Harry Potter 20 Years Later: How Harry Potter Saved Young Adult Fiction

This month the magical realm of Harry Potter, created by J.K. Rowling, is celebrating it’s twentieth year. The success of the book series transferred into a successful film series starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, as well as a popular website (Pottermore), Spin-off titles like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which also found success as a film), an amusement park attraction (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios), and now a stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

At the time that the first Harry Potter book was released, young adults and children were accustomed to titles and series such as The Babysitter’s Club, that were a bit more lightweight. The Harry Potter series made way for blockbuster sagas like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent. Harry Potter easily changed the game for YA fiction.

Though not necessarily original in its common tropes of magic, fantasy, adventure, unfair teachers, a common enemy, heroes, etc., Harry Potter was able to resonate with children and young adults in a way that other tiles could not. Claire Fallon in an article for the Huffington Post writes, “Children’s book writers, especially fantasy authors, who were once the masters of their domain found themselves ignored in media coverage and discussions of ‘Harry Potter.'” Perhaps it was Rowling who wrote the right book at the right time, or she was able to masterfully and creatively construct a seven-book mystery/adventure story arc following characters as they aged into adulthood that coincided with her aging and growing audience. Either way, as Joe Monti, Editorial Director of Saga Press says, “Harry Potter made the careers of many authors possible.”

Harry Potter was able to boosts the sales of YA fiction altogether because of its success. “The Atlantic reported that the number of YA books had increased by a factor of 10 between 1997 and 2009.” The series was also able to help rebuild the disparaging reputation that fantasy had as a genre in YA fiction. Monti says, “Fantasy is mainstream.”

Rowling and Harry Potter as a series took on many risks, including long-form story arcs, thick-sized books, and a fantasy genre as well as the idea that the books also age with the audience. Harry Potter takes on darker themes like lengthy battle scenes, concepts of mortality/fatality, and romantic relationships, all of which challenged what YA fiction was at the time and what publishers can put in front of children and young adults.

Harry Potter was able to open up the horizons for what YA literature could be. Rowling also capitalized on the success of her series, which is part if the reason why Harry Potter has been cemented in pop culture history. It continues, to this day, to pave the way for YA fiction authors.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Events

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming out this weekend! We gathered all the release parties and events happening in New York City celebrating this long awaited play. Check out the events below.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD MIDNIGHT BOOK RELEASE!!

HP Release4.thumbnailStrand Bookstore 
July 30: 8:00PM July 31: 12:45AM
Have you been a Harry Potter fan since day one? Did you sink into a deep depression after you finished the epilogue of book 7? Then today is your day.

Join us at Strand to celebrate the MIDNIGHT RELEASE of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts I & II, which–for those of you not on Pottermore–is the continuation of Harry’s story as a wizard and as a father after his kids have started at Hogwarts. Hop in line at 8pm on Saturday 7/30, and hang out with HP devotees while competing in trivia, winning prizes, and geeking out about our old friend Harry–costumes are encouraged! We’ll also have a state-of-the-art photobooth from OM Digital to commemorate this magical night, and treats to eat from Fat Witch.

At 10:30pm after the store closes, we will move the line inside.

When the clock strikes midnight and it’s Harry’s birthday, you’ll all receive your books! We will not accept any new members to the line after 12:45am on Sunday 7/31/16.

A few things to note: You must purchase your copy of the book before getting in line; you may do so by clicking the link below, or by placing your order at the store and holding on to your receipt (which will be your ticket to the event).  Your purchase only reserves your book, not your place in line. As such, the first people in line will be the first to receive the book. It’s going to be a blast!

Get in line outside Strand to get your copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts I & IIThe line will start at 8PM. The book is $29.99. We recommend you purchase your book online in advance to reserve a copy.  Payment is required at the time of purchase from the website–please do not select “pay when you pick up,” as these orders will not be fulfilled.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Midnight Launch Party

OWfw4ydSHqXFrTHdQccuBooks of Wonder 
Saturday, July 30th, 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Books of Wonder is proud to host a midnight launch party for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. If you’ve been to one of our previous midnight launches, you know you’ll be in for a night you’ll never forget!

What can you expect to see and find at our Midnight Launch Party?

1. Costumes!
Everyone is encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite Harry Potter character

2. A HOST OF EXCLUSIVE FREE PREMIUMS!
– For every hardcover Harry Potter title purchased the night of the event (or pre-ordered for pick-up that night or shipping), you will receive:
1) a FREE set of 8 full color quality prints showing the covers of each of the 7 novels and the new play
2) a FREE full-color holographic Harry Potter bookmark
3) a FREE Harry Potter lightning bolt temporary tattoo
4) a FREE Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them decals
– Anyone purchasing TWO or more hardcover Harry Potter titles will also receive a FREE full-color Harry Potter mug, featuring images of Harry from the covers of book 1 and book 7.

3. Prizes!
Every customer who purchases a Harry Potter book the evening of the big event will also receive a ticket to draw a prize from the “Books of Wonder Sorting Hat.” Our Sorting Hat will be filled with tokens, each marked with a code that corresponds to a different prize. There will be many different prizes, such as sets of Harry Potter bookmarks, tattoos, buttons, key chains, mugs, posters and more. The Grand Prize is a first US printing of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – SIGNED BY J.K. ROWLING & MARY GRANDPRE!

4. Entertainment!
– Magician Brandon K. Williams and his “Suit & Tie Magic” will be performing up-close magic.
Richard Torres will be on hand to stroll the crow performing his own brand of up-close magic.
Justin Wood Circus will be juggling balls, pins, blocks, spinning plates, as well as performing with Devil Sticks and Diabolo.
– Illusionist Allen He will perform close-up magic.
Kent Axell will perform astonishing feats of mind reading, influence, and magic.
Facepainter Brie will paint the faces of our young guests.

5. OWLS!
The Takapausha Museum & Preserve will be bringing 3 live owls — an Eagle Owl, a Grey Phase Owl, and a Barn Owl — to delight our guests. There will be handlers with the owls who will answer questions about these magnificent birds and you’ll be able to get right up close with them, but please note, owls are wild animals and cannot be touched or handled by event attendees.

The store will close at 6pm and reopen at 8pm for the midnight party. Starting at 8pm, customers can purchase their copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You will receive a voucher for any purchase made before midnight. At midnight, you will be able to exchange your voucher for your copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. WE WILL NOT START HANDING OUT VOUCHERS UNTIL WE REOPEN AT 8PM. However, you can pre-order books in store that day.

We urge you to pre-order your books in advance of our event! By pre-ordering your books, you can skip the long line of those paying for their books that evening and just get your vouchers and packet, which will be waiting for you at the front desk.

Let us know if you’re coming by RSVPing on Facebook.
**Event time subject to change

BK: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Midnight Release Party (co-presented by Villain and Hypable.com)

HP BKThis event takes place at Villain LLC and is co-presented by Hypable.com

Calling all Brooklyn Harry Potter lovers. We are throwing a PARTY with our Williamsburg friends Villain LLC. Relive the Midnight Releases of your youth, but this time, WITH BOOZE!‪ ‎Butterbeer‬ and other HP themed drinks will be available for purchase.

The event is all-ages but we will be IDing at the door (under 21 attendees will not be served). Come join your fellow Harry Potter fans for a fun-filled evening as you eagerly await the next installment of Harry Potter. All tickets include 1 copy of the book to be handed out at the exact moment the clock strikes 12AM. Have a slice of Harry’s birthday cake, sip a few beverages and nibble on some sugary goodies.

Fine Print: All tickets are non-refundable. Each person must have a ticket to enter (exceptions for children under the age of 12, who can accompany an adult ticket holder. Each adult ticket holder can bring a maximum of one child under the age of 12).

Purchasing the book guarantees you entry to the Harry Potter Midnight Release Party on July 30th at Villain LLC (50 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249)

Harry Potter Countdown to Midnight Party

Barnes and Nobles (multiple locations)
Saturday July 30, 2016 8:00 PM

Join us for a special Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, a special rehearsal edition script book, which goes on sale 7/31 at midnight. The party will feature a special Muggle Wall where customers can share their favorite memories of Harry Potter as well as amazing giveaways and fun activities!

Special Instructions:
Customers can also enter the Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints Sweepstakes for a chance to win a set of 7 Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints, available exclusively at B&N. Ask a bookseller for complete details and Official Rules.

Barnes and Nobles (multiple locations)
Sunday July 31, 2016 9:00 AM

If you missed our midnight party, or if you read the book and now want to talk about it, join us all day for events and activities as we celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Events June 24-26

9780399168925Friday, June 24, 7:30 PM
Berg’n Beer Hall

Ina Yalof presents Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It
In conversation with Charlie Sahadi and Wilson Tang
Drink discounts with book purchase!
Friday June 24, 2016 7:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Locations

Join us for an event that is sure to conjure a magical experience for the most modest Muggles and wisest Wizards! Customers can enter the Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Print Sweepstakes, and activities include a coloring station (send an exclusive Owl Post Postcard), trivia, and the opportunity to participate in the assembly of a Wrebbit 3D Hogwarts Astronomy Tower, an 875-piece 3D puzzle.

Special Instructions
The Barnes & Noble Café will be offering special Harry Potter themed treats. Ask a bookseller for complete details and Official Rules regarding the Sweepstakes. Giveaways available while supplies last.

Sunday, June 26th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Wonder Bookstore

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.19.03 AMGet ready for an afternoon of Fantastic Teen Reads as three talented authors present their latest fantastic tales for teen readers. JULIE ESHBAUGH, HEIDI HEILIG, and ELEANOR HERMAN will be here starting at 4pm to share their latest novels — you won’t want to miss a page!

JULIE ESHBAUGH for Ivory and Bone 
HEIDI HEILIG for The Girl From Everywhere
ELEANOR HERMAN for Empire of Dust

JAMES FRANCO SIGNS STRAIGHT JAMES / GAY JAMES

SJGJ-cover-print.thumbnail

June 26: 12:00PM – 3:00PM
Stand Bookstore

James Franco returns to Strand to sign Straight James / Gay James, his latest genre-bending chapbook, featuring poetry that investigates the fluid divide between public and private, real and constructed. Drawing its title from an interview of “Gay James” as conducted by “Straight James,” it breaks down the many personas of James Franco as only the man himself could. Don’t miss the chance to get your copy signed and meet the author!

Please note: James will also sign other books, but no memorabilia/posters/photographs/fan art/etc will be signedPhotos are permitted when taken by a Strand staff member.

Please note: payment is required for all online event orders at the time of checkout.