read this book. Quite frankly, it’s beautiful. It has a world/magic system that speaks to writers, a mystery that ends in a bang, and a cast of hilarious characters who understand their own tropes.

Also It is super gay. There is at least one gay character, a possibly bi character, and a possibly ace character (though it’s not clear).

Are Your Hands Wet?