Pottermore: Harry Potter Fans Rejoice the Coming of New Website

Family Matters on 06.24.11
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Photo credit: Sony

Pottermore, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's just-announced free website, has caused a frenzy of excitement amongst fans of the popular series. Formerly resigned to the seven novels (and eight movies) of the wizarding world, children and adults who adore these books learned yesterday that their Harry Potter experience will continue!

"Pottermore! Get it? We get MORE Potter! Sooo coool!!!"

That was the reaction of my seven-year-old son Charlie. He is currently reading the fifth book as slowly as possible, already saddened as he sees the end in sight of this series that has gripped his imagination and heart. I have a feeling that Pottermore will be the top location he chooses to spend his precious allotted computer time. Thankfully, the website has been designed for all ages of users and following the best practices for child safety.

Admittedly, I'm pretty excited too. I read the books with zeal before having kids, and as soon as my oldest began devouring "chapter books" on his own, I introduced him to Harry, Hermione, Ron...and the Weasley family and Albus Dumbledore and Professor Snape and oh my gosh my favorite, Luna Lovegood....

OK, I'm pretty darn excited about Pottermore myself.

Rowling has partnered with Sony to build an online experience entrenched in the world created in the Harry Potter books. The website will include "extensive new material [emphasis mine] about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books" and new information about some of the best-loved characters. The website will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive 'Moments' which the user will navigate.

Pottermore will also be the first and only place readers can purchase the books in eBook form for their Kindles and Nooks, a move Rowling had up until now resisted. And because the books have created fans throughout the world, Pottermore will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

If, like me, you have a child in your house who has literally borrowed your kitchen broom in order to practice Quidditch in the front yard, check out these ways the site will allow the user to experience elements of the wizarding world firsthand:

  • You get to visit Diagon Alley
  • You get to find a wand that "chooses" you at Ollivanders wand shop (from over 33,000 possible combinations)
  • You get sorted into a house - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin, of course - by the Sorting Hat according to your personal character
  • You learn to cast spells and mix potions
  • You get to earn points to help your house compete for the House Cup

Pottermore will open to everyone in October, but everyone can register their e-mail addresses now to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on July 31st (Harry Potter's birthday, of course!). On Harry's birthday, Rowling will launch an online challenge and the first one million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and reportedly help shape the Pottermore experience.

Am I the only one who feels like she's caught in the opening scenes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Rowling is Willy Wonka? To complete this Wonkaesque feel, Rowling made her announcement via this video, which the residents of my home and I have watched about five times already:

 

 

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Tags: Book Reviews