If you just can't wait until July 16 to get a pinch of Potter, there are a few other options. George Beahm's new Fact, Fiction, and Folklore in Harry Potter's World: An Unofficial Guide explores the real and mythical origins of the creatures, places and characters in J. K. Rowling's books. You can look up specific terms (entries are in alphabetical order and separated into categories), or browse as you like. It's a handy way to learn a little more about the very real folk tales, myths and lore that inspired Rowling's novels.

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