This unauthorized guide to the popular series by author J.K. Rowling is a 368-page companion work perfect for the curious reader who wants to know more about these remarkable books. Extensive new commentary, which does not appear on Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon website (www.hp-lexicon.org) adds to the fun of reading this reference work.
"Steve Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon website is visited by more than 25 million visitors annually," said RDR Books publisher Roger Rapoport. "For years fans who have seen the author keynote major academic conferences on the Harry Potter novels, including Sectus in London, Patronus in Copenhagen, Lumos in Las Vegas and Prophecy in Toronto, have been asking him to write an original companion work on this wonderful series. This new book offers fascinating analysis, new insights and a deep appreciation of Rowling's work."
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.
From Publishers Weekly, 12/5/2008
Just weeks after submitting an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, RDR Books has withdrawn its challenge to Judge Robert P. Patterson's September ruling in J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment's copyright infringement suit against the publisher. Judge Patterson's ruling blocked RDR's planned publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon by Steven Vander Ark. Instead, the company has announced plans to release a new unauthorized guide to the Potter series, The Lexicon: An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction and Related Materials. The book will include commentary that does not appear on Vander Ark's Web site. RDR publisher Roger Rapoport said the new book has a new focus and purpose, mindful of the guidelines of the court....
Commenting on RDR's actions, Neil Blair, Rowling's attorney, said, "We are delighted that this matter is finally and favourably resolved and that J.K. Rowling's rights -- and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works -- have been protected.We are also pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to Judge Patterson's decision.
Rapoport said the company decided to drop the appeal "because we are publishing a different manuscript that is a lot better." He emphasized that the new book, which features material from Vander Ark's original Web site, www.hp-lexicon.org, new commentary and a blend of material, "followed the road map" the judge laid out in his opinion about how a companion to the Potter books may be published without infringing Rowling's copyright. "We did what the judge told us to do," Rapoport said.
Vander Ark said he has been spending the last six months adding much more commentary about plot lines, characters and other elements in the books. "I think Harry Potter fans will find this useful and interesting, and I also think it will bring them back to the novels," he said.... --John A. Sellers and Jim Milliot