J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Bloomsbury Publishing first published in 1997)
I recently re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone… Although I belong to the same age group as Harry Potter (I was in primary school when it first came out), the Harry Potter-fever didn’t reach me until I was a university student. There I saw the cover of the 6th English volume and bought it. Later I also read the rest in English. I was captivated by the story and it founded my love for middle grade books, which was deepened years later by Nevermoor.
I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t know Harry Potter. Even if you accidentally haven’t read the book, you definitely seen the movies. J.K. Rowling spent five years writing the first book before it was first published in the UK in 1997. It was first published in Hungary two years later. The first book was already very successful and it achieved this success when everyone thought that reading was a dying art. In addition, the book was able to win over the most difficult age group, the children. In addition to the eternal battle between good and evil, it represents everyday problems such as children’s integration difficulties or social differences. But what was new compared to previous children’s books was that the characters grew older. So they changed along with the readers. As the main characters grew up, the mood of the books also changed from colorful fairy-tale-like to more and more gloomy. The books have always been popular, but it became a smash hit with the release of the fifth book and after the first movie.
Even adults loved the story. Bloomsbury published an adult paperback edition after seeing people hiding the books behind the Economist while reading on the subway. The series is now available in many editions. The cover of the first Hungarian edition was designed by Lívia Elek and Kornél Beleznai, later the volumes were published with the covers of the US edition. The story has now been translated to 80 languages and many beautiful covers have been created for it. This year, for the 25th anniversary of the first British edition, it was re-published with the original cover illustrated by Thomas Taylor, who you have heard about in connection with The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series.
The development of the Harry Potter universe did not stop with the release of the last book and the last film. In 2012, the author launched the Pottermore website, where she shares various short stories and additional information about the characters and their world, in 2016, she continued the story with the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and that year, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them movie was presented, which is a prequel to the story, and the author is the screenwriter and the producer too.
Where does the Wizarding World of Harry Potter end? Who knows? But it is certainly a significant work that has written itself into history. It has become a phenomenon that can affect people regardless of culture and age. Many people started reading or learning languages because of Harry Potter. And the fanbase is not decreasing at all, but quite the opposite, constantly growing.
I just read the first book for the third time, but it probably wasn’t the last. If I had to describe the series in one word, I would say: magical!
PS: If you read Harry Potter (again) and now you don’t know what to do with your life, watch out for Nevermoor or Amari. You can even learn new spells…