J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling

4.5 2
by Connie Ann Kirk
     
 

The unprecedented popularity of the Harry Potter books took the publishing world by storm and captured the imaginations of readers around the world. This unofficial biographical study of J. K. Rowling invites fans and critics alike to take a close look at the person behind the phenomenon, the facts of her life as a writer, and the extraordinary success of an

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Overview

The unprecedented popularity of the Harry Potter books took the publishing world by storm and captured the imaginations of readers around the world. This unofficial biographical study of J. K. Rowling invites fans and critics alike to take a close look at the person behind the phenomenon, the facts of her life as a writer, and the extraordinary success of an ordinary woman. This detailed book explores both the critical acclaim and the controversies surrounding Rowling's books and the characters, who seem to have found a life of their own. Chapters take the reader from Rowling's early childhood in England through her school years, friendships, and early influences, tracing her family life, her travels and personal relationships, and the development of her career as a writer.

The Harry Potter books are carefully considered against the backdrop of the fantasy genre and are also situated within the broader framework of popular culture. A bibliography provides reviews, critical articles, biographical sources, and related Web site information. A timeline highlights the events of Rowling's life and career. Other appendices cite the many awards her books have received around the world. Also included are lists of her special literary and humanitarian interests.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
J. K. Rowling and J. R. R. Tolkien are undoubtedly two of the most recognizable literary names in the young adult world today. These biographies are part of the Greenwood Biographies series developed in response to demand from high schools and public libraries. They are designed for high school students who need accessible, grade-appropriate materials for school assignments. The information presented is quite readable and of a reasonable length. Rowling's biography opens with a brief chapter defining her current status in the celebrity world. Subsequent chapters cover her early life and family, her school years, and her early career as a teacher. A long chapter is devoted to Harry Potter, and the volume concludes with controversies and criticisms surrounding the author's life and work. In the conclusion, Kirk states that it is too soon to predict the staying power of Rowling's works. Appendixes include a timeline; awards; Rowling's personal readings, which not surprisingly include Tolkien; organizations important to Rowling; and addresses. An extensive bibliography completes the volume. Four photographs are included. The biography of Tolkien opens with his time line and a chapter delineating his earliest life in South Africa and Birmingham, England. Jones includes insightful material on Victorian England to help the reader know more about Tolkien's roots. Several chapters cover his early schooling, Oxford, and his career as a young academic. The relationship of Tolkien's love of language and his writing is made clear, and his prominence as a scholar is noted. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are well covered. Notes conclude each chapter; an appendix contains an exhaustive listingof Tolkien's works. Well researched and written, these biographies will serve both the interested reader and the student looking for report material. Among other series entries are profiles of Al Capone, Colin Powell, and Margaret Mead. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Greenwood, 160p.; Index. Photos. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix., PLB. Ages 12 to 18.
—Roxy Ekstrom
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In a preface, Kirk discusses her sources; she obtained every biography in print, watched or read transcripts of every available live or taped interview, and searched the Internet. Data is presented in seven chapters, five appendixes, and a bibliography that sorts resources into several sections. Although there is information about the author herself, the majority of the content is devoted to analyzing her writing. Chapter one likens Rowling to Harry Potter in that they both went from rags to riches. Her work is compared to a number of genres and series in both children's and adult literature. Throughout, Kirk follows up facts with speculations as to their meaning or significance and/or possible outcomes that may occur. For example, after describing Hermione in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Kirk says, "Only time will tell if any similarities to Shakespeare's Hermione will pop up for her namesake in the Harry Potter novels." One chapter compares Rowling's books to other fantasy novels and discusses the banning of her books for endorsing witchcraft, the occult, and/or devil worship. The scholarly writing style and evaluative content make this volume useful to high school students studying Rowling and her work.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313322051
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/30/2003
Series:
Greenwood Biographies Series
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,123,752
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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