The Latest About Potter:
It's a Big, Fat Harry Deal
* Harry Potter is a record breaker on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, sold about 9 million copies in the United States and Great Britain on Saturday, its first day on sale. The one-day tally was higher than most books ever achieve, booksellers said.
The only other book to open nearly as well was the fifth Potter book, "Order of the Phoenix."
Nearly 7 million copies of "Half-Blood Prince" were sold in the United States on Saturday -- an average of more than 275,000 per hour. Scholastic Children's Books already has increased its U.S. print run to 13.5 million copies from 10.8 million.
"Half-Blood Prince" could be found on the Internet yesterday for as little as $12.99 (for a used copy) and as much as $992.40 (for a signed first edition). Audiobook sales were also breaking records, with more than 165,000 cassette and CD sets sold.
The 652-page book far overshadowed the nation's top movie, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Book sales totaled about $140 million, while theatergoers bought $58 million in tickets.
Rowling, already the richest woman in Britain (she's worth an estimated $1 billion), made $36 million from Saturday's sales in the United States and Britain, according to Nielsen BookScan. Combined, the six Potter titles have now sold more than 116 million copies in the United States alone. There will be one more book in the Potter saga, Rowling has said; she is already at work on it.
Reviews of "Half-Blood Prince" were mixed. Some critics found the dark story to be Rowling's most emotionally satisfying work. Others thought they had been there, read that, in her earlier books.
* The Washington Post, in yesterday's Style section, called it solid but somewhat predictable and noted that there is "more bone-cracking and blood-spattering than may be tolerable for many of the young readers who have followed Harry's adventures so far."
* The Independent newspaper in England called the book "wordy, flabby and . . . perhaps a bit less inventive than the previous ones."
* The San Francisco Chronicle took a similar view: "The main problem is that J.K. Rowling has now written six of these bricks. Even if they were getting better, they're certainly not getting any fresher."
* But the Chicago Sun-Times said that "Rowling's latest has lost none of the charm, intelligence and hilarity that have catapulted her series into publishing history. . . . There's an emotional punch you won't believe."
So, what's your take on "Half-Blood Prince"? Tell us (in 50 words or fewer) if you liked the book and why. Don't just repeat the plot, and certainly don't spoil any surprises for kids still reading the book. E-mail your reviews to kidspost@ washpost.com (please put "Potter" in the subject field). Or send your review to KidsPost, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Or fax them to 202-496-3780. Be sure to include your name, age, address and phone number. If we print your review, we'll send you a KidsPost T-shirt.