Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go to Hogwarts while the events of the seven books were taking place? Wonder no more. Emily McGovern has laid it all out in her brilliant comic series, My Life as a Background Slytherin (and Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor). Tag yourself I guess? Here are my faves.
I’m just saying, her objection DOES make sense. Now, maybe this was explained in a tweet or something, I don’t know, and I frankly don’t care. Most of England is south of London, and much of Wales, as well as all of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Do they take a boat, travel down to London, then travel all the way back north to Hogwarts like, three times a year? I have questions, I tell you. Why can’t your parents just drive you and make sure your entrance is super embarrassing? No. Gotta go to London, ride a train, ride in a carriage drawn by invisible death horses. Gotta keep it simple. Am I the only one who’s got this many thoughts on this?
Well, I’m not sure it’s courageous exactly, but you know if anyone was blatantly defying Umbridge for cigarettes or whatever wizard teenagers do, it would be the Gryffindors. They’re like, prohibition? Violence? Autocratic rule? Sounds like an opportunity for HIJINKS. They’re a strangely cheerful bunch. They really do make the best of Hogwarts and it’s nonsense. Painful death? Let’s check it out. Lethal forest? Sounds like good old slumber party fun. Ghosts? That’s a friend. Dangerous death match for children? Sounds like my kind of party. They might be courageous, or maybe they really just have no sense of danger whatsoever? Not judging, just saying.
These are determined people. Gotta make sure those plants are doing well. Still nice and angry. So obviously the willow was planted to protect the passage to the house in Hogsmeade where Lupin went when he transformed but actually like… think about that plan. We’ve got a werewolf student. Give him a potion to soothe him when he transforms? Maybe that’s not invented yet. Put him in a medical coma for a few days behind a screen in the hospital wing? Not extra enough. Just put him in a dungeon? The castle has plenty. No. He needs a secret tunnel, to a secret house, hidden behind a secret tree that beats up a ton of students. It’s foolproof.
Wizards have been persecuted in the past, so we need to make a safe place for magical children! We’ll put a giant snake dungeon, moving staircases, lots of trap doors for falling through, an evil forest with murder centaurs and spiders the size of mini vans, and let’s make ex-death eaters professors and also current death eaters, we’ll hire a werewolf and he’ll be the SAFEST one! We’ll have such beef children fight for centuries! Dementors on campus? Great idea! Child death match? Let’s do it! Dangerous time machine? She’s thirteen, she can handle it. Get locked out? Sleep in the hallway and DIE.
Featured image via My Life As A Background Slytherin
You already know about the YouTube hit that is CinemaSins, the channel that critiques movies and points out all on-screen offenses under the sun. Superhero movies are obviously not excluded, and CinemaSins co-creator Jeremy Scott decided to write his debut novel about the kinds of disabled superheroes “that superhero culture would marginalize,” according to an interview withPublishers Weekly.
Image via Amazon
With The Ables, Scott has inspired younger generations with a tale about kids with disabilities who become the superheroes they weren’t sure they could be. He’s proven the importance of telling these stories, especially when told appropriately, and even has a sequel, Strings, arriving shortly in September.
Here are five other YA novels about characters who struggle with their disabilities, find their strengths, and hopefully find a happy ending or peace with their circumstances.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan taught English and history for fifteen years before his Percy Jackson series stardom. Between his teaching background and telling inspiring bedtime stories to his son who has ADHD and dyslexia, Riordan was uniquely qualified to bring us a protagonist who struggled with his perceived (pun intended) weaknesses before finding his Olympian-level strengths.
Image via Amazon
Percy Jackson has struggled in school because of his dyslexia and ADHD, but after he enters the world of mythical Gods and monster he learns from his friend Annabeth, child of Athena, that:
You’re impulsive, can’t sit still in the classroom…That’s your battlefield reflexes. In a real fight, they’d keep you alive.
Here, Percy learns that his disabilities are not a result of him being less, but simply the trade-offs of being a powerful demigod and part of the Ancient Olympian family tree. Then, as the books go on, Percy and his friends rely on his ADHD mind to save the world time and time again from various ancient threats, ultimately embracing his strengths as well as the new family that he is now a part of.
Having gained recognition by posting her work on Wattpad in 2011, Alison Gervais took time out of her busy schedule of rereading Harry Potter, watching Supernaturaland Law and Order: SVU, and enjoying life with her husband and their two cats, Jane and Smoke, to bring us this August release.
Image Via Amazon
Moving halfway across the country to Colorado right before senior year means Maya will be leaving Pratt School for the Deaf. Now she’s attending Engelmann High, a public school, where everyone except for her can hear and be heard.
When Engelmann’s student body president, Beau Watson, starts using ASL in order to talk to her, Maya is suspicious he has a hidden agenda. Then, when Maya passes up a chance to receive a cochlear implant, Beau doesn’t understand why Maya wouldn’t want to hear again. Maya would rather simply remain true to herself.
Publisher’s Weekly writes that “…Gervais adroitly pulls readers into her world—conveying ASL through all caps and spelled-out words—as well as her work navigating the deaf and hearing worlds and her awareness of who she is,” and we here at Bookstr hope that Gervais will bring us another book sooner rather than later—although we too are busy rereading the Harry Potter series.
After developing alopecia, Quinn lost her friends along with her hair. In addition to her autistic brother, she also has to deal with sexual harassment from fellow students.
Quinn catches a break when her family moves. A new start in a new town at a new school. At school she meets Jake, a former football player who lost his legs after an accident caused by his brother. The two feel a connection, but first, they have to learn to trust others once more…
Publisher’s Weekly writes that “[s]mall acts of kindness balance the cruelty Quinn has suffered, and the message that single characteristics don’t define who people are, invites contemplation” and we here at Bookstr say this that, since this book was released last year in 2018, then you should definitely have it on your bookshelf.
Author of the Sydney Taylor Honor–winning The Blood Lie, Shirley Reva Vernick brought us something for anyone with a heart to enjoy with this 2013 release.
Image via Amazon
Summer looks like it’s going to be a drag for Johnny. When his mother gets a job in upstate New York, far away from Vermont, Johnny is sent to live with his aunt and cousin for the summer. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for his cousin, Remember Dippy.
Yep, you read that right, his cousin’s name is Remember Dippy. And, for Johnny, that isn’t the worst of it. Remember Dippy likes his days to follow a certain order, and any disorder or excitement is a recipe for disaster. This is because Remember Dippy is autistic.
Things go awry when a pet ferret goes missing, a close friend suffers a fall, and a new love interest might change Remember’s life in ways he doesn’t even suspect.
Kirkus Reviews calls this “[a]n enjoyable and provocative exploration of the clash between ‘normal’ and ‘different’ and how similar the two really are,” and we couldn’t agree more!
Shawn McDaniel has cerebral palsy and his entire body is affected; he has absolutely no control over any of his bodily functions, but his memory is pitch-perfect. Sadly, his family thinks he’s a fool.
The novel follows Shawn as he tries to find what we all strive for – a connection – especially since his father Sydney McDaniel talks constantly about euthanasia.
Kirkus Reviews once wrote that “…Shawn will stay with readers, not for what he does, but for what he is and has made of himself,” but we have to say that is an understatement. Throughout the novel, Shawn himself introduces the reader to his life—his family, his school life, and his condition. It’s a meditative read that can be morose, even violent, and will shake you to your very core.
Harry Potter has had twenty plus years to percolate in popular culture, and it’s produced a lot of content, including memes. Here are some funny ones.
He Takes His Job Seriously
Image via Imgur
The last thing Snape needs is art teacher vibes. I hate to let them down! It does make me feel like I understand Neville’s suffering though. Once in grade school, an art teacher told me I was bad at collages. I was stunned. I’m just glad I didn’t need to eat it.
Harry Potter, King of Shade
Image via LiveAbout
I’ve always said, if you can’t beat them, annoy them. It might not kill Voldy to get his name wrong, but I can’t imagine him reacting calmly. Sometimes you don’t need actual magic, just a really sick burn. Think of “no need to call me sir, professor.”
I’ve Connected Them!
Image via Screen Rant
Dumbledore, you ridiculous jumble of contradictions and eccentricities. Say what you will about Dumbledore and the wisdom of his choices either way, but he is objectively a TERRIBLE judge of character. Think of Quirrell.
Grammar is Life
Image via Pinterest
While this isn’t cannon… it’s cannon. It would be so like Hermione to just absolutely reject being killed by a mispronounced spell. Like, kill me, sure, but do it right. Here, let me help you with your murder technique. She just really couldn’t watch someone flounder.
There’s a Reason He’s Not in Ravenclaw
Image via Cheezburger
Obviously danger does follow Harry, but Harry does also follow danger. Like, anything dangerous happens, and Harry is like *butterfly meme* “Is this a situation I should get involved in?” I guess it’s what Godric Gryffindor would have wanted?
When you and Your Roommate fight
Image via Runt of the Web
I think we’ve all been there. Just pointedly staring at undone dishes and listening to top 40 music from across a small apartment. What are you guys going to do, slam your curtains? Hum loudly? You’ve got real problems, work it out!
Hermione’s always Been Metal
Image via Amino Apps
I mean, yeah, it would have made for a much shorter book, but I’m also not convinced it didn’t happen. Hermione is the sort of person who would be like “this is something I’ve been working on, it’s just simple” and then summon a dragon or something.
With the start of September comes a new semester of school. Not the most exciting time of the year, unless you’re Hermione Granger. Good on you if you’ve made the leap to educate yourself. It is indeed something many people desire to one extent or another, but for some, it is an absolute necessity due to a severe lack of intellect. To speak in layman’s terms, for those of you who don’t understand, some people are pretty dumb.
In honor of the start of school, we are counting seven literary characters who are very much in need of a good education.
Without question, Malfoy’s lackeys are in desperate need of schooling, together. The two would surely have to go to classes together as they are so lacking in intelligence separately they’d have to combine their minds, either figuratively or literally via magic, to pass any of their classes.
The man had goals, but not the wits to catch one particular whale. With a little more to learn, Ahab could greatly benefit from learning more about whales in Biology. That or he could go for his teaching license in Whaling. You know what they say, “if you can’t do, teach.”
Finding your place in the world is a huge part of school, especially in high school and college. At the very least with education being the central focus, it’ll prevent you from making undersea deals with strange old hags and running away from home for some pretty boy—or so we hope. Ariel could certainly learn about stranger danger if she enrolls now.
With an inclination toward mischief and violence, the twins would give any teacher a hard time. However, if separated and placed in the right classes, their bad habits could be turned around. Have them involved in a sport like football or volleyball, and on the side, fostering their apparent interest in poetry could help them to express themselves in more productive ways. Then again, going back to the chaos of Wonderland it would take much longer to find progress, unless they dorm that is.
School could have literally saved Ophelia’s life in Hamlet. When you’re with a really great teacher, you can be tested to think for yourself. Granted, in Medieval Times women were expected to follow the men, Ophelia being swayed left and right is a tragedy in itself. If she was given an education, then maybe she’d be more logical in thinking with her heartbreak over Hamlet. At the very least she could have benefited from swimming classes.
In spite of how smart of a scientist he was before his grave-robbing began, Dr. Frankenstein realized only at the end how much of a fool he was to try and play God. Even then, he still did not understand that he is no hero in this tale of horror.
Victor may not need to go back to the basics of Science, but he ought to register in several classes on Ethics as soon as he can.