A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Leaky Cauldron could keep any fan of the Harry Potter series occupied for hours. With a wealth of content, including extensive book club groups, interviews with cast members, and heavily moderated discussion forums and chats (both 3D and text-based), this is really a one-stop shop for all things Potter. Kids can download podcasts for their MP3 players and cell phones, and can check certain news portions of the site remotely. The site does feature ads, and The Cauldron Shop sells everything from books to wands.
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What's it about?
THE-LEAKY-CAULDRON.ORG hosts everything Harry Potter: a huge photo and video gallery, book discussions and essays, an extensive news feed, quizzes, craft ideas, and the very popular downloadable PotterCast podcast. If fans produce their own Potter art or crafts, they can upload photos of their creations to the site and let other fans rate them. Fans can talk to other fans in the heavily moderated chat rooms. In the Leaky Lounge discussion forum, fans gather to discuss theories for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, their hopes for the upcoming films, favorite and least favorite characters, and more.
Is it any good?
What started out as a place for Harry Potter news, The-Leaky-Cauldron.org (along with its friendly rival MuggleNet.com) is now the preeminent Potter site. The series' author J.K. Rowling herself has said that it's her personal favorite of the Harry Potter sites, and the creator and Webmistress, Melissa Anelli, has even met with the notoriously private author at her Scotland home. Besides the author's endorsement, the site has more to recommend it. Unlike many forums on the web, the threads at The-Leaky-Cauldron.org tend to stay friendly and age-appropriate, and moderators are on hand to ensure that it stays that way. The site also has strict policies on spoilers for both the books and movies, though those can be harder to enforce in a chat forum. On a less positive note, the site also features quite a few ads and products to buy, all related to Harry Potter.
Online interaction: The site links to or includes several ways to interact with other Harry Potter fans, but not all of them are functional.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fan communities. Why do people love talking about the books and movies so much? Is it more fun to guess theories about the upcoming book or to be completely surprised?
Who are your favorite characters and why? If you were making the next Harry Potter movie, what would you change from the book?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love all things Harry P.
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