Type Hogwarts Classes into your browser search tool and you will receive a barrage of messages along the line of “You can now take Classes at Hogwarts” (Buzzfeed) and “Muggles Rejoice: Hogwarts is Here to Offer Online Classes” (Mashable).
I can hear a collective groan from people who are terribly tired of all things Harry Potter, but perhaps, in the guise of whimsy, you will let me share some reading material for the hot August days ahead of us. Here’s my summer reading list to prepare you for your upcoming Hogwarts courses:
Goal: Fill in star charts, find planets and other celestial bodies.
Recommended Reading: Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This is a young adult (YA) story of Muggle children who travel across time and space to save their father.
Goal: Classwork involves trying various charms, but just as important is being able to block or reverse a charm.
Recommended Reading : Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. In this children’s book, Ella learns to live while spellbound and uses her own power to break the spell.
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Goal: Be prepared to defend yourself against terrible witches and wizards, and the dementor’s kiss.
- The Bible (obviously)
- The Stand by Stephen King. This is a Muggle attempt to dabble in and defend against the dark arts in order to save the world.
History of Magic
Goal: Study the Goblin Wars and other magical creatures and events, all presented by hiding interesting gems within boring lectures.
Recommended Reading: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Definitely there are gems among the more difficult to read and understand sections of this novel. An annotated version will help with context.
Goal: Mix ingredients to yield magic potions, stir–up potions to fix magic gone awry, and recognize the magic potion placed in front of you.
Recommended Reading: The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum. Ms. Blum walks us through a period in time when potions and the law continuously faced off.
Goal: What could be more magical than understanding numbers, their daily use, and how they rule our destinies?
Recommended Reading: The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. Probability presented as interesting and intriguing by physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow.
Care of Magical Creatures
Goal: Learn how to care for unicorns, dragons, large icky spiders and other magical creatures.
Recommended Reading: Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting. Children’s tales that will make you believe that with just a touch of magic, you too can talk to animals.
Goal: Seeing into the future is an oft misunderstood, yet amazing skill honed in the Divination classes.
Recommended Reading: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Owen believes in, and prepares for, a future that no one but he can see.
Goal: Muggles, without any magic, invent objects that turn on lights, lifts people to various heights, even fly!
Recommended Reading: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Inspirational story about a Muggle that uses the wind to power lights in his home.
I hope you find a title among the many to make your August magical!