Posted in Reviews

Review: Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton

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

Recommended: yup!
For Harry Potter fans, for a behind-the-scenes look at film life particularly when young, for a gentle memoir that’s treated with teasing humor and sensitivity


From Borrower to wizard, Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame saw him catapulted into the limelight aged just twelve when he landed the iconic role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

Speaking with candour and his own trademark humour, Tom shares his experience of growing up on screen and as part of the wizarding world for the very first time. He tells all about his big break, what filming was really like and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise, as well as the highs and lows of fame and the reality of navigating adult life after filming finished.

Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.


Woman at book club: Ugh, my library hold for Tom Felton’s book is MONTHS away still!
[I glance over and see the title is Beyond the Wand and has a moody picture of a man — and assume it’s some kind of light paranormal erotica)
Me: Who’s Tom Felton?
Another woman: Draco!!!
Me: ???
Me: OH!!!
Me: (places my own hold and is pleased that it’s only a few weeks away)

Y’all this is yet another book I did not expect to read, but boy am I happy I did! If you’re somehow here and also not sure who Tom Felton / Draco is, it’s the actor who plays antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. I was curious about this because: 1. sure, I like Harry Potter; 2. I’ve been really enjoying my tv / movie related nonfiction in the past few months; and 3. his character is largely portrayed as a hated villain, so I’m extremely curious to take a little peek behind the curtain and see what his experience of it was like.

This totally lived up to my abrupt expectations! It was so easy to read because Felton has a wonderfully soft voice in his narration. He covers mental illness and on-set pranks equally well, and is always very fair to everyone involved and willing to consider all perspectives. I suppose the best word I can use is that he’s very generous, and is always thinking about what a scenario was like for the other people involved. I very much appreciated that, as to me it’s a sign of a person I’d like to know and could trust.

In the first few chapters, there are many times he makes a brief reference to something, then says to remember it because it will come up again later. These little teasers were exciting tidbits of what was yet to come, but I was in no hurry to hear more because I was already enjoying where I was at. It proceeds chronologically from Tom’s first random forays into acting, through his time with Harry Potter, into his success after, and the pains he ultimately confronts in figuring out his life’s needs and wants. Probably 50% of this is Harry Potter era.

The HP stories rotate focus through most characters to give each person at least one unique anecdote or spotlight moment. More than that, though, are the lesser seen people who make the film happen that he ensures get their credit and introductions. People working cameras, or catering, or makeup all end up playing roles as well, and those little extra insights to the faces we don’t know as well meant so much to me.

For the most part, this is a fairly lighthearted book, where even the toughest parts are given a subtle levity that comes with the gift of hindsight. Felton gives himself the generosity that he extends to others as well, and is able to talk about his less flattering decisions with startling honesty and love. It just felt lovely to read, and had the impression of a soothing voice to reassure a scared animal, ending with a cozy little hug.

Recommended for sure, whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not!


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

5 thoughts on “Review: Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.