Leading up to the last Harry Potter book we attempted to read and/or listen to all the previous books one last time.  I got through 1,2 and 6, but was in the middle of 3 and 4 when the new one came out.  It didn't matter.  The 7th book brought back many memories of the old ones and it was great to see how it all played out.  Chloe and I went to the party at Barnes and Noble Friday night and had a great time, though it was a long night!

Chloe was dressed as Luna Lovegood and got quite a few comments about her costume.  She remembered to make radish earrings and though we didn't have any corks she made a bottle cap necklace.  The copy of the Quibbler is all written by Chloe and will be saved for posterity!  How do you like the wand behind the ear- another of Luna's eccentricities.

Earlier in the day Chloe had her blue cast removed and this shorter, green one placed on her wrist.  She'll wear that for another 3 weeks and then, hopefully, be just like new.

Many of the activities at the party were designed to keep younger kids occupied for a long night, but Chloe did enjoy the scavenger hunt with questions about HP minutiae.  She wasn't able to remember three of the twenty answers, but we enjoyed the hunt none-the-less.

She did enter the costume contest, but didn't win due to a remarkably cute Dobby who you can see in the right hand corner with all the hats on.

Chloe brought her head lamp so she'd be all ready to start reading immediately.  She read aloud to me on the drive home.

She was interrupted in her reading on Saturday by a lovely birthday party (during which time I got the book!), but managed to finish it at 6 am Sunday.

When I went to get the book Sunday morning I saw that her bookmark was gone so I suspected she was finished.  I let her catch up on her sleep and she slept until 3:30 pm.  Meanwhile I was racing through it.  My one fear was that out on the street or while browsing the internet I'd hear something about the plot I really didn't want to know, so I kept on and finished at 1 am Monday morning. 

I really enjoyed this last book and I have also bought the audio CD's which are on my iPod already.  I want to savor it again and listen to Jim Dale's voice reading the last HP story.  This series has been a huge part of our lives.  I read the first one to Chloe when she was 6.  I had read a good review of it in the paper and checked out.  It had all the makings of a great fantasy story and I got into it just as much as Chloe did.  Ryan has listened to most of the books and has seen the movies, but as the stories got darker it was not so appealing to him.  Meanwhile, Chloe has an HP scrapbook and has had an HP birthday party.  She's listened to the audio books dozens of times.  In the past few years, other books have been her favorites, but there was no way we could let the last book go unread.  I really enjoyed this last one. It ties together so many loose ends.  There are still many questions that I have, but I think JK did a great job on this last book.

Lastly, a story that I wish was mine.  I found out a number of years ago that a friend of mine in CA was in one of the local independent children's book sellers and there was an author there for a book signing.  Unfortunately, she didn't have much to do as the store was pretty empty.  My friend, who is a great book lover, went over to see what the book was.  She felt sorry for this author with nothing to do so she  bought the book and had it signed.  Yes, that author was JK Rowling and the book was the first HP book!  When my friend told me that story she said her kids weren't really that interested in HP (don't know if that's still true), but she would be keeping that book as it is now probably pretty valuable.  Oh, you should have seen Chloe's face when she heard that.  A few years later JK came to San Jose for a reading and we didn't try to go for some reason.  I can't remember why, but I heard that it was a mad house.  I sure wish I could have met her in that little book shop all on our own.