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Kid Critics in Early Returns Call Potter a Winner
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The early U.S. returns are in andyoung Harry Potter fans are declaring the latest book on the boy wizard a winner.
A three-year wait for the fifth installment of the blockbuster series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” ended on Saturday and a survey on Sunday of avid fans showed it was like Christmas on the first day of summer.
“I loved it,” said 10-year-old Paige Morschauser of Fayetteville, North Carolina, who had read 273 pages of the 870-page tome. “I had such a hard time putting the book down, my mom had to scream, ‘Put that book down, it’s time to eat.”‘
More than a dozen avid young readers among the first to get a copy of J.K. Rowling’s latest Potter edition agreed to give Reuters early reactions.
“I’ve been rereading Harry Potter books for so long I’d forgotten how great it is to read new Harry Potter adventures,” said 10-year-old Rachel Berkrot of Stamford, Connecticut, after the first 200 pages.
Evan Mahoney, 10, had to interrupt reading for a drive-in movie Saturday night, but he used a flashlight to resume in between the feature films.
“It’s really good so far,” said Mahoney, of Durham, Maine, who read 86 pages. “It’s very different. He’s got a lot of bottled-up rage. I think he’s really turning into a teen-ager.”
Evan’s 11-year-old sister, Mollie, said the book was a lot different from earlier ones. “I’m really curious about what’s going to happen,” she said, undaunted about navigating such a long book. “The length is OK because it’s not boring.”
Claire Bunschoten, 11, from the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, noticed some changes in Harry after reading about 200 pages.
“He’s a lot more hot headed. He has trouble controlling his anger,” she said. “Harry’s growing up. He’s braver than I am, but I also think we are kind of in the same place. He loses his temper a lot and I’m getting mad at my mom and dad lately.”
Lev Pravda, an 8-year-old from New York, said it was “more like an adventure,” and Anna Premo, 13, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, agreed.
“There are more twists and unexpected things happening,” Premo said.
Some expressed a few reservations.
“I think it’s good, but kind of confusing,” said Adam Frank, 9, of Bethesda, Maryland, after about 90 pages. “It’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on.”
Mary-Louise Howell, 10, of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, said “it didn’t have as much of an exciting part” as the others, but that she liked it so far.
Among other Vineyard critics, Kira Shipway, 9, said Harry seemed more “self-centered” in this book, and Josh Pitt, 12, said, “It seems more complicated and a little darker.”
And Will Cretsinger, 9, of McLean, Virginia, was worried about who dies in the book, as Rowling revealed before it was released.
Julie Theriault, 14, of Bakersfield, California, finished the book by midafternoon on Saturday and gave it a thumbs up.
“It’s my favorite one so far,” she said.
“At the very end, you’re kind of looking forward to the next book. You’re happy and kind of sad.”