cover image Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard

Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard

Tom Felton. Grand Central, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-538-74136-8

Actor Felton, best known for his portrayal of bleached-blond antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, recounts his career in his charming debut memoir. Raised in the 1980s in the London suburb of Surrey, Felton’s first on-screen role, at age nine, was in the 1997 film The Borrowers; three years later, he earned the part of Draco. Felton recalls tender memories of support from his family, such as how his grandfather taught him how to perform the distinctive Draco sneer. Felton also reveals his struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy during his teenage years; later, after moving to L.A., he became disillusioned with the persona he’d cultivated, which made him feel lonely. Felton’s narrative is both self-deprecating (“I was born enthusiastic rather than talented”) and frank; he discusses the drinking problem he developed in his 20s and advocates for the destigmatization of mental health problems. He regards praise from fellow actors with a grain of salt, but treasures the written accolades he received from author J.K. Rowling. Felton weaves a seamless, sensitive narrative that will enchant Potterheads and fans of celebrity memoirs alike. Agent: Stephanie Thwaites, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)