By: Connie Ann Kirk
Not since the Beatles in the 1960s has an export from Great Britain taken the world by storm as J. K. Rowling has with her popular "Harry Potter" series. From a modest beginning, the series has gone on to sell more than 260 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 60 languages. While readers young and old enjoy the books, Rowling's success has come with controversy. She is seen as both a champion for literacy, who encourages children to read 800-page novels full of Latin and mythological allusions; and as a shaman who turns young readers into mass consumers and children's literature into a highly marketable commodity. This encyclopaedia is a detailed guide to her life and works. The volume presents hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries on Rowling's characters, themes, settings, motifs, spells, potions, curses, and magical creatures; the people, places, and events that shaped her life; and films, merchandising, conventions, fan fiction, and other topics related to the presence of Harry Potter in popular culture. The volume also includes helpful lists, a bibliography, and an extensive index. Students and readers will find this a convenient resource for virtually anything they want to know about Rowling and her fascinating world.