J.K. Rowling: A WebQuest
Book Selection: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J.K. Rowling was born in England in 1965. From a very young age she showed interest in writing, authoring her first storybook at age six. Rowling continued to write throughout her childhood and into high school, where she quickly gained the reputation as an avid and imaginative storyteller among her friends.


Rowling was not yet a professional writer when she began work on Harry Potter; she was working as a secretary when the story about the boy wizard first came to her. Working during her lunch hours, Rowling gave complexity to Harry's story, giving him friends, a wizard academy, an assortment of magical tools, and a sundry crew of professors, schoolmates and strange creatures.


In 1997, Rowling finished her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Its manuscript was rejected by several publishers before it was finally purchased and published by a British book agent. Once published, however, the book won instant acclaim and a large following of fans. It later won a number of awards, including the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year. Once published in the U.S., the book made it to the top of all of the bestseller lists for both children's and adults' books. The subsequent books in her series have also won acclaim from various American magazines and literary organizations, including the American Library Association.


To date, Rowling has written six books in the Harry Potter series. The series has been translated into more than 30 languages. Four of the six books have also been made into major motion pictures.


Rowling, who now lives in Scotland with her daughter and husband, attributes the success of her books to the universally relatable theme that carries throughout the series. The books, she says, are “really about the power of the imagination. What Harry is learning to do is develop his full potential. Wizardry is just the analogy I use.”

To navigate the WebQuest, follow these steps:

1.  Read the book summary for Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.

2.  Visit each of the hot sites and think about how each relates to the book.

3.  Answer the quiz questions in a word document.

4.  Visit the rubric to find out how to succeed in answering the quiz questions.

Email: Dr. James Blasingame