Dumbledore’s Army Reunites in the Wizarding World

by Charlie Diaz

For pureblooded Harry Potter fans like me, the year the final movie came out felt like a huge loss. I was resolved to read anything—I mean, anything—that would still make the—any!—connection to the Wizarding World. I felt like I deserved to know more beyond that moment Harry’s kids boarded the Hogwarts Express.

This is why when I found out Queen Rowling wrote an article about our beloved Dumbledore’s Army (and reports say she will be publishing another one about the Quidditch World Cup on Friday!), it was like winning the Triwizard Tournament! (Okay, that might seem a little overboard, but still true.) Not only that it’s a glimpse on the current lives of the gang I have since forever loved—or rather, obsessed about—but it’s also written in that Rita Skeeter trademark! I missed the Wizarding World so much I’d take her bitterness against the trio to bring me back all the nostalgic amusement.

It was pure ecstasy (yes, I went there) to see Skeeter mention the Golden Trio, plus all these familiar faces: Neville, Hannah, Luna and a few of the Weasleys! But what takes the cake for me is this commentary on 30-something-year-old Harry Potter:

 

About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair, but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old. The famous lightning scar has company: Potter is sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone. Requests for information as to its provenance merely produced the usual response from the Ministry of Magic: ‘We do not comment on the top secret work of the Auror department, as we have told you no less than 514 times, Ms. Skeeter’  So what are they hiding? Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?

I enjoyed the story terribly but somehow, I still could not get over the fact that Hermione was married to Ron! As a hardcore shipper of Dramione, it’s just that I have always seen more potential in Draco and Hermione. (Remember when she punched him in Prisoner of Azkaban? Sexual tensiiiooon!!) I can only hope Rowling considers that in future Harry Potter stories! ☁

Bookbed reviews: ‘What Kids Should Know About Andres and the Katipunan’ (plus a giveaway!)

by KB Meniado

Andres Bonifacio has never been my top answer for whenever somebody asks me who my favorite Filipino hero is. (Don’t worry; it’s not Manny Pacquiao, either.) Frankly, there was just too much Jose Rizal in the environment I grew up in, ending up with me having only a shallow grasp of what Bonifacio’s story was. Of course, I knew he was the Supremo, the father of the Philippine revolution, but when I picked up What Kids Should Know About Andres and the Katipunan (written by Weng Cahiles, illustrated by Isa Natividad), I found out, well, how cool he actually was.

THE STORY

Who was Andres Bonifacio? How was Andres as a brother, a husband, and as a revolutionary leader? Here is a handy reference for children on the life of the Supremo and the Katipunan.

Sino si Andres Bonifacio? Paano si Andres umasal bilang kapatid, asawa, at pinuno ng rebolusyon? Narito ang isang madaling sanggunian para sa mga bata tungkol sa buhay ng Supremo at ng Katipunan. / Get a copy: Adarna House

WHAT I LIKED

Written in a tone that would engage any reader at any age, the book talks about the secrets of the Katipunan (or the Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan) and also reveals possibly never-before shared details of Bonifacio’s personal life—how he was as a brother, a family man and a leader.

For example, I loved finding out that the Supremo was a reader himself! And that the Katipuneros had secret handshakes they used when meeting in public to distinguish themselves as members of the KKK.

The art was also something I enjoyed a lot that I thought I would *gasp* cut out a couple of them to make into a collage. They complimented the narrative so well it was a breeze to finish the book in an hour.

The bonus? There were also activities for kids after every chapter and even though I’m already almost 25, you bet I still made my own Katipunan flag and cracked that code, Katipunan writing system-style.

tl;dr

Ask me who my new favorite hero is. But you already probably know, thanks to What Kids Should Know About Andres. ☁

GIVEAWAY!

We have two (2) signed copies waiting for you! Answer the question “Who is your hero and why?” in the comments section below. Winners shall be chosen by the 31st of July. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Jesse Aspril and Kathryn Anne Hilario! Email hello@bookbed.org. Thanks to everyone who joined the giveaway. Until the next one! ☁

Meeting Stephanie Perkins in Manila

by Elaine Zapanta

I remember hearing about The National playing a one-night show in Manila for the first time. I was out of town and couldn’t get proper network signal. When I finally caught up on it on Twitter, my feed was flooded with ALL-CAPS tweets of excitement, wailing emojis and feelings. Mostly, feelings.

February 20 came. The day I got to hug Matt Berninger, sang along to “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” ugly crying and feeling all feelings. It was a warm hug just being there. And then it was over, but the memory and the feeling, those stay with you for a long time.

Why am I telling you this? I know this isn’t one of those American Mary forums. The point of this incredibly sappy introduction is: Meeting your favorite people is a big deal.

Yesterday (July 6), I attended Stephanie Perkins’ book signing event hosted by the National Bookstore. Her debut novel, Anna and the French Kiss, is one of my favorite young adult novels of all time so you could say that this book signing meant a lot to me. However, I was a bit hesitant to go because I reckoned there will be screaming teens everywhere, and my 25-year-old self will end up out of place.

Some people have FOMO (fear of missing out) so they attend shenanigans as often as they can. I, on the other hand, have issues in the participation department. The reasoning center of my brain is almost always operating on fear I sometimes am close to feeling sorry for myself. Which I admit is a great example of totally whacked thinking, you know? Spending hard-earned money and a good chunk of your time on life experiences is extremely rewarding.

But I went. Thank God I went. Apparently, I am not a special snowflake; there were plenty of 20, 30, even 40-somethings at the event. Almost all of them were clutching their books that, in about an hour, will be signed by Stephanie Perkins. I even saw a cute couple having a moment!

Stephanie Perkins was lovely. She did a brief interview before the signing and answered relevant questions, such as which character from her books was based on her husband (Jarrod volunteered to answer: Cricket) and future projects. She told us the story of how 17-year-old Stephanie Perkins met Jarrod – and how he flew across America to be her prom date, and why writing about young adults is close to her heart. Collective awwws all over the place, I tell you.

Stephanie signed more than a thousand books that day. I read that some book signing events only allow one book per person but at Stephanie’s, you were allowed to have at it. It’s also admirable how she didn’t even take breaks between signing. She took time to listen, answer a few questions while signing, and say a few kind words to her Filipino fans. When I told her about Bookbed, she even stopped signing to look me in the eye and tell me it’s a great project and that she’ll look for #readingnation on Twitter!

On my way home, I remembered Anna and how her story is more than just stumbling upon a cute boy with awesome hair. It’s about courage. Anna was shipped to boarding school in France where she had to start over, completely on her own. AND SHE GOT OVER IT. Eventually.

So all this business about fear of participation should not be a big deal. Like Anna, you’ll get over it in the end. Let your fangirl (or boy) shine through! ☁

Art Submission: My Superhero

by Sarah Grutas

When I was a kid, my mum who was a professional SCUBA diver would always be away on diving trips. I wouldn’t see her for months on end; when she would finally come home, she’d bring me paperback novels.

The earliest memory I have of her giving me a book was when I was six—maybe seven—years old. She brought home Carol Burnett’s A Little Princess. It was a small book, one that could easily fit in my pocket. But it was a hundred pages long, a bit hard for a little kid to read.

I do not remember my mum ever reading me stories in bed. I only remember her giving me books, which, looking back now, I realize, was a kind of atonement for the days she’d chosen not to be with me.

My relationship with my mum would go through a lot of ups and downs. I would grow up to be a voracious reader and an extremely insecure person. Even now, as an adult, I read because it is in books that I can make sense, and in the end, make peace of my perpetual loneliness. ☁