Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sat, March 23

Potter book release prompts midnight madness at bookstore<BR>

Katie's brother, Cory, 11, said he read the first three Harry Potter books and about a fifth of the fourth one.

Katie and Cory's father, Shawn, said the books are "good books, and my kids are reading. They're on the Nintendo or watching Saturday morning cartoons all the time, but with these, they're reading."

Kelly McCready, Katie and Cory's mother, said "it got my boy reading. That's what it's about."

Three other boys who are reading are James Dahlin, 11, Brian Utz, 10, and Jesse Moreno, 8.

Utz and Dahlin came to Barnes and Noble all the way from Cornville to buy the Harry Potter book at midnight. And, according to Utz, there was no stopping them.

"My mom was supposed to take us," he said, "but she got bucked off a horse and got hurt real bad, so my dad's here with us. But she's read all the Harry Potter books, and we're getting her a copy."

Fans of the Harry Potter series seem to like everything about the books.

"The way the characters are. How funny they are. And the plot of the books," Utz explained.

Dahlin agreed.

"I like the plot," he said. Dahlin has read all four Harry Potter books, and said he'd start the fifth Saturday morning when Utz slept over at his house.

Although Moreno has not yet read the Harry Potter books, he said he wants to.

"I like the adventures Harry has and how Hermione learns new spells in every movie," Moreno said of the movies. "I believe in magic."

Stephanie Sedan said she loves the books because "it's so very detailed. It's just fun."

Fun seemed to be the main attraction at Barnes and Noble Friday night.

"It's parents here for their kids and obsessive teen-agers like us," Sapio said. "I'm pretty obsessive," she admitted.

Even adults came to Barnes and Noble for the midnight release.

Jesse Gibson has read each of the four books more than six times each, said, "I like the value systems that are put forward by the author. Especially the idea in book four, that you have to make a choice – do what's easy or do what's right. That's a valuable lesson even for an old fogy like me."

Saturday morning, Barnes and Noble opened at 9, with magic shows, face painters, a jumping house and a reading by Prescott Mayor Rowle Simmons.

"They put me in a cape and dressed me all up," Simmons said. Then he read a few passages from the opening of the fifth Harry Potter book.

Although he hasn't read the first four books, he would "probably consider taking it on."

He liked the part that he read, and said "I think it's exceptional from the standpoint that kids are reading from large books."

Frank Dempsey, the book department manager at Hastings, said about 100 to 150 people came to the store's midnight release party and bought out about half the store's stock. On Saturday, he set up a wand- and hat-making booth, and gave out cookies and polyjuice potion.

Kelly McCready may have been one of the few people not up past her bedtime Friday night.

"I'll go home now and start reading this," she said, "when everybody gets to bed; that's when I sit down and read."

This weekend, several hundred Prescott residents will be doing just that.

Contact the reporter at heller@prescottaz.com

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