Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Year

On New Year’s Day I had the strongest craving to re-read the Harry Potter series–for probably the fifth or sixth time. I dug out the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and happily dove into this comforting world of Hogwarts, Muggles, and quidditch. I must not be alone because when I started doing new year reading resolutions with my students the next day, I was amazed at how many kids also shared their desire to start re-reading the series.

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If you haven’t read these books, I have to say I actually feel a bit jealous. Go pick up a copy right away, you won’t regret it. Whenever a student comes up to my desk in the library to check out this series for the first time, I’m so excited for them. Entering the world of Harry Potter is truly a magical experience (no pun intended!).

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As I was re-reading, I was thrilled to see Scholastic share some very exciting news for Harry Potter fans. 2018 actually marks twenty years since Scholastic published the first book in the US and there will be special ways to celebrate the series this year. For those of us who grew up with Harry Potter, it’s hard to believe that much time has passed. It’s a special group that anticipated a new book each year and aged along with Harry. Now many of us are sharing our love of the series with our own children, nieces, nephews, and students.

To celebrate, a Harry Potter exhibit that is currently on display at the British Library in London is coming to New York! In Harry Potter: A History of Magic, “Visitors can explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrators Mary GrandPré and Jim Kay.” You can visit the exhibition from October 5, 2018-January 27, 2019 at the New York Historical Society.

If like me, you’re also starting to plan your Harry Potter New York pilgrimage, you can also time your visit with the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! I’m so excited to see this play, that until now was only in London. While you’re there, you could also make a stop in SoHo to see Scholastic itself, Harry Potter’s US Publisher.

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This location is where I actually worked right out of college so it holds a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, they no longer have the Scholastic store, but I’d bet they will put up a special Harry Potter 20th anniversary window display.

This is the perfect time to begin reading this beloved series, on your own or with the kids in your life, whether it’s your first time or your tenth. If you don’t own the books, don’t forget to check your local library or see if your children can borrow them from their school library. You could also borrow the fantastic  audiobook versions, which are read by the great Jim Dale. These would be perfect for a long car trip with your family. Right now the Kindle book for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is even free.

Happy Reading!

4 thoughts on “Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Year

    1. Great question! I talk about this a lot with parents at my school. In my opinion, you could start reading this aloud in early elementary school with the first book, IF you handle it the way the books originally came out and do one every year or 6 months. The books get darker, older (and longer!) as they go along. And whatever you do, don’t watch the movies as a family before you read the books!

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