New Publications, A Contest, and More To Celebrate Harry Potter's 20th U.S. Anniversary

Harry Potter fans can spend the rest of the year immersed in J.K. Rowling's magical world while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first book's publication in the United States.

The celebration continues to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publishing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Of course, by now fans have seen the new covers Caldecott winner Brian Selznick created for Scholastic’s 20th anniversary editions of all seven books in the series. But the new look isn’t all the publisher had planned for this year.

On Oct. 5, Scholastic will publish Harry Potter: A History of Magic, a companion book to the New-York Historical Society's exhibition by the same name, which opens the same day. Oct. 9, the publisher will release Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts: A Spellbinding Guide to the Films . And finally, the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, will come out the same day the movie opens—Nov. 16.

These new releases aren’t the only way for Harry Potter fans to continue to celebrate.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

The British Library's "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" exhibition will be at the New-York Historical Society from Oct. 5 to Jan. 27, 2019.

“Capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter: A History of Magic unveils century-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society—with original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone, explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling as well as Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay.”

Selznick’s cover artwork will also be on display, along with Mary GrandPré’s illustrations created for Scholastic’s original editions of the novels, as well as costumes and set models from Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play.

The exhibition also includes events such as trivia night, book clubs for first-time readers and repeat readers, nature walks, art and writing courses, and more.

TODAY show contest

The publisher has teamed up with NBC’s TODAY show to give three Harry Potter fans a trip to New York City for themselves and a guest. The winners must be able to be in New York from Oct. 5 to 8. They will see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play and get a picture with the cast, take a guided tour of the "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, have lunch with U.S. "Harry Potter" publisher Arthur A. Levine and appear with him on the TODAY show on Oct. 8, and receive a boxed set of the “Harry Potter” 20th anniversary editions.

Anyone 13 or older can enter by telling TODAY and Scholastic which line from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone means the most to them and why. If a winner is younger than 18, their guest must be a parent.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Harry Potter fans and gamers are still waiting for Niantic to release the game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite . There has been months of speculation on a release date from the creators of Pokemon GO for the AR game which will let players “learn spells, explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies.” 

The summer release didn't happen as hoped. The best guess now is that it will come out in November to coincide with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald."


Finally, anyone looking to jumpstart their holiday shopping can purchase Hallmark’s special-edition 20th anniversary Sorcerer’s Stone Christmas tree ornament, starting on Oct. 6.

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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