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And nobody so far has objected to my gently pointing out in Trickster that some people like to twist religions to suit their own not-always-very-pleasant ends…. The death of a human character is traumatic because we can easily imagine ourselves in their place. Few of us are likely to be hunted by an owl. When Charlotte the spider dies, she treats death as a part of her life. In The Rising , I use the death of a character as a prompt to think about how to deal with the loss.

Animal books gently teach children that death is a part of the world, and give ideas on how to manage its consequences.

Did Harry Potter Really Steal All These Story Ideas?

And they do it safely. They demonstrate how relationships work, and how to accept the differences between people. They allow children to experience things far outside of their daily lives, including some difficult emotions and thoughts. Animal stories create the strangest and safest worlds, where children can learn the most difficult lessons. But the neatest trick is that these lessons are delivered as part of an exciting animal adventure. But they are.

Your brain on story

The Wind in the Willows surely needs no introduction. For me, though, this book works because the adventures, silliness and occasional pompousness are balanced by the lyrical passages especially in The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which is my favourite chapter. There are moments of real beauty. Each author brings their own voice, and each story its own moral.

The money raised through sales funds the printing and distribution of books to Cameroonian children who have none, and are losing their stories. Just a brilliant book about growing up and learning how to be a good person. Great stuff. Photo credit. The river Merse originates in the province of Grosseto and flows across a tortuous path until it reaches the Siena area, passing near the villages of Sovicille , Monticiano , Murlo and Chiusdino. The river, which in many places is only accessible by foot, is suitable for making beautiful bathrooms, fully immersed in the Tuscan countryside.

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The Merse is one of the last refuges of the otter. The Merse valley is perfect for trekking and for most adventurous, it's possible to canoe down the river from the Abbey of San Galgano to the confluence with the Ombrone. Murlo is a beautiful medieval town, built on a hill high m above sea level and completely enclosed by ancient walls, then overlapped by a circle of houses. Founded by the Etruscans, Murlo shows great evidence of their civilization, as can be seen in the archaeological site of Poggio Civitate for example, where, thanks to some American Universities, lots of materials belonging to Etruscans have been discovered.

According to some genetic studies, the population of Murlo could be the most direct descendants of the Etruscans. Chiusdino is a Medieval village perched on a metalliferous hill mt above sea level, between Val di Farma and the upper valley of Merse River. Its medieval walls and urban plan are intact.

They are characterized by narrow streets with low stone houses concentric to the town center. The origins are Lombard, while in the Middle Ages was a property of the Volterra Bishops, until when, after a period of struggle, was annexed to Siena. Thus began a prosperous period, that continued with the domination of the Medici Family from Florence , under which several monasteries and abbey were constructed. Chiusdino Associations promote various fairs and festivals during the summer. Among these in early September there's the Festival of sweet, with tasting of local wine and sweets.

Monuments to visit: Church of St. San Galgano was born in Chiusdino in Here, in order to show his repentance, he plunged his sword into a rock. Someone argues that is precisely the Sword in the Stone of the myth of King Arthur.

King Arthur - Sword in the stone

Abandoned at the end of ' it fell into ruin in the 18th century until the late ', when it was restored by consolidating the existing. Today it is a picturesque ceiling open ruin as you can see in the picture , as the roof collapsed under the bell tower fall on For instance, Rowling's black-cloaked Dementors are clearly the Oprah generation version of the Nazgul. Dementors cause depression and unconsciousness that are dispelled with chocolate. Morgul-blade wielding Nazgul cause unconsciousness and utter terror that are dispelled with athelas herb. On the other hand, Dementors can be defeated with magical happy thoughts while the Witch King of the Nazgul has to be taken out by a Hobbit with an enchanted sword and shieldmaiden of Rohan.

Is there a case? Only in the sense that all modern fantasy is deeply influenced and inspired by Tolkien. Similarities: In this precursor to the Potter books, a young girl form a Mugg — uh — non-magical family attends a boarding school for witches. Which is in an ancient castle surrounded by an enchanted forest. While Mildred Hubble is enrolled at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, where she attends Potions, Broomstick Flying, Chants and Charms classes, she must deal with conflicts with her classmates, a cursed broom, and an attempt to overthrow the school.

Also, Mildred and her friends make an invisibility potion. Here's an old Geocities page listing more similarities, including the fact that there's a mean teacher who hates the main character, and a popular blond kid who gets off on the wrong foot with the hero on the very first day.

Is there a Case? The series of Worst Witch books skews younger and tends to the lighter side of magic than the Harry Potter books. Many of the similarities are of the superficial, non-copyrightable type, though Murphy got there first.

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Similarities: Charmed Life is about two orphans taken to a castle to learn magic from the greatest magician in England. Not really. Charmed Life is an excellent book that reads like a fun fantasy adventure, but it is a dark look at sibling abuse and parricide. It's also got parallel worlds. Similarities: Unseen University, a school for wizards housed in a castle, natch is the primary similarity. It's got chained up magical books, creepy corridors and the staff takes on the occasional battle against ultimate evil.

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There's also Ponder Stibbons, a dark haired, bespectacled lad who's not really the best student of magic. Well, Ponder Stubbins actually spends very little time as a student. Also, Discworld wizards are often the incompetent ivory tower academic types, while the social worker-esque witches keep things running in the real world.

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  • Which is very unlike Harry Potter. Oh yes. The live chess pieces in Through the Looking Glass and the magicked ones in Sorcerer's Stone are just so much alike.

    The Treasure of the Niflungs

    Of course it's been done many times before Rowling got to it, most notably in Vonnegut's short story, "All The King's Horses. Similarities: An unwanted boy destined to be the man who saves England is taken in by a blue-eyed, long-bearded wizard who keeps odd birds and uses radical methods of pedagogy.

    Also, there are dragons. Similarities: Tween British schoolboy with black hair and glasses discovers he has magical powers and gets a pet owl. Says DailySkew :. Tim Hunter is an English-boy who gets trained to become the most powerful sorcerer in the universe. His stories were about magic, mythology, icons, talking animals, dealing with authority figures who were not supportive to him, and struggling with the responsibility. Gaiman has categorically rejected this , saying they were both ripping off T. Similarities: These books, published in the s, feature a character named Larry Potter.