Harry Potter Parties

Thursday, July 19th 2007, 4:00 am
By: News On 6

The seventh and last Harry Potter book is set for release just after midnight on Saturday. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is the final chapter in a series of books, which were first published in 1997. Many readers, young and old alike, will be waiting in line at midnight when stores in Tulsa and across eastern Oklahoma begin selling the book by author JK Rowlings.

Several bookstores in the Tulsa area and in eastern Oklahoma will be holding book release parties Friday evening.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers at its Southroads location at 5231 East 41st Street and its Woodland Plaza location at 8620 East 71st Street will be holding events starting at 7 p.m. The events include a costume contest, face painting, games, and magic shows.

The Tulsa City-County Library is part of the book release activites at Barnes and Noble Booksellers' Southroads store. Click here to watch the video.

Borders at 8015 South Yale has activities beginning at 9:30 p.m. and the Borders store at 2740 East 21st begins its festivities at 7 p.m. A number of events are planned around Borders' Grand Hallows Ball. The list includes the Great Snake debate, a costume contest and a number of special games.

The Waldenbooks store at 4107 South Yale in Tulsa is also holding a book release event Friday starting at 9 p.m. Waldenbooks stores in Bartlesville and Muskogee are also holding events Friday night.

Tulsa Community College's bookstore at 11th and Detroit will also have the book available for sale after midnight.

In addition, Hastings stores in Bartlesville, Muskogee and Stillwater are holding Harry Potter book release parties Friday evening.


NOVI, Mich. (AP) _ Harry Potter entered the wizard shopping district known as Diagon Alley and was amazed by what he saw.

``Harry wished he had eight more eyes,'' J.K. Rowling wrote in ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,'' her first book about the boy wizard and his adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For Harry, Diagon Alley offered a cornucopia of robes, eels' eyes, spell books, quills, potion bottles and magic wands.

If Harry jumped out of the book and entered any Borders or Barnes & Noble store these days, he might be equally overwhelmed.

A stepped-up sales blitz of Potter-themed merchandise is under way thanks to the perfect storm of the release July 21 of ``Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' _ the seventh and final book in the series _ and the fifth movie, ``Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,'' which comes out 10 days earlier.

The strategy is an about-face from 2005, when book No. 6, ``Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,'' hit shelves. Booksellers then scaled back on Potter paraphernalia, which did not sell as well during the lead-up to the fifth novel, 2003's ``Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.''

But Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Borders Group Inc. is upping the ante this time around by offering everything from calendars and journals to wall scrolls, wands and lunch boxes.

``There is much more product available this time because of the timing of the movie and book releases,'' said Diane Mangan, director of children's merchandise for Borders.

A Borders location in the Detroit suburb of Novi gives Muggles _ those who are not wizards or witches _ the chance to spend their hard-earned money on all kinds of Potter stuff.

Sticker books and action figures populate two tables devoted solely to Potter merchandise. Sweet-toothed Potter-philes can leave the Novi store with their own version of the candy cart from the Hogwarts Express train. Two stands offer Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and Chocolate Frogs and Blood Pops can be found elsewhere in the store.

Not to be outdone, rival superstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc. also has jumped back into the Potter merchandising game, offering T-shirts, baseball caps, chess sets, calendars, bookmarks, journals, wands and games.

``We will be offering a larger assortment of gifts or non-book products this year,'' said Kim Brown, vice president of merchandising at New York-based Barnes & Noble. ``We've never had a moment when the book and the movie are very close, so I think that will help sales. But I think they're going to be strong no matter what.''

JP Morgan analyst Nancy Hoch said it makes sense for big book retailers to offer Potter goodies.

``Given the convergence of the film and book releases and the overall excitement around the seventh and final book, I would expect Harry Potter-themed merchandise sales to be up this year,'' Hoch said.

While the national chains are pushing more Potter merchandise, they are quick to point out that their main focus still is on the book, which will wrap up Rowling's epic fantasy series. Worldwide sales of the first six books already top 325 million copies, and the first U.S. printing for ``Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' is 12 million.

The Harry Potter series is published in Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC and in the U.S. by Scholastic Corp.

``We're a bookstore, so our prominent feature is the book,'' said Brown of Barnes & Noble. ``The gift items are just an enhancement to the display.''

Many independent booksellers also are selling extras, but mainly they are focusing on the big event: the debut of ``Deathly Hallows.''

The Booksmith in San Francisco is bringing in local high school students to help staff its release party, which will feature refreshments, prizes and a costume contest. Partygoers also will find some related merchandise, including Golden Snitches and Hogwarts Castle building cards.

``The extra merchandise is cool, but we are mainly going to sell HP7 that night and we know that,'' said Christy Pascoe, a senior staffer at The Booksmith. ``The extras are mostly to provide interesting displays for people to look at while they enjoy the games, contests and refreshments.''

The Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., is breaking up its Potter festivities into two days.

Its Midnight Launch Party will feature a local rock/alternative band as well as a fire-dancing troupe that dresses in Hogwarts uniforms. The next day, Changing Hands will provide face-painting, tea-leaf reading, lightning-bolt tattooing, magic wand-making and a reading of the first chapter of ``Deathly Hallows'' by a local stage actor.

``The thought of just hosting a fabulous 'goodbye and thank you' party for a wonderful series is what we wanted the community to enjoy,'' said Yvette Roeder, Changing Hands' public relations manager.

Having a celebratory shindig at just one location is not enough for Sally Wizik Wills, owner of Sister Wolf Books and Beagle Books.

Her stores are taking readers on a Harry Potter Party Tour, with stops at an area library and coffee shop. A coffee bar inside Sister Wolf Books in Dorset, Minn., will be transformed into the Three Broomsticks and serve butterbeer, one of Harry's favorite libations.

``Parties celebrating the release of new books are a way to gather with other folks who share an interest in Harry Potter, have some fun and get the book,'' Wills said. ``It's fun, especially for children, to be out in the middle of the night _ an unusual occurrence. The parties are a celebration of the books and those who love them.''

Synopses of the first six Harry Potter books...

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' (September 1998)

This is our introduction to the young Harry Potter. He's an orphan who looks just like his father except he has his mother's bright green eyes. He also has an odd scar on his forehead shaped like a lightning bolt.

Harry became an orphan at 1, when the evil Lord Voldemort killed James and Lily Potter and gave Harry his scar while trying to kill him, too. He was raised by the nonmagical Dursleys _ his aunt Petunia, her horrible husband Vernon and their rotten son Dudley. They treat Harry in the most wicked ways.

Our young English friend learns the truth about his background on his 11th birthday, when Hagrid, groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, pays him a visit and tells him who he really is.

Hogwarts becomes Harry's new school, where he meets friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and gets a mentor in headmaster Albus Dumbledore. He makes some enemies, too: Draco Malfoy and Professor Severus Snape.

He discovers some talents, like flying. He also learns that Voldemort is still around in spirit and trying to get back his physical form. Voldemort is after the Sorcerer's Stone, for its life-enhancing properties, but Harry thwarts him.

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'' (June 1999)

The second book starts with 12-year-old Harry wondering why none of his friends have been in touch during the summer. He finds out when he gets a visit from Dobby, a magical house elf owned by the Malfoy family.

At risk to himself, Dobby has sneaked out to warn Harry he is in danger and can't go back to Hogwarts. Harry, of course, doesn't listen, and finds a way to get back to school that involves Ron and the magical Weasley car.

But his return to Hogwarts doesn't go smoothly. And weird things are going on _ voices that only Harry can hear, people turning up petrified! The Chamber of Secrets, thought a myth, has been opened, and a monster is attacking students who come from nonmagical families.

Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister, disappears, and Harry finds the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and goes to look for her. He comes across the spirit of Tom Riddle, a former Hogwarts student who turns out to be behind all the trouble. It's Riddle who later becomes Lord Voldemort.

Harry defeats Riddle. And before returning home, he gets Dobby free of the evil Malfoys.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' (September 1999)

Now a teen, Harry wants desperately for the Dursleys to sign a permission slip that would let him go on field trips to a magical village. But he's thwarted when Uncle Vernon's horrible sister is too much to bear, and decides to flee after performing some magic he shouldn't have.

Thinking he'll be punished by the magical powers that be, Harry is shocked when instead he's treated like nothing happened and is sent to a magic inn to wait out the rest of his vacation. The night before he returns to Hogwarts, he finds out why: Sirius Black, a feared Voldemort supporter, has escaped from Azkaban, a prison for wizards and witches. Could he be looking for Harry at Hogwarts?

At school, a tense year is capped when Black shows up. But he isn't looking for Harry, after all. He wants Scabbers, Ron's pet rat, and it turns out that the animal is a transfigured Peter Pettigrew, a Voldemort follower who committed the crime for which Black was wrongly imprisoned and betrayed Harry's parents.

Black hopes he will finally be exonerated, and as Harry's godfather, offers him a home. But Pettigrew escapes, and it's back to life on the lam for Black.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' (July 2000)

In a change from the first three books, this one doesn't open with Harry. It starts with the story of how the horrible Riddle family died.

It then shifts to the present, where we discover that Pettigrew has been busy. He met up with Voldemort, who is still trying to give himself a physical human body. Voldemort's got a plan, one that requires the presence, and blood, of Harry Potter. And he has help, a loyal servant who can get to 14-year-old Harry when the time is right.

When we meet Harry, he joins Ron and his family at the Quidditch World Cup finals, where things go badly. They don't get better when he returns to Hogwarts, where he is entered into a dangerous magical competition.

Voldemort's plan works for a while, giving him back his body, but not long enough to kill Harry. At Hogwarts, Voldemort's servant is discovered, but the authorities dispatch him and think he was just nuts and not part of Voldemort's schemes. Harry and his friends know the truth _ Voldemort is back.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' (June 2003)

After a three-year wait, Rowling returns with an absolutely HUGE book.

Not much time has passed since the end of the last book. Harry is with the Dursleys, increasingly angry that his friends in the wizarding world aren't telling him what's going on. Now 15, Harry is really a teenager _ moody, angry, yelling a LOT.

After a shocking attack, Harry is reunited with his friends and finds out that the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society, has been gathered to fight Voldemort. But the Ministry of Magic still wants to believe there's no threat, and comes down on anyone who even suggests that You-Know-Who might be back.

Hogwarts is not the refuge it usually is _ the Ministry of Magic has decided to interfere to make sure nothing is said about Voldemort, and sends a particularly odious instructor to keep Harry and the others in line. And Dumbledore, usually Harry's biggest ally, is strangely removed from him.

Harry and friends try to prepare anyway, and he starts teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts to a group of students in secret. But the book ends tragically _ tricked by Voldemort, Harry and friends visit the Ministry of Magic and run into Voldemort's servants. The Order of the Phoenix comes to help, but member Sirius Black is killed along the way.

The rest of the wizarding world realizes that Voldemort has indeed returned.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'' (July 2005)

Dumbledore himself comes to get Harry when it's time for him to return to the wizarding world, the first clue that this year is going to be different. Still struggling with Sirius' death, Harry jumps at the chance that Dumbledore offers to find out more about Voldemort and how to defeat him. Life at Hogwarts is hectic as well _ Harry is captain of his Quidditch team, and finds himself with strong romantic feelings for Ginny, Ron's younger sister.

He's got suspicions of some of the people around him, suspicions he can't really get anyone else to share, even after a couple of near-deaths. Finally, he and Dumbledore figure out that Voldemort has split his soul into pieces, and the only way to kill him is to destroy those pieces. They go after one of the pieces, a trip that severely weakens Dumbledore, and return to find the school under attack.

During the attack, Dumbledore is killed, and the book ends with Harry and friends wondering if Hogwarts can even go on without him. Harry is determined to carry on the work that he and Dumbledore started.

Watch the video: Harry Potter Frenzy

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Watch the video: CBS Early Show Rupert Grint Interview

Related links:

JK Rowlings website: www.jkrowling.com/en/

Official Harry Potter movie website: harrypotter.warnerbros.com/

Scholastic Books

Hastings Entertainment

Barnes & Noble Booksellers