The first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in England on June 26, 1997. So this year marks Harry’s 20th birthday. When it was released in the United States the next year, it received a slightly different title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. There are now 8 books in the Harry Potter series. The Central Penn Library has all 8 titles both as books and DVDs. We also have additional titles about the politics of Harry Potter and the psychology of Harry Potter. If you prefer listening to a book, we have Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on CD. To locate the items in our collection, do a keyword search in our online catalog for Harry Potter.
What can we learn from the publication of Harry Potter?
Never accept rejection. Joanne K. Rowling, Harry’s creator, had the manuscript rejected by 8 other publishers for being too long before Bloomsbury Children’s Books was willing to publish the first of the series.
Harry, OK, really Joanne K. Rowling, taught us that as long as books are GOOD, kids will read them, no matter how long they are. Before Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a 700 page children’s book was unheard of.
Harry Potter books showed us that children’s books are not just for children. The series attracted readers of all ages. The books were geared for upper elementary students and young adults but adults discovered the series. It was no longer mildly embarrassing to be caught with a children’s book. Harry led to an explosion of popularity for children’s and young adult literature.
Harry Potter books captured our imaginations and added words to our vocabulary. Muggle and Quidditch have both magically made their way into the prestigious Oxford Dictionaries. Other Harry words being considered for addition into the dictionary are Potterhead (a fan of Harry Potter books), Bellatrix (a name of a character) and Wrock ( short for Wizard Rock, a genre of Harry Potter related music).
If you haven’t read the entire series or if you care to reread them, or if you want to escape with one of the Harry Potter DVDs, come to the library to check Harry out.