Overview

Are you trying to remember who Orla Quirke was, or wondering where the name “Hogwarts” came from? Does the Brotherhood of Goblins make you curious? Do you relish all the tiny details of the Harry Potter universe? Would you love to discover some of the additional background Rowling created and only revealed outside of the books themselves? That’s where the Lexicon comes in. It’s a quick reference to all the minutia and richness of the Harry Potter canon, with connections not only to the seven novels but also to ...
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The Lexicon

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Overview

Are you trying to remember who Orla Quirke was, or wondering where the name “Hogwarts” came from? Does the Brotherhood of Goblins make you curious? Do you relish all the tiny details of the Harry Potter universe? Would you love to discover some of the additional background Rowling created and only revealed outside of the books themselves? That’s where the Lexicon comes in. It’s a quick reference to all the minutia and richness of the Harry Potter canon, with connections not only to the seven novels but also to the additional sources such as interviews, newsletters, and material Rowling created for the video games and films. The Lexicon leads you back into the magic of the books and gives you a new insight into Rowling’s creative mind.
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Editorial Reviews

Kelliann Bogan
(A)lphabetical entries explaining characters, wizarding terms and phrases, and geographic locations (both real and fictional). Each entry has a brief description and a reference to the first time the term is mentioned in the novels. Additional descriptive information beyond the connection to Harry Potter is included in italics. (T)his volume will serve as a quick reference guide for enthusiasts of the series and as a good companion for teens writing fan fiction.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steve knows way more about Harry Potter than anyone ever should and loves sharing what he's discovered with fans all over the world. He's the webmaster and editor of the Harry Potter Lexicon website, the premier reference source about the world of Harry Potter, and a popular presenter at Harry Potter events. His podcast (ingeniously entitled "The HP Lexicon Podcast") takes listeners on an entertaining ramble through the Harry Potter books.

Vander Ark, who has read the Potter novels many times, has been interviewed by the BBC, the Today Show, the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Associated Press, the New Yorker, the London Times, the Guardian. His interview for an A&E television special on the series appears as part of the extra section on the DVD edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

A former school media specialist, Vander Ark has been honored by fans of the series who appreciate his insights into the party books. The Association for Library Services for Children, a division of the American Library Association, has named the Lexicon website one of the 15 "Great Web Sites For Kids." It has also been named a USA Today Hot Site.

Steve is also the author of In Search of Harry Potter and the Reader's Guide to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(24)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2009

    Nothing you didn't know.

    Got it at a bookstore. Regret spending the money. Any fans hard core enough to want this book are hard core enough to know what's in here or know enough that you can get it for free online. Not even at the Lexicon - other sites do a better job and are better updated. Glad to see the author's friends have offered him support here, that's nice, but Publisher's Weekly is right: the "commentary" is pedantic, and the author and publisher are treating their audience like idiots for trying to confuse the issue that they lost the case by implying this is the same book. <BR/><BR/>This adds nothing to your knowledge of Harry Potter; no great insights, no info that's not in the books or organized better on the internet.<BR/><BR/>Save your money.

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Refreshing Facts and How to Find Them

    Anyone who was ever been immersed in reading the Harry Potter books knows that there are hundreds of characters, dozens of spells, a menagerie of creatures, and zillions of little fanciful details. And that's what you will find in The Lexicon: a refreshing refresher course in the facts of the series. <BR/><BR/>This is the book for those times when you just can't remember the differences between a "Hover Charm" and "Wingardium Leviosa," or was it "Levicorpus?" Or when you can't recall whether a detail is from one of the Harry Potter movies or from the books. Was that irritating shrunken head in the Azkaban movie based on anything in the books? Yes, believe it or not - only it was in Chamber of Secrets and it didn't speak with a Jamaican accent. <BR/><BR/>Just paging through the book is a fun walk down memory lane. I had forgotten all about the students falling ill with "Umbridge-itis," or that there was a Beauty specialist with the delightful name of "Madam Primpernelle." And take, for example, the entry about "Dragon Milk Cheese." The writers of the Lexicon take the obvious literal question of how dragons could give milk since they are clearly reptilian and not mammals, and harken back to a seventeenth century term for "strong beer usually reserved for royalty." Baby dragons must burp alot, huh? It sounds as if the cheese would be tasty.<BR/><BR/>There are hundreds of such examples of scholarship that enrich and reward the reader, such as Latinate root words provided for spells such as "Cave Inimicum" (beware of enemies) and "Protego Horribilis" (shield us from the frightful). I think children would especially find this fun and useful, since none of that is explained in the books, and most kids (or adults) don't have a Latin dictionary lying around the house. <BR/><BR/>The paperback cover is quite attractive, with medieval lettering and antique burnishing, and the abbreviations for sources are easy to understand. This is a great addition to the Harry Potter bookshelf, whether at home or in a library.

    10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2009

    This book is amazing!

    Somehow I knew the fandom crazies would come out just to carry on another stupid war, get a life. Newsflash - if you buy a book in a bookstore you can look through it first to decide if its worth the money. I really wanted this book because the Lexicon is still the best Potter site but I don't always get as much computer time as I want and my friends like to give trivia challenges and the book is perfect for that. <BR/><BR/>Here's what I like best about the book, it has so much information that you almost never have to go online or have 25 tabs open to settle a debate or write new questions for a challenge. Also all the Famous Witch and Wizards get an entry. No site but the Lexicon has the complete list that I have found so I was glad to see them in the book. I really like how fast you can go through and find what you want and that you can find other interesting things while you are looking through. Also did anyone ever seriously try to look through all the books for a student like Laura Madley? This book has her listed and tells you where you can find her in the books, I love that. You just can't beat this book, it's amazing.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    Even better than I expected!

    I just got my copy of The Lexicon and it's wonderful. Absolutely a must-have for any fan of the Harry Potter series, This book is well organized, well-researched and marvelously detailed. I've read every book more than once, and still found myself surprised to come across details I'd forgotten as I paged through The Lexicon. Kudos to the author for giving us a marvelous accompaniment to our Harry Potter books.<BR/><BR/>Awesome!

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2009

    10 Points to The Lexicon

    Hogwarts students from Euan Abercrombie to Rose Zeller, many named only in passing in the Potter series, are all readily found in the searchable wonder that is The Lexicon. The authors Steve Vander Ark, Lisa Bunker, John Kearns and Belinda Hobbs have compiled the most comprehensive resource available for devout Potter fans. For those new to the series, there is no need to fear spoilers because it is quite obvious the authors took care to avoid them. <BR/><BR/>The book's utility is readily apparent, I urge any fan to look at the book and evaluate for themselves. I have looked at many other resources and there is nothing that compares to this book. Commentary is added where it adds to the understanding of the entry. Surprisingly the entry for Mandrake is about as long as the entry for Harry Potter. Character entries focus on the the role in the series, appearance, and where applicable personal qualities. From Luna's loyalty to Neville's bravery, readers will find insightful and succinct descriptions that take us back to those wonderful moments in the series. As Dumbledore was compelled to award Neville those precious 10 points, I too am compelled to award this book the same. The Lexicon wins the House Cup for fans of the Potter series.

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2009

    Hastily Written Abridgement of the Website

    A useful guide for the writer of fan fiction, but unsuitable for a first-time reader of the Harry Potter books. The entries have far too many spoilers to be enjoyable for the young reader. The commentary is pedestrian and offers no help to the scholar or student. The book is an abridgement of a popular fan website, so the potential buyer must be aware that the free online site offers more content with hyperlinks and a search function. Not to be totally negative, I do think the book will make a useful tool for the fangirl who likes to write stories about Harry Potter's world. For all other readers there are many books about Harry Potter that would better serve, and, if one can wait, there will be J.K. Rowling's own encyclopedia in a year or two.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2009

    A Fascinating Guide to the World of Harry Potter

    This long anticipated book has proved to have been well worth waiting for! Diving into random pages, I have found that the clear layout and good sized fonts make it easy to quickly absorb knowledge of Harry's world.<BR/><BR/>The entries are very well written and are succinct yet highly informative - no word is wasted. The author clearly knows his subject well enough to avoid the traps of verbosity and over quoting seen in similar companion books.<BR/><BR/>Searching for specific items puts this sort of book through its paces and the Lexicon does not disappoint here. We've all been spoiled a little by the speed of online searches, but I found it just as easy to find what I was looking for in the Lexicon - it is a cleverly referenced reference book indeed!

    7 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    My Favourite Website Distilled into a Favourite Book

    I've been a user of the Lexicon website for many years and did not expect to find the book version useful but was very pleasantly surprised to find the opposite to be true!<BR/><BR/>The book shares the look and feel of the website and the layout makes it easy to find things too. There the similarity ends, as the book has clearly gone through a very tight editing process and the information is both concise and very readily accessible. The website has more in depth information and I find myself going there if I need additional data, but as a first port of call, the book is where I head to now.<BR/><BR/>Mr Vander Ark has produced a very useful reference book that fits nicely with my Harry Potter collection.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2009

    Great reference!

    One of the frustrations of reading a long series is trying to keep track of what's transpired along the way and who was involved. And when you mix in some magical spells along the way, things can get pretty confusing.

    In an effort to consolidate some of the facts worth remembering, Steve Vander Ark has compiled The Lexicon for readers of the Harry Potter series. In encyclopedic format, he provides some of the names and events that happen throughout the narrative. He also includes brief commentary on some of the items, sharing additional information that's not in the books.

    Because of its format, the reader will need to know the word he wants to find. If you want a spell to make yourself appear to be someone else, you'll have to look for Pollyjuice Potion. There isn't a general listing of spells so you can find it. But if you've just come across this term and you can't remember what it is, you can easily look it up.

    I enjoyed this series immensely, but at times I found it frustrating that I couldn't remember everything had happened in earlier books. Having The Lexicon at my side would have made it much easier to follow along. If you're a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend you pick up this companion work to enhance your reading pleasure.

    Reviewer: Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    Court Case

    DON'T BUY THIS BOOK! Didn't you people hear about the court case about this? They should NEVER have published this book!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    three cheers, pip pip

    The Lexicon encyclopedia is the must read companion book for all Potter fans, and even those who aren't. Informative and academic, I found myself squealing like a house elf as I poured over the entries. If I had any friends, I would buy them all a copy.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2009

    Worth The Wait

    I thought this book was exceptionally organized and well done. There is not a thing missing! It is perfect for the obsessive fan who thinks they know all the People places and things that exist in the Harry Potter world, because you will absolutely find things you have never heard of before.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    Not As Good as the Website

    Why buy this book when you can get a much better version of it at the website? It's not as detailed and the quality of the information stinks. Don't waste your money on something like this.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    GREAT REFERENCE!

    This is a great tool to have while exploring the world of Harry Potter. Say you're reading one of the books and you come along a word you don't know. You simply pick up a copy of "The Lexicon" and use it as you would a regular dictionary. No more problems!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Harry Potter Lexicon Review

    The HP Lexicon is very informitave for the novice Harry Potter fan! Just enoguh info to each word, it is perfectly balance and the details are just right! The Hobgoblins? I didn't even know they were a band till I read the Lexicon! It not only includes info from the books, but exclusive scoop from the master herself! I mean, Charm Your Own Cheese? When'd I see that in the books? Steve Vander Ark has created a masterpiece, and i dearly recommend buying it! For the novice Potter fan (or old), or for anyone, it is great!

    From

    -SAFA, 9 YRS OLD, MAJOR HARRY POTTER FAN!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unexpectedly Good

    I was initially avoiding picking up this book due to the court case the past year, but upon learning the court's verdict and that the book was redone following that court judge's rulings, I gave this book a chance, and I'm glad I did.

    I never really followed the Lexicon online, but this is a nice book to have as a quick reference and something to pull out and read when you get bored.

    Entries in "The Lexicon" are short and to the point, and include as few spoilers as possible. They also point to where a certain item can be found in the text and otherwise canon-material (Rowling's interviews, etc.). Like wikipedia, this book is a springboard to thinking more about the complexity of the Potter series. I especially enjoy the editor's italicized commentary after certain entries - they lead to more questions which one could see these editors tackling in an analysis book.

    I will soon be reading "Harry Potter and the Order of the Court" about the court case from spring of 2008 which concerned this book, but knowing that, though unauthorized, no move has been made against the current edition, my conscience is clear in reading this and enjoying it, and it only makes me look forward to "The Scottish Book" (Rowling's forthcoming encyclopedia), which who knows when that will come out.

    As a side note, the book is edited (for grammar, format, etc.) very well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I spent money for this???

    I wish I hadn't pre-ordered this, that way I could've scanned through it before buying.. It pretty much has all the same information that is on the Lexicon site and the Harry Potter wiki for free. There's nothing transformative, imaginative or enlightening in this - it adds nothing to a person's understand of the Harry Potter universe. I am sorely disappointed. At least, "Harry, a History" by Melissa Anelli, "Hidden Myths in Harry Potter" by David Colbert, by Virginia Allyn, and "Fact, Fiction, and Folklore in Harry Potter's World" by George Beahm had new, insightful prose and thought provoking analysis into the Harry Potter universe.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    Was Hoping For More...

    This book is good to have while reading the Harry Potter series. It's nice to be able to look up a name or location in The Lexicon when you're reading along and can't remember a character or place being discussed. It's a helpful resource book but I was expecting more detail from it. My hope and expectation is that J K Rowling will write an official Harry Potter Encyclopedia that includes everything Harry Potter with pictures as well!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Has everything!

    I bought this book to help me out with my Harry Potter themed website to make sure everything was accurate as possible. I expected it to be just an outline of everything but what I got was a guide to everything that I would need to make an accurate plot. It had the levels of the Ministry of Magic listed and what order they went in, a few handy spells and what they do and above all, had the big events that shaped the wizarding world into what it is today. I used the Lexicon website as a frequent source in the construction of the website and now having a solid copy that I can reference whenever I'm not connected to the internet just makes my life easier. I highly recommend The Lexicon to anyone that is making a Harry Potter site or just the fans that want to know as much as they can about the Harry Potter world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews

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