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For Young Readers by Lindsey & Paige Oliver
Rowling works magic in Deathly Hallows
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    Of all the works in children’s literature, no particular series is more well-known than J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally popular Harry Potter novels. Translated into over 60 languages worldwide, the fantastical works have made a cultural impact unlike any other modern novel in the world. Children who would never pick up a book prior to being seized with “Potter mania” have long since risen to the challenge of reading seven hundred or more pages of text — a feat which some parents and educators would deem magical in itself.
    The final installment of the series is exactly what it should be: charged with action and determined to bring the stories of characters readers know and love to a close. Even in the midst of their mourning for the series, Potter fans will not find any loose ends by the time they reach the final page, nor will anyone regret taking the time to read the entire series. Through it all, Rowling’s imaginative world remains fresh-faced and earnest, though its trademark tone of wonder and enchantment has dwindled slightly in this final installment, replaced, instead, with a comparatively dark and dramatic edge befitting the intensity of Harry’s troubles.
    And what troubles they are: charged by the late Albus Dumbledore to find a means of destroying the scattered soul of the evil wizard Voldemort, Harry must not only contend with those he knows to be enemies, but also with the poison hardship brings to those for whom he cares. Even as he strikes deals with goblins, duels dark wizards, and has his faith in a beloved mentor shaken, he must also find within his heart the strength to both persevere and accept the most difficult and simple truths of life.
    One aspect which never fails to impress is Rowling’s ability to translate situations otherwise considered too mature for young readers into an easily approachable presentation. Though Harry and his friends are teenagers in the vast majority of the series, sexuality, betrayal and other often angst-filled themes of their age are toned down to a level which young readers can both empathize with and understand. Even “Deathly Hallows”, which contains possibly the darkest tone of any novel in the series, is not without humor and the trademark accessibility of Rowling’s previous works. The book does contain death, torture, prejudice and suspicion, but it also carries within its pages a lighthearted sense of love and hope — one of the many characteristics which drew readers to the world of Harry Potter in the first place, and perhaps one of the greatest forces of magic in the world.
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