By Wesley Coburn - ONN
In June 1997, a young adult book titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (retitled in the U.S. as Sorcerer’s Stone) was published in England, by a debut author named J.K. Rowling. This book began the series following the adventures of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they navigated the trials of adolescence in a boarding school for wizards. The series became an equally-famous series of films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Alan Rickman.
The Okmulgee Public Library is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Potter series with a celebration held from 5 p.m.to 7 p.m. the nights of Thursday, June 20 and Thursday, June 27. There will be a live reading of Sorcerer’s Stone, as well as arts and crafts, with other activities remaining a secret until the event. Costumes are not required, but they are greatly encouraged, as they would add to the fun.
“Every so often, a book comes along that captures everything you need to know about life,” says Jeana Robinson, OPL Director of Children’s Services. “In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, this was Harry Potter. I think this series is where real fandom started; the depth of the stories and characters engaged children and adults of all ages.”
The seven-book series, which totals over a million words and four thousand pages, have become required pop-cultural knowledge in college English courses, and made their author into a Stephen King-level celebrity, with 11.2 million Twitter followers. Through these books, as Robinson said, “We learned about Quidditch, butterbeer and potions, love, loss, loyalty and friendship.” Rowling has also written four non-HP novels for adults, in addition to six HP spinoff books, a screenplay for a prequel film and a stage play sequel.
Besides Sorcerer’s Stone, the other books in the series are The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows.
Robinson isn’t sure which of the four houses she would be sorted into, but two of the library staff are confirmed Ravenclaws.