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`Hallows' eve is coming

July 08, 2007|Amy Kaufman

WITH a few weeks to kill before the July 21 release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final book in the epic J.K. Rowling series, many anxious readers across the globe are biding their time by conjuring up predictions about the fate of everyone's favorite wizard. Though the plot lines remain under lock and key, here are a few things we know for sure about the release of the concluding tale:

* Author J.K. Rowling will embark on a rare tour to read to L.A.-area school kids at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Oct. 15. Los Angeles will be one of only three cities to view the author, who will also be traveling to New Orleans and New York. Local schools will select the lucky children who get to greet the author and have her autograph their copy of the book.

* There will be plenty of places to calm your jitters on the eve of the book release:

Starting at 8 p.m., the Barnes & Noble at the Grove will host its Midnight Magic Party, with prizes for best costumes and crowd control to ease overeager fans.

Dutton's in Brentwood will open at 11 p.m. for similar fun, such as magical bean counting, and will begin dispensing the coveted books at midnight.

On the Sunset Strip, Book Soup's "Harry Potter" release party starts at 10 p.m., and the store will give free copies of the book with the purchase of a $100 gift card from the store.

* Local 10-year-old August Rosenberg is the Harry Potter kid correspondent for, and he discusses his favorite character (Severus Snape) and book predictions in a video posted on the site. The sixth-grader, who will attend the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies next fall, says he and his buddies can "hardly contain" their anticipation for the volume.

"It's really turned a whole generation of kids back to reading," said Rosenberg, whose parents began reading him the books at age 4. "The books have so much imagination packed into them. I'm just really excited for the new one to see if my predictions are right."

* The same website reported that more than 1 million copies of the book have already been pre-ordered in America -- with 1.6 million pre-orders being billed for Amazon worldwide. This marks the largest for any of the books in the "Harry Potter" series, which publisher Scholastic Inc. reports has sold 325 million copies in 200 countries in 65 languages. The 12 million copies being created for the release of the seventh book is the largest number in publishing history.

* The L.A. Public Library already has 1,000 names on its list of reserves for the book, which the library has ordered hundreds of copies of, according to Ilene Abramson, director of children's services. All branches of the Los Angeles libraries will be offering H-Po related programs before the release, where kids can listen to story time, watch puppet shows or sculpt arts and crafts projects.

* The Knight Bus, the vehicle that gained fame through the book series, made a stop at four L.A. public libraries on Friday and Saturday. The bus allowed the Muggles a chance to record personal thoughts about "Harry Potter" on a video camera as well as ogle beds where passengers caught shut-eye.

-- Amy Kaufman

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