Reviews for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 6 Up-In this concluding volume, Rowling brings together the themes and characters familiar to her readers, providing thrills both expected and unexpected. Harry, Ron, and Hermione set out on the mission left to Harry by Albus Dumbledore, to search for the remaining Horcruxes, the hidden pieces of Voldemort's soul that must be destroyed to ensure his final defeat. Harry and his friends find themselves fugitives, but help comes from unexpected quarters and old friends. Harry is also searching for the truth about Dumbledore's life, as he tries to reconcile rumors about the man's past with the heroic headmaster he thought he knew. The legend of the Deathly Hallows, three magical objects that have the power to overcome death, proves to be related to Dumbledore's past as well as the present conflict. While the plot wanders somewhat on its way there, the final battle with Voldemort, involving a full range of friends and foes, is Rowling at her finest. The headstrong plot involves clues and characters from all of the volumes, building on details and tying up loose ends. An underlying message about the power of truth and redemption is reflected in a range of characters, combining with mythic allusions to give depth to the series as a whole. Hallows continues the darker tone of Half-Blood Prince, and there's no Quidditch to be found here, though there are comic moments. Fans of the series will devour this lengthy tome and will be left hoping for more tales from this fully fleshed out fantastic world.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 6 Up-Listeners may want to linger over Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007) since this is J. K. Rowling's last installment in her universally successful fantasy series. Howeverm the high-tension adventures of Harry assisted by Hermione and Ron will immediately draw everyone into the quest to vanquish Voldemort. With the Dark Lord in control of the Ministry of Magic, the trio uses their combined wizardly talents to stay hidden as they follow Dumbledore's assignment to destroy the dangerous horcruxes. Finding those fragmented pieces of their enemy's soul lead the friends to angry arguments, near fatal encounters and, occasionally, humorous episodes. Pursuing Dumbledore's oblique clues also reveal the truth behind a powerful, death-defying magic wand and stone, but that knowledge threatens to sidetrack the teens. The final confrontation is a bloody battle at Hogworts that involves the vast cast of creatures, allies and foes from the previous six volumes. In the end, Harry learns unexpected truths that are pivotal in the concluding struggle between good and evil. Narrator Jim Dale again serves up superbly distinctive characters and adds excitement when he narrates action scenes. Creating more than 200 voices for the Potter series, Dale has not only brought a rich vocal presence to the text, but he's also set an audiobook record for the number of characters portrayed. For those who've enjoyed the print version of the book, listening to this recording will extend and enhance the inspiring climax to this legendary septet.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
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Dale tackles Harry's last hurrah with the same undercurrent of excitement and mind-boggling roster of distinct character voices that he brought to his previous six performances. Less of the Hogwarts setting, and a more dangerous quest for Harry and his friends, means that Dale has less jocularity to work with here (something at which he excels), but he does not disappoint in conveying both the heart-rending drama and sense of closure of Rowling's final Potter outing. Late in the recording, when Harry realizes his fate and Rowling's plot twists fly, Dale is at the top of his game, drawing listeners into the orbit of his comforting voice. Throughout, Harry and his friends appropriately sound a bit older than they did in the early volumes, and it's hard to know whether it's imagined or not, but there's a hint of wistfulness in Dale's voice, perhaps because both narrator and listener know it's the last time they'll be together for a new Potter adventure. The CD packaging, which makes extensive use of Mary GrandPre's spot illustrations and cover art on the discs and sleeves, is also a treat for fans. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Harry and friends engage in a vast battle against the evil Lord Voldemort to conclude the iconic series that transformed children's reading habits and revolutionized the world of audiobooks for young people. Listening to audiobooks became "cool" as American children, teens, and probably quite a few adults, too, learned British slang and how to pronounce the name Hermione from the brilliant Jim Dale who milks every bit of the humor and pathos from all seven volumes. In Deathly Hallows, he brings to life for the last time the multitude of voices that won him 10 Audie Awards, two Grammy Awards, a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, and a 2008 Odyssey Honor selection. Standard: Students will recognize a number of literary genres, such as fantasy, and describe their characteristics. Learning Activity: Students can discuss the scope of Jim Dale's fully-voiced narration, exploring specific aspects such as accents, singing, emotional inflections, etc. and the ways in which the narration expands and enhances the fantasy. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

It would seem churlish to review the Harry Potter series finale with something less than overwhelming enthusiasm-after all, there's no one like Rowling. Who else has sustained such an intricate, endlessly inventive plot over seven thick volumes and so constantly surprised her readers with twists, well-laid traps and Purloined Letter-style tricks? Hallows continues the tradition, both with sly feats of legerdemain and with several altogether new, unexpected elements. And yet the revelations don't pack as much of a punch; the moments of genuine astonishment or grief that mark every other book in the series go missing here. Perhaps readers know too well the rules of Rowling's magical universe, a universe she has constructed with extraordinary thoroughness and care. As the ending of the previous book suggested, Hallows revolves around Harry, Ron and Hermione's quest for the rest of the Horcruxes into which Voldemort has poured his soul. Without the Hogwarts school year to supply structure, the plot can meander, and Harry himself is tempted to go on an altogether different search. For once some puckered seams trouble the surface of the storytelling-is Harry now using forbidden spells? How many Horcruxes are there? It's hard not to wish that the editors had done their jobs more actively. Hallows doesn't contain the extraneous scenes found in, say, Goblet of Fire, but the momentum is uneven. Rowling is better at comedy than at fight scenes, and Hallows has less humor and more combat than any of the preceding books. Surely her editors could have helped her build tension with more devices than the use of ellipses and dashes? And craft fight dialogue that sounds a bit less like it belongs in a comic book? True, none of these flaws is fatal to a fan's enjoyment. But why not have make the bestselling children's book in history the best it could possibly be? One great virtue remains constant: Rowling's skill at portraying characters. Harry and friends mature, not in straight lines but in realistically messy patterns. Over the course of the seven books, Harry develops from the scrawny misfit of no. 4, Privet Drive, to a teenager who can pull off acts of self-sacrifice and goodness without cheapening his charisma for readers-no mean feat for a writer. And when Rowling concludes her long story, she does so the old-fashioned way, without ambiguity. Harry Potter has finished growing up, and even the most ardent fans will know that it is time to say good-bye. Ages 9-12. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* The cloak of inevitability hangs on the final installment of the Harry Potter series. One must die, one will live. Friends will be distinguished from foes. All will be revealed. To Rowling's great credit, she manages this finale with the flair and respect for her audience that have permeated the previous six novels, though the mood here is quite different. The story has a certain flatness that extends through much of the book. Rowling can no longer rely on diversions like Quidditch matches and trips to Hogsmead for relief; Harry has made the decision not to return to Hogwarts. Aided by Hermione and Ron, he will instead search for the remaining Horcruxes that hide pieces of Voldemorte's soul. Danger and death are in the air, but Rowling skillfully deals both out in tightly controlled bursts that are juxtaposed against periods of indecision, false leads, and even boredom as the trio try to divine their next moves. Most startling are the new elements, including the not-altogether-successful introduction of the Deathly Hallows. These magical artifacts unnecessarily up the total of things that Harry is looking for by three, and the ownership of one of the Hallows, a wand, may lead to confusion for readers at a climactic moment. More successful additions, adding depth and weight, are the multilayered revelation of Dumbledore's family history and the brilliantly handled answer to the question of Severus Snape's allegiance. Throughout, Rowling returns to and embellishes the hallmark themes of the series: the importance of parental influences, the redemptive power of sacrifice, and the strength found in love. These truths are the underpinnings of a finale that is worthy of fans' hopes and expectations.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2007 Booklist

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