Blog Archives

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ Final Cover Released!

At Scholastic’s NYC headquarters yesterday, illustrator Kazy Kibuishi presented the last of the new Harry Potter book editions. You can check out the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cover below. The event coincided with Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling’s birthday! Happy belated birthday Harry and Jo!


At the same time the spines of each book were released. Together they create a photo of Hogwarts! I might just have to buy the set again.


The box set also includes a new photo of Hogsmeade:


You can check out all of the covers right here!


‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ New Cover Unveiled

Scholastic unveiled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’s new cover at San Diego Comic-Con. The illustrator, Kazu Kibuishi, attended the Scholastic party to celebrate his design. This might be the best one yet! Check it out below:


The Harry Potter hardbacks will retain their original art designed by Mary GrandPre. It is only the paperbacks that are receiving the new covers. They hit bookstores on August 27.

You can check out the previously released covers right here! Only one more to go now – Deathly Hallows! Which we should see pretty soon.

New ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ Cover

orderofthephoenixWe have found the new cover for the Order of the Phoenix on the Scholastic Shop website! Unfortunately as it hasn’t been officially “released” it’s only a small image. But it looks great!

The entire Scholastic set with all new covers designed by Kazu Kibuishi will be available on August 27, 2013 as part of the 15th Anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

If you missed them check out the covers for the following Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

New ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ Paperback Cover

Scholastic has released Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s new paperback cover, and it features Harry versus the Hungarian Horntail.

The cover was designed by Kazu Kibuishi. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was originally published July 8, 2000. It was the first time a Harry Potter book was published in the United States and United Kingdom on the same day.

Mary GrandPre’s original cover for the United States version of the fourth Harry Potter book featured Harry in front of the Goblet of Fire. But the British Bloomsbury version by Giles Greenfield, also depicts the First Task of the Triwizard Championship, with Harry on his Firebolt being chased by a Hungarian Horntail. Whose depiction looks better?


Prisoner of Azkaban’s cover was released on Thursday and depicted Harry sending a Patronus at dementors on the Black Lake. Chamber of Secretsshows Harry and Ron arriving at The Burrow. Sorcerer’s Stone’s depicts Harry and Hagrid arriving at Diagon Alley.

The new Harry Potter book covers will hit store shelves on August 27 in the United States. The hardback copies of the Harry Potter books will not receive the new designs.

Scholastic will be pushing out the remaining new Harry Potter covers over the next few weeks. We have three left to go, plus the artwork for the box set’s case.

So far I think the Chamber of Secrets cover is my favorite! What’s yours? Let us know in the comments below!

New Scholastic ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ Paperback Cover Unveiled at LeakyCon

The new Scholastic cover for the paperback version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was set to be released during the opening ceremonies of LeakyCon, an annual Harry Potter convention, held this year in Portland, Oregon.

That ceremony has just taken place and  Cheryl Klein, Scholastic’s Content Editor for the Harry Potter book series, removed the cover and exposed the image you see below:


The image was drawn by talented artist Kazu Kibuishi, who also revealed his Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets covers earlier this year.

What do you think of the new cover celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Scholastic’s original release of Sorcerer’s Stone? This edition will go on sale August 27, 2013.

‘Hunger Games’ Author Suzanne Collins Celebrates ‘Catching Fire’ Paperback With Video

To celebrate the release of the Catching Fire paperback, Scholastic has released a video from the author Suzanne Collins in which she talks her love of writing and reading. Check it out below!

New ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ Cover Revealed!

At Book Expo America yesterday, Scholastic unveiled the new Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cover designed by Kazu Kibuishi.

The new Harry Potter cover can be seen below in full high-res.

This cover depicts Harry and Ron arriving at The Burrow via their flying Ford Anglia. It’s a gorgeous depiction of the Burrow and I can’t wait to purchase yet another set of HP Books! (How many more can a girl get before she’s had enough?)

harry-potter-new-chamber-of-secrets-cover-630All 7 Harry Potter books with the new covers will hit stores this August. They will only be available in the paperback format. A box set will also be available and feature new artwork too.

In case you missed it here is the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone new cover that was revealed in February…


[Review] The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen


Published: 1 April 2012

Publisher: Scholastic

Edition: U.S. Hardcover

Summary: “In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.”

I was about a third of the way through reading this book when I went to Goodreads to check its rating and quickly glimpse a few reviews to get a feel for what others had thought of it. The reviews were glowing and I got frustrated because this book was just not doing it for me. The pace felt slow, the characters were interesting but just not that engaging and the entire story felt like an introduction to a bigger story to come. I had just come off reading Insurgent, so I was used to big plot developments, hooks at the end of each chapter and characters that I as the reader, was attached to in a way that I couldn’t just leave off reading the book if someone was in danger. But as The False Prince progressed I realised that the charm of this book was not the traditional highs and lows of plot progression, it was the intricate way in which Nielsen wrote her central character Sage.

Most books, written in first or third person, tell the story from the central character’s eyes. What they see, we see, and what they hear, we hear. So the surprises that come in the story are from what the main character finds out through events and the actions of other characters. Nielsen’s The False Prince, is the complete opposite. Sage may be our protagonist but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s telling the reader the whole truth, or any of the truth really. Instead of being in Sage’s head, we as the reader are as fooled as Sage’s recruiter-kidnapper Conner. Throughout the story we are given insights into Sage’s actions but left to our own devices to understand what his motives are and what plans are going through his head. This makes for the biggest surprise toward the end of the book when we discover Sage’s best kept secret.

Nielsen’s editor must have combed through the manuscript that was to be The False Prince, and ensured that Sage kept his secret as well hidden as possible, for greatest effect when we discover the things that Sage didn’t allow the reader to know in his storytelling. In fact when it comes time to learn about the true Sage, I was hesitant to believe that it was the truth. Sage is such a good liar that we don’t know if this the story that Conner wants the court to believe is the truth, or if this is Sage’s truth. This may sound quite confusing to a reader who has not come this far into the book, so I will keep this spoiler free, but the transition is beautifully written. From this point in the book it was a rush to the end and a very satisfactory one at that. I am very interested in reading the sequel, The Runaway King, which was published in March of this year.

four stars

Harry Potter 15th Anniversary Books Get U.S. Release Date

It’s been awhile since I posted on YABR. My travels between the U.S. and Australia get in the way a bit but I’m finally back to deliver fresh literary news from the YABR news desk! I’ll also be posting new reviews for some spectacular YA fiction. But enough about me, let’s get on with this Potter news story:

Amazon is listing the 15th anniversary re-releases of all seven Harry Potter books, with new illustrations from artist Kazu Kibuishi, for an August 27, 2012 release date in the United States. All of the books, including the 7 book box set edition, are available for pre-order now.

I’m a little confused as to why they’re releasing 15th anniversary editions for the books are are not even 15 years old (not even 10 for Deathly Hallows!) but I suppose a beautiful full set collection will look better on the bookshelf rather than getting one book every few years.

Check out the Sorcerer’s Stone cover image below courtesy of Snitch Seeker!

Sorcerer's Stone Cover


Will you be getting these new editions or sticking to your well worn original copies?

Recap of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ Webcast

SO much J.K. Rowling news lately I feel like Young Adult Book Reviewer has become Harry Potter Rowling News! But I just couldn’t let this news story pass because it is filled with goodies that all Potter fans will love. If you happened to catch Jo’s webcast with Scholastic yesterday you will have heard what characters she enjoyed writing the most, the moment she realised she was famous, the Pottermore house she is in and so much more. Here’s a recap of what she said:

-Jo says some things in the books wouldn’t have happened without living in Edinburgh. Names and street names came out of the books. The town also has great coffee shops and is respectful of her privacy.

– Jo says she’s come to understand the appeal of Harry Potter over the years. People fell in love with the characters, and the idea of the hidden world was so appealing. Fundamentally it was the characters that made people fall in love.

– Jo always wanted to be a writer in her heart of hearts. She’d always been writing up stories.

– Jo had great teacher role models who inspired her.

– The first sentence Jo wrote in Potter (in Philosopher’s Stone), you saw what happened in Godric’s Hollow. In the final version, you don’t know what happens until much later in the story.

– One of Jo’s favorite moments from the books was Luna’s appearance, the Graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire, and some small moments: “stupid jingles that Peeves says” were fun to do.

– The second American tour Jo did was “unbelievable” – she can remember traveling in a car towards her first signing and there were blocks of people queuing. She thought a sale was going on, but they were actually in line for Jo.

– Jo reads an excerpt from Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry meeting Ollivander.

– She does a great Hagrid voice!

– On the trio’s changing relationship: “Some writers say character is plot, to a large extent I think they’re right. I gave Harry two very different friends. In some ways Ron is more human than Harry. Ron is there as a maybe slightly more real boy with his faults and flaws. But he’s always there by Harry’s side. Ron’s one problem is insecurity. He feels he’s not as good as his brothers, he comes from a poor family, and then makes friends with the most famous boy in the Wizarding World. I did know those things about Ron from the start.”

“Then with Hermione. Harry is a boy who needs fun and gets that from Ron. Hermione is all about knowing stuff. I give him these two friends who brings him things he needs. Hermione is very clever, she knows a lot of stuff and where to find a lot of stuff. Hermione learns to loosen up quite a lot. Hermione learns that there is more to life than book learning. So, I did know these things even from the first book. I needed to because I would’ve run out of steam quite early.”

– The journey is about more than magic. “What they really need to learn about themselves, and of course each other, but self knowledge is key. When we get to Deathly Hallows, what the Hallows are and what they represent tells you something about the kind of person you are. By the time we get to that point of the story, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are equipped to handle them.”

– On how much of the characters are within Jo: “There’s an argument that an author is the characters they write. Harry, Ron, and Hermione absolutely – I am in all three of them. Hermione is an exaggeration of myself at that age. I was the bookish girl, and finding books would’ve been how I answered a challenge when I was in school.”

– One of my favorite ever comments from a very early reader, in 1999, about 10 years old, he said to me: “Harry doesn’t often ever know what’s going on, and nor do I.” That reader was semi-joking, but he meant it at the same time. We all had the feeling of, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on.’ We all felt that at school.”

– How did she come up with Pottermore: “The initial idea was, it’s time. People were asking for eBooks. It felt like it was the right time to do it. Then I wanted it to be more than that, because as you say, the internet offers amazing possibilities. I saw it as a way to create an environment where you could see extra tidbits, we can go inside illustrations. It’s making a book – it’s putting a book in that world. It’s still a reading experience – you still need to be able to read the books. But I was excited that we could put a really good reading experience online. I think it’s important to say that this is completely free. But the REALLY exciting thing for me – again, for free – is I had a way to put extra material online. It was a way of making sure any fan could access it. If I loved a series of books, to be able to learn more about a character – it’d be a great experience.”

– Pulling things out of boxes or inventing more for Pottermore is just fun. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected to the world. Has a character come back and surprised me? No, but I recently completed a biography for Remus Lupin. In writing his biography, even though it was in my head and I had never written it down, I found myself getting very upset – that’s all I can say because I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t say anymore than that. I felt very connected to the character.

A look at the Knight Bus in Pottermore (presumably in Prisoner of Azkaban) was exclusively revealed. (See above)

– Jo revealed which house she was sorted in in Pottermore – Gryffindor! But she also boldly stood up for Hufflepuff students, saying that “Hufflepuff is my favorite house in some ways. There comes a point in the book where each house has a chance to rise up to a certain challenge [she didn’t want to spoil it]. The Slytherins decided they’d rather not play, the Ravenclaws – some play, some won’t, but the Hufflepuffs stay to fight. The Gryffindors – compromised of lots of full hearty and show off people. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They didn’t want to show off, they weren’t being reckless, that’s the essence of Hufflepuff.”

– Jo says her next book is likely to be a book for children. She’s hesitant to commit herself fully because she still wants the freedom to decide.