This year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the US publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Here are 20 of our favorite moments from the magical year!
1. Introducing Brian Selznick to Harry Potter fans at the Celebration of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL
We were so excited to introduce fans to the illustrator behind the new 20th anniversary edition covers: Brian Selznick! Brian met thousands of fans, signed exclusive art prints with a sneak peek of his cover art, and toured The Wizarding World!
2. Talking about the power of reading aloud on World Read Aloud Day and Harry Potter Book Night
On February 1, we celebrated World Read Aloud Day and Harry Potter Book Night! We encouraged fans across the globe to share the joy of reading aloud with their favorite Harry Potter book. We couldn't wait to read all of the exciting new books in the Wizarding World, including: Honeydukes: A Scratch & Sniff Adventure, The Tales of Beedle the Bard illustrated edition, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them illustrated edition!
3. Revealing the artwork for the 20th anniversary editions of the Harry Potter series
In April, Good Morning America revealed the covers of the special editions of the series featuring Brian Selznick’s stunning artwork. Fans were so excited to see that when all of the covers were put together, they made one continuous art piece filled with tons of Easter eggs from the series!
Later on in the year, Brian Selznick appeared live on Good Morning America to talk about his artwork!
4. Seeing J. K. Rowling celebrate her American fans with these amazing tweets
Harry Potter was first published in the US 20 years ago today, so— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 5, 2018
I’m sending lots of love to American Potterheads, who’ve given me some of the most memorable moments of my Potter-related life!@Scholastic #HarryPotter20
20 years after he changed my life forever by buying the rights to my first book, coffee in NYC with my American editor, Arthur Levine pic.twitter.com/SrZ71RLwF4— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 21, 2018
5. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” premiering on Broadway and re-reading the official script book
The acclaimed play arrived in the U.S. at the Lyric Theater this year, much to the delight of U.S. Harry Potter fans!
6. Celebrating a magical summer of reading with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
To commemorate the anniversary, the annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge’s theme was “a magical summer of reading,” featuring some of the beautiful art from Jim Kay’s fully illustrated editions of the series!
7. Introducing Jim Kay to his American fans of the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series
Jim Kay, the artist behind the fully illustrated editions of the series, came to the U.S. over the summer and met fans!
8. Listening to Arthur A. Levine, David Saylor, Kazu Kibuishi, Jim Kay, and Brian Selznick talk about the making of Harry Potter at San Diego Comic Con
Harry Potter editor Arthur A. Levine and art director David Saylor were joined by artists Kazu Kibuishi, Jim Kay, and Brian Selznick at San Diego Comic Con for a jam-packed panel. Kazu shared some hidden gems in his 15th anniversary edition box set, Jim talked to fans about the portraits of the characters that appear in his illustrated editions, and Brian talked about how the battle of good vs. evil inspired his illustrations.
9. Getting ready to go #BackToHogwarts on September 1
September 1 is the day that students in the Wizarding World goes back to school at Hogwarts. We celebrated by asking fans to share their favorite ways to return to the magical school.
10. Watching 20 years of magic in Times Square when we debuted our special anniversary video
Scholastic closed the Nasdaq markets for a special celebration of the 20th anniversary! After we rang the closing bell, we headed outside to Times Square where our anniversary video debuted on the big screen.
11. Hearing from Scholastic employees who worked on the series about what it's been like to create magic for readers on our three-part Scholastic Reads podcast series
Part 1: The Harry Potter Fandom
Part 2: The Artists of Harry Potter
Part 3: The Making of Harry Potter
For this special series of podcast episodes, we talked with fans about what Harry Potter means to them; illustrators Brian Selznick, Jim Kay, and Mary GrandPre about what it’s like to bring Harry to life; and Scholastic employees who have worked on the series from the beginning.
12. Getting insights from Mary GrandPre about the original illustrations for the Harry Potter series in the U.S. from Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times
Mary GrandPre, the original illustrator of the Harry Potter series in the U.S., talked about how she created the covers and chapter art for each of the seven books!
13. Watching Eddie Redmayne, the star of “Fantastic Beasts,” read aloud from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Gingrich in the Fantastic Beasts films, showed his love for the series by reading one of his favorite passages aloud.
14. Visiting the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibit at the New-York Historical Society and reading the accompanying book
Harry Potter: A History of Magic unveiled rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library, New-York Historical Society, Scholastic, and other special collections. Visitors were able to explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrators Mary GrandPre and Jim Kay.
15. Hosting our Harry Potter Fan Contest with the TODAY Show
In conjunction with the TODAY Show, we asked viewers to share their favorite passage from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and why. (See that segment here!) The winners received a magical weekend in New York, complete with a tour of the New-York Historical Society’s exhibit of Harry Potter: A History of Magic, tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and lunch with Harry Potter publisher Arthur A. Levine! See what the winners experienced on the TODAY Show here, and read our blog recap here!
To commemorate the anniversary, The New York Times shared letters, sketches, and more — like the first lightning bolt tattoos created for the series! — as a special reflection on the last 20 years.
17. Watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gindelwald in theaters and reading the screenplay
J.K. Rowling’s five-part Fantastic Beasts adventure series continued this year with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and we published the original screenplay, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima!
NPR celebrated the 20th anniversary with the piece “Inside the Ever-Expanding Wizarding World: Harry Potter at 20,” which featured an interview with editor Arthur A. Levine!
19. Seeing a close-up look at the Harry Potter: A History of Magic and hearing from creative director David Saylor on CBS This Morning
20. Hearing from fans across the world what Harry Potter means to them
All year long, we asked fans: What does Harry Potter mean to you? The responses we received made us laugh, cry, and raise our wands in recognition. Thank you for sharing your love of this series with us!