Tag Archives: Harry Potter Annivesary

More Celebrating Harry’s Anniversary!!



As we get ready to celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Bloomsbury Publishing wants to hear YOUR memories of your first reading experiences of Harry Potter. On 26th June 2022 (the anniversary itself) Bloomsbury will release a video of fans’ first memories of reading Harry Potter.

Get your entries to Bloomsbury for a chance to be featured in the video AND for a chance to win a signed copy by J.K. Rowling of the anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (publishing 9th June).

Competition closes 10 April. Enter here: bit.ly/3qvPBiv

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 25th Anniversary edition – J. K. Rowling


January 2022


ISBN 9781408855652

RRP: $16.99

Cover art by Jonny Duddle

It seems hardly any time at all since I reflected on 20 years of HP and yet, here we are, at the start of a huge year of silver anniversary celebrations for what is, to my mind at least, the most successful fiction series of all time. Many of you will have already got the heads up about the many events planned but if not, do make sure you check them out and sign up for newsletters and activity packs. I am hugely excited for the upcoming release of the illustrated Tales of Beedle the Bard and, in my new library, starting up yet another PotterHeads group as well as beginning plans for a Harry Potter Night event later in the year.

There is also a great Miles of Magic competition which might excite your kiddos – I’ve been sharing it with mine, as well as my staff and library groups.

In the meantime, given it is the anniversary and, no doubt, as I have done you have a regular re-purchase of titles as they get shabby and worn out (how many others can you say that about!?), you might like to consider buying the anniversary edition, either paperback or hardback as a special – or even to offer up as the ultimate desirable prize for a celebratory competition of your own.

My own HP collection continues to expand. Besides jewelry, clothing, accessories, and the pieces I have at school in my library, I’ve just re-organised my ‘home’ collection as it had outgrown its space on the regular bookshelf. My latest acquisition is the adorable handmade mandrake ‘Cadfael’ – he’s just so cute! But also quite new from Xmas: the Sorting Hat, the Pensieve kit and the Hufflepuff wax seal set – from my equally HP crazed middle daughter – thanks Kimmy, fellow Hufflepuff! 🙂

The Kid just shakes her head each time something new in the HP line comes into the house (where did I go wrong? WHY is she so resistant to the charms of HP et al?) but that’s unlikely to stop the flow any time soon.

Happy Silver Anniversary Harry and congratulations to J. K., Bloomsbury and the artists and creators who have added so much to the original stories – and special thanks to the lovely Sonia at Bloomsbury Australia, who understands my obsession very well. Some of us will never be too old for Harry!

Harry Potter 20 years on



So last night I took time out from review books to re-read HP & the Philosopher’s Stone – my brand new beautiful Hufflepuff edition. Yes, I’m proud to be a Hufflepuff and yes I do mentally say ‘Alohomora’ every time I unlock a door. I also mentally release my Tonkinese cat patronus when the need arises as one does and tell people to ‘Budge up yer great lump’.

When I finished reading it as I was going to sleep some various thoughts were running through my head. Like many others in the past week and those leading up to anniversary, I’ve read, heard and watched interviews and commentaries from various folks. So I thought why not share my own?

Now the first thing I thought about was the very fundamentalist RE teacher at one state school who wanted the books banned from the library. I’ve worked in many church schools and I do understand if a particular faith objects to magic/witchcraft/etc although I don’t agree with the reasoning. But I do have a real problem indeed quandary about some that allow all other books with witches, wizards, magic and more yet won’t have HP on the shelves. Why is that? I’ll come back to that but it makes me wonder if it’s more like the  Enid Blyton blitz back in the day more than the spiritual objection – that somehow because of its popularity there must be something inherently wrong with it.

I thought about that time when my middle daughter and I had been first in the door to buy HP & the Half-blood Prince, binge read it and the next day at a family dinner proceeded to have a very vigorous discussion about our opposing viewpoints on Snape (me maintaining his good guy status, she not and wanting to curse him herself). My dear late mother looked up with great bewilderment and asked, ‘Aren’t these book characters you’re arguing about?’  Hmmm, well yes but they’re like real people you know. This made me think about just how many animated discussions I’ve  had over the years with both kids and adults about our favourite characters, incidents etc. Just how many books/series can you say completely and utterly leap the chasm between all ages of readers with such gusto?  I know there are critics who claim it is not ‘great literature’. Personally, I’ve seen many books awarded Book of the Year for their literary merit that remain on shelves to gather dust unread until their pages yellow and crumble. I rest my case on those points.

Then I considered the positive values that are so evident throughout the whole series: unconditional friendship, love, loyalty, courage, resilience, initiative, determination, inclusivity, kindness, honesty/truth, self sacrifice, generosity, and compassion – what have I left out here?  This compared to the vices which are thwarted at every turn:  deceit, treachery, greed, lust for and abuse of power, spite, cowardice, bullying, cruelty, bigotry and callousness.  At the very heart of the series is the eternal battle of Good against Evil and the concept that no matter how dark the times, or how overwhelming the enemy or how apparently futile the resistance, the only way to overcome Evil is for each one of us to face up to it. This theme is demonstrated in stories from David and Goliath through to the Narnia stories and Tolkien’s overthrowing of Sauron by two little hobbits. How can this not be pertinent in church school libraries or indeed anywhere we are trying to raise decent human beings who will stand up to be counted against blatant injustice and abuse of position?

The last thing I thought about was JKR’s skill with foreshadowing. I have read some of her ‘back story’ notes made before and during the writing of the books and am so impressed with this seemingly effortless technique. Particularly last night I thought about Neville. Who would have thought that the little round-faced clumsy boy who was always losing his toad and was almost afraid of his own shadow would become the bloody and beaten young man who defiantly challenged Voldemort with nothing more than the Sorting Hat? In this very first book the support and encouragement of his friends to ‘stand up for himself’ (even to their detriment almost!) was the start of the growth and development of Neville’s confidence and self-belief.

All in all, yes I am a dedicated Potterphile and proud to say so for many reasons not just those above and perhaps that as well as these reflections it is pure good fun and every time I re-read I am transported to a magical world that I love – ‘always’.









Our school finishes this term at the end of next week and as the official anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone falls in our holidays, we decided that the library should celebrate for the last two weeks of term.

We wanted our displays to be as interactive as possible so created a Potions class, Charms class, Gringotts bank, SPEW – free the house elves campaign, Quibblers and Daily Prophets to read, a Guess Who game and more. I thank my amazing tech Vilma for her assistance with this (she is just as big a HP fan as I am!).  Hope you enjoy our photos from the past week.  Most popular are Charms class – with many students practising their wand movements, having their tea leaves ‘read’ (You will have veggies with your dinner tonight” “You will have a bath and put your pyjamas on” etc” and counting the gold in Gringotts Bank!