14 December 2008

Second media appearance: in The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Those of you who missed my big CNN debut (video on its way) will be pleased to know that my second appearance is going on in bookstores all over the world. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J. K. Rowling writes of a witch named Asha.

Ha! To my great delight, I discovered this while paging through the book at my kids' school's Scholastic Book Fair. Backstory: when you're a little girl named Asha, you don't get personalized license plates to hang on your bike, or personalized stickers to put on your brown paper book covers. So any time I see the name "Asha" in print, I get a little girl's thrill.

(Imagine my reaction when, in the 90's, Mattel came out with an African Barbie named Asha!)

Anyway, if you're a Harry Potter fan and you haven't yet read Beedle the Bard, do. It's such a pleasure to hear Rowling's voice in formal fable mode. As always, her imagination knows no bounds, and the lessons these tales teach are timeless. Professor Dumbledore's commentary and footnotes are fascinating as well.

What I especially appreciate about this book: all net proceeds go to the Children's High Level Group. From the website:

The Children's High Level Group (CHLG) was founded in 2005 by the author JK Rowling and MEP Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne to help the 1 million children across Europe still living in large residential institutions. Contrary to popular belief, only 4% of these children are orphans, and they are in care because their families are poor, disabled or from ethnic minorities. Many of these children have disabilities and handicaps, but often remain without any health or educational interventions. In some cases they do not receive basic services such as adequate food. Almost always they are without human or emotional contact and stimulation.

The standard edition of the book is on sale everywhere, but Amazon's got a lock on the magnificent Collector's Edition: fancy case, velvet bag, metal skull and clasps, "gemstones," additional illustrations, and a reproduction of the original's handwritten introduction. At $100, it's an investment, but Potter aficionados abound.

At a little over $7, however, the Standard edition would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for just about anyone.

Your comments

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I assume that you know your name is pretty popular in India, and in fact, is the first name of one of the most prolific Indian female singers of all time (Asha Bhosle).

Indeed I do. Ashas are a dime (a rupee?) a dozen there!

I always feel the same way about my name- common enough but "spelled wrong."

So- Beedle- it's fine for kids who haven't completed the series, too, right?

Really looking forward to the video-

It's funny to read this b/c I always wished my name wasn't so common. There were always at least 3 other Sarahs in every class. I would have loved to have a more uncommon name :)

@Sarah: yeah, I was thinking something along the same lines. I was so excited when I went to college in the US and there wasn't a single other Aisha on campus for a whole year. For the first time in my life I could actually turn around when someone yelled "Aisha" from a distance, and reasonably expect them to be talking to me. :)

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Asha's Book

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