Grace is a 6th grader in the New Jersey Public School system. She is an avid reader and writer, Suzuki pianist, and budding artist—not to mention a huge fan of everything J.K. Rowling. A digital knuckle bump to her for contributing this blogpost to jumpstart our summer here at PLAY.

To a fanatic of J.K. Rowling, Pottermore is like a dream come true. Having read all the books about 100 times, one would think I don’t need a website since I have practically memorized the whole series. When I first heard about Rowling coming out with a website (see her promo video below), I thought that she didn’t need to, as her books are exceptional as they are. The nanosecond I heard that Pottermore had been released to public, I signed up. It was so simple: I had expected parent confirmations, but all I had to do was select my country, date of birth, language, and e-mail address. Then, for safety purposes, I had to choose from a list of approximately 4-5 randomly compiled usernames. After I entered the required information and created my password, the administrators sent me a confirmation email. From there, I clicked on the home page to sign in and unlock the extraordinary. To give you a sense of what it’s like, watch this video introduction:

When you sign into your account, your “gateway” is the automatic first screen.  If you choose to live the experience of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone you will fly through slideshows from each chapter. Throughout the “books” you can discover J. K. Rowling’s explanations for characters, places, and plots. You earn house points for collecting Wizarding Items such as Chocolate Frog Cards, Potion Ingredients, and random objects. During the early pages, you will gain: a Gringott’s account (bank account) with 500 Galleons, a magic wand with physical properties (depending on answers to a quiz) and your supplies for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

From there, you will take a test to sort you into your house. For example, one question was, “What do you find hardest to deal with?” Based on all of your answers, you are assigned to one of the four houses: Gryffindor (brave, courageous and loyal), Slytherin (self-centered), Hufflepuff (caring, kind and friendly), or Ravenclaw (logical, smart and factual). Once you’ve been sorted, the Pottermore Insider says, “The Sorting Hat’s decision is final!” so you will not be able to switch houses. Overall, I question the accuracy of house assignments, as someone could answer how they would like things to be, not as they really are.

Once you have been sorted, you will be able to enjoy the Pottermore experience. In addition to the literary element, Pottermore is also compiled of an interactive property. If you are below the age of 13, you are able to post an appropriate comment in your House Common Room (or at the closing of each Potter page) and will then be sent to automatic moderation. When you are in your Common Room, you are also capable of searching for “Recent Activity.” In your Common Room, you are capable of observing profiles, adding friends, commenting, and looking at the top House Point and Wizard Duel earners. (I only have three friends so far, and two of them are from my school).

My favorite space is wizard dueling, you earn house points and learn spells from the book. The point of dueling is to earn house points and to gain knowledge of more jinxes, hexes, curses, and counter curses. In the process of a duel, depending on the accuracy of your spell, you will be assigned a “spell cast potency” such as for an extremely good dueler, 193. Every house point earned will go into that house’s hourglass of points to then compete for the House Cup.

The public can search for questions, comments, and concerns on the Pottermore Insider. You can also see user-submitted drawings of specific book chapters.

So in my opinon, Pottermore is just like the books: brilliant. One of my favorite things to do is playing Wizard’s Duel and attempting to create a cure for boils. This program is so enjoyable and informing (about the books). I especially like that Pottermore includes excerpts from each chapter with standout slideshows. While you may not know it, you are also learning new facts, like how people tend to talk. Also, you are not confined to yourself, and you can interact with other sorcerers. Another great thing to do is to read pieces published on Pottermore. Overall, I think of Pottermore as an invaluable piece of interactive artwork.

And if that isn’t convincing enough, listen to J. K. Rowling herself:

Guest Post: Grace and the Beauty of Pottermore