Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
I recommend this book for: middle school and up
The book that Harry Potter fans have been eagerly awaiting, ironically, makes almost no mention of Harry at all. Not that it's a bad thing. These 5 stories from the wizarding world are entertaining and magical, and not just because they're about wizards. Interestingly, the wizard you do learn a lot more about is Dumbledore, through his written commentary following each story, supposedly discovered among his papers after his death. He reveals tidbits of wizarding history as well as anecdotes from his personal life (who knew that Nearly Headless Nick was a victim of witch hunts?) This is a quick read (my 13 year old brother-in-law and I read the same copy on the same night), but enjoyable.
A word to the squeamish - story #3, "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" is a bit gruesome, and the reason for the middle school and up recommendation. The other stories would be fine for younger readers, although the last one, "The Tale of the Three Brothers" as featured in Deathly Hallows is also rather dark.