All eyes on Harry

Lawrence readers weigh in on 'Half-Blood Prince'

By Matt Rood, 9, Lawrence

I thought that the sixth Harry Potter book was very good. Just as always, J.K. Rowling has pushed my imagination to its limits. I finished it in four days. My mom finished in two. Why is it that some people read fast and some read very slowly?

I think that Harry, Ron and Hermione have changed very much since the first book. Hermione has changed because she jinxed someone at Quidditch tryouts, and that was a sneaky thing to do. Ron has changed because he fell in love with someone in this book and it goes on for chapters and chapters! Harry has changed because he has gained a lot of responsibility. In the first few books he knew he needed to find Voldemort, but now it has become everything to him to find and kill him.

My favorite part of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was when Harry tricked Ron and made him think he drank Lucky potion, Felix Felicis. Harry wanted him to think he would do better in an important game that day.

Anyway, I recommend this book to anyone who likes Harry Potter and fantasy and adventure. And one more thing: I hope J.K. Rowling writes more books after she finishes the seventh Harry Potter novel.

¢ By Dravid Joseph, 13, Lawrence

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the sixth novel about a young wizard who found he was famous in the magical world because he almost killed Lord Voldemort, a wizard terrorist and murderer who had just been restored to full strength. In this installment, Harry discovers more about Voldemort's past in an effort to find out a way to kill the seemingly invincible dark wizard. During this time, he captains the Quidditch team, finds love and loses his mentor unnecessarily at the hands of a traitor.

J.K. Rowling's books are right up there with the upper echelon of great literature. She has written a novel that is brilliantly done and also has done it in fewer pages (the novel's predecessor was 700-plus, whereas "Half-Blood Prince" is 652 pages). Her novels have become more adult-friendly as they progress, and "The Half-Blood Prince" is no exception, with more complicated language and themes than ever. Harry seems to have gotten over his irritability that was extremely childish and annoying in the last book, and also is more relaxed, calm and mature.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this excellent novel, which has started to draw the curtains on an incredibly good series.

¢ By Lily Robinson, 12, Lawrence

Long-awaited "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is now being read across the nation by hungry J.K. Rowling fans. To some, it's a disappointment; to others, they will never be more content reading about another year of the legendary Hogwarts. This extension to the famous British series expands the characters into more in-depth, realistic teenagers. With each year at their school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the students evolve from cocky, daring first-years to cautious, mature sixth-years.

The famous Harry Potter, the insensitive Ronald Weasley and the bossy Hermione Granger form the courageous "Golden Trio" that battles everything that comes its way, depending only upon one another.

Traditional novels offer the following: Man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. self. In the sixth installation of the Harry Potter saga, it is Harry vs. Voldemort, Harry vs. the student body, and most importantly, Harry vs. Harry. The Boy Who Lived can't rely on anyone now besides Dumbledore and the "Half-Blood Prince," and even the prince's advice is found faulty from time to time. The Harry Potter septology is growing darker, right along with its hero.

¢ By BJ Simpson, 12, rural Lawrence

Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the Hogwarts gang are back in a stupendous new book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," by J.K. Rowling. The book opens with Harry Potter stuck spending the summer at his aunt and uncle's house with his cousin Dudley. Thankfully, Harry is saved once again from the Dursleys by someone unexpected and happily goes to live with the Weasley family for the rest of the summer. Harry is greeted by Bill Weasley, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Fleur Delacour, Bill's wife-to-be. For most of the summer, Harry practices Quidditch with Ron, makes fun of Fleur and has a great time.

However, the Dark Lord has come back and claimed more lives. Security has gotten tighter. Even Diagon Alley's bustling glittery shops have become dull and weary. Wanted signs are posted everywhere, and even the beloved wand maker, Ollivander, has been taken by the Dark Lord's followers.

Even Hogwarts isn't as laid back as it used to be. People are getting cursed. Harry's nemesis, Malfoy, is definitely up to something. There is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Ron and Hermione can't stand each other, and one question remains: Who is the Half-Blood Prince?

But no matter what, you can't stop 16-year-olds from doing what they do best: falling in love, getting into fights and making mischief.

In the end, Harry Potter goes on a quest with Professor Dumbledore that he will never forget; it ends up costing a life.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a thrilling book with tons of twists and turns that is sure to keep you turning pages. Backstabbers, best friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, professors, students, Quidditch players - they're all there, as well as our most beloved character, Harry Potter.

I'm not surprised this book sold 6.4 million copies in the first day, and I wish J.K. Rowling congratulations for another job well-done. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is an excellent book. I give it a 5 out of 5!

¢ By Lauren Nus, 11, Lawrence

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" starts with a scene with the Muggle Minister and Cornelious Fudge. They discuss that Voldemort is back in power and Rufus Scrimgeour is the minister of magic.

Then the scene changes back to Privet Drive, where Harry is whisked away by Dumbledore to visit Horace Slughorn. When he gets to the Burrow, he gets his grades.

At Diagon Alley, Fred and George's business is booming. Harry becomes friends with Slughorn and is in the "Slug Club." He learns how to apparate, but he doesn't take the test.

Harry becomes suspicious of Draco Malfoy and has Dobby and Kreacher follow him. Dumbledore has private lessons with Harry to show him how to defeat Voldemort.

It's a lot like the fifth book because it's the same battle, same people, different place. A Death Eater kills a very important character at the end. A lot of people show up for the funeral. The book is tied for my favorite, along with the fourth. I liked this one a lot, but it had a harsh and sad ending.

By Alexa Bergstrom, Garden City

Well after three long days of reading the book, I found a lot of new and interesting things out about certain people, like Voldemort and Draco Malfoy. What was really unexpected for me was that (a very important character) has died. That was just out of the blue for me, and that Harry gets a girlfriend, too. In my opinion, though, this is by far the best book in the series, and I can't wait for the final book to come out.

¢ By Dawn Eddings, 34, Eudora

This has to be J.K. Rowling's best and most clever masterpiece thus far. It took me three days and nights of painstaking terror with twists and turns, high and lows and loopity loops to make it through this 30-chapter, 652-page work of art, and I have most definitely enjoyed the long, tedious adventure that awaited Harry at the end of this journey.

As I do not wish to spoil it for some readers who may not have finished the book yet, I won't go into great detail. Rowling's wording has by far outdone the other books; the storyline is awesome; and just when you think you have figured it out - BAM! - it changes so drastically you'll be awestruck.

It was the only Harry Potter book I actually cried through the last few chapters. It has unexpected twists and turns, and I will definitely be reading it again. There are a lot of mysteries to think about until the next one. Someone needs to host depression parties for Harry Potter fans after this one. It's a tear-jerker.

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