And it looks like this:

 

 

We also have a release date:  August 2 and we are on Amazon!  A very cool feeling to finally see what it looks like.  Becky I and are currently looking through the typeset version of the book itself from the editor – the last time we’ll get to make any copyedits before the book is released.  Very exciting!  It’s been a long, long road – and a great adventure.  More to come . . .

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So, yeah.  Our new jobs – while very cool and highly rewarding – have definitely kept us busier than we thought.  It’s been awhile since either of us has posted, and for that we apologize.  We are here, though, and the book is with the copyeditor, we’re still in school and online, and at least one of our Teaching Harry teachers is Teaching Harry as we speak (go Sandra!).  In trying to decide what to write about (so much is going on!), I found myself automatically checking our Twitter feed for ideas and realized that it was time to give our “accomplice” credit for the amazing job she does with our Twitter feed.  Throughout our absence the Teaching Harry Twitter feed has continued nonstop – and for this we owe a huge THANK YOU to our Twitter Goddess, who, per her wishes, shall remain anonymous but a Goddess nonetheless.  If you haven’t checked it out or don’t follow our Twitter account, she puts together an amazing, meaningful collection of articles and links around teaching, new media, education policy, literacy, technology, public schooling, popular culture, the Potterverse, smart/geeky trends, and books in general.  And while she is the first to remind us that we need to post something new, she doesn’t let our overbooked lives get to her.  As a matter of fact, she helps us keep up with the education/media world we both love.  So, check it out, become a follower, and send our Twitter Goddess some love while you’re at it, it’s well deserved.  ¡Mil Gracias!

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Happy Holidays to everyone!

Here’s to a peaceful, healthy and amazing 2011!

-Cathy and Becky

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Happy Holidays to all!  We have been away while working through the feedback we received from those who reviewed Teaching Harry Potter.  We are excited and pleased to announce that the revisions are now done and the book is with the publisher and being put into production!  It’s been very exciting – but very time consuming as well, especially given the holidays, jobs (we both have exciting, shiny new ones! Check out the “About Us” section for the latest) and life in general.  One of our top goals for 2011, however, includes more activity here at Teaching Harry – especially as the book release date nears.  Look for more dialogue around all the education news that seems nonstop these days (for good or ill), cool new media ideas, and opportunities to meet the Teaching Harry teachers whose amazing work helped make our book possible.  In the meantime, in honor of all the awesome teachers out there – we present another edition of Things People Send Us.

This one comes to us courtesy of our friend Nick, who also appears in Teaching Harry Potter.  It’s especially dedicated to all you urban school teachers, you know why:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/12/16/dangerous-wizards-harry-potter/

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We are still here!  Recovery from completing the book plus various life/work changes have kept us from updating, but we are indeed still here.  Given that today is an important day in the life of every Harry Potter fan – the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. I is streaming live online as I write this – it seems a good time for a quick post.  And here’s where the “geeky” comes in, we are both very excited and feeling bittersweet about the new movie and the fact that it marks the beginning of the end of a really great ride.  If you’re up for sharing your own thoughts as the week progresses, it would be great to hear from you through email or here on the site.

Another great way to celebrate the movie opening is to funnel your enthusiasm into engaging in vital – Dumbledore/D.A. like – activist work.  If you haven’t already, we encourage you to join our friends over at the Harry Potter Alliance http://thehpalliance.org/ as they begin their Deathly Hallows Campaign.  The first Horcrux is the Starvation Wages Horcrux and you can help destroy it by signing their petition to turn all Harry Potter chocolate into fair trade chocolate.  Add your name!

On the “academic” side of things, Teaching Harry Potter has just been reviewed at the publisher and was very well received!  Next we take some time to work on the final revisions and it’s off to be copyedited and put into production.  We’ll keep you posted on the release date, but it looks to be late spring/early summer of 2011. For those of you who are interested in previewing some of my writing on teaching, an essay I wrote titled “On Joyous Teaching . . . ” was just published in UPenn’s online urban education journal.  You can find it here:  http://www.urbanedjournal.org/ If any of you Fall 2009, 5018ers (you know who you are) are out there, that one’s for you.

Happy Deathly Hallows week, all.

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Just a quick update to let everyone know that the manuscript for Teaching Harry Potter is complete and has been submitted to the publisher!  We are both excited and exhausted – it has been a long, but wonderful, haul.  And the fun is only beginning!  So, stay tuned . . .

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Banned Books Week (September 25 – October 2) is upon us, which means it’s time to come out of writing seclusion to advocate for the freedom to read and write what you choose.  The American Library Association website provides a great deal of information about the event:

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm

The ALA site also includes various lists of the most banned and challenged books and, again, topping the list for 2000-2009 are the Harry Potter books:

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/2000_2009/index.cfm

Many libraries and bookstores will be holding events and/or providing informational displays during the week – we encourage everyone to take part in any way you can, even if that means simply wearing an “I read banned books” button.  If you want to take a bigger picture route, the Amnesty International site also holds a list of international cases drawing “attention to the plight of individuals who are persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate or read.”  Included with descriptions of each individual case is information to help us take action:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/banned-books-week/page.do?id=1721019

Most of all, we encourage you to celebrate.  Read your favorite banned book (to take a break from Harry, I’m thinking A Wrinkle in Time this year, you?) and maybe, perhaps, leave a banned book on a park bench somewhere for someone else to read.  Most of all, don’t forget to give your librarian and local independent bookstore some love and a shout out.  Without them fighting the good fight, the world would be a much less creative, open space in which to read and imagine.  We salute you.

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It’s been quiet here on Teaching Harry as we’ve been hiding away working on finishing the book.  It’s intense, but exciting; we can see the finish line . . . we just need to get there!  But a lot is going on in the world of teaching and if you haven’t been reading and talking about the “value – added” debate spurred by the Los Angeles Times’ publication of teachers’ “ratings” based on standardized tests, we urge you to take a look:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/teachers-investigation/

This is not going away any time soon.  Which, in truth, hurts my head.  So I’m going to take a lot of ibuprofen and get back to working on what we call “the teacher chapter” which is really titled “Defending the (not really) Dark Arts:  Teaching to Break the DADA Curse.”  I think there’s something I need to add . . .

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People send us a lot of cool Potter and school related stuff, which is awesome (thank you!).  And given that we all need to keep our sense of humor while we’re thinking BIG THOUGHTS, this stuff was definitely meant to be shared, so here goes.  This one comes courtesy of my excellent brother.   There’s so much in here (and not even going the race/class/gender/nationalism route) – well, you’ll see.

This way to Harry Potter and the Filler of Big:

http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Amazing_Fake_%27Harry_Potter%27_Books_Written_In_China

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If you wanted to contribute to the appendix but didn’t make the Aug. 6 deadline, don’t worry–we’re still taking submissions! Send us 200-ish words about how you have used Harry Potter with your students. We welcome submissions from classroom teachers, administrators, librarians, college professors, home school parents, after school program teachers…everyone and anyone using Harry Potter in an educational setting is welcome to contribute!

You can email your submissions (or questions about submissions) to us at cathy@teachingharry.com or becky@teachingharry.com.

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