At nearly 900 pages and 255,000 words, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix makes a hefty but happy summer reading assignment. Muggles are eagerly awaiting book five in the Harry Potter series, and Blue Willow Bookshop will host a nonstop read-a-thon the moment it goes on sale. "Kids, and a lot of adults, will gobble it up," says the store's Valerie Koehler. "The books have just a great story with great characters. I think they'll stand the test of time." The event benefits the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, with sponsored readers recounting young Harry's adventures in half-hour slots. "I have a feeling that I'm going to be awake for a long, long time," Koehler laughs. And remember, since author J.K. Rowling ages her characters, it might not be long before Ron Weasley is caught snorting "magic dust" on campus, or Hermione Granger uploads her own dorm cam. 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 21. Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive. For information, call 281-497-8675. Free. -- Bob Ruggiero
Don't be misled: The Seven Dwarves won't be making an appearance in Stages Repertory Theatre's Snow White and Rose Red. Instead, the original musical adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale features two well-behaved sisters who are kind to a bear. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, through July 12. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit www.stagestheatre.com. $8. -- Cathy Matusow
Vessel of Knowledge
The Buffalo Bayou Partnership has the right idea. To learn about nature, kids need to touch it, breathe it and smell it. So smuggle the youngsters aboard the Smith Point, a 45-foot "floating classroom." Skilled professionals will navigate the "teaching vessel" down Buffalo Bayou and educate your children about the bayou -- on the bayou. 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 21. Allen's Landing, Commerce Street between Main and Fannin. For information, call 713-752-0314. $40. -- Troy Schulze
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