NewsPress Release

Introducing Starting Harry Potter – a brand new online hub

July 15, 2022.

Introducing Starting Harry Potter – a brand new online hub designed to help children dive further into the magic of reading and listening to stories

Harry Potter continues to inspire young readers reaching over

600 million copies sold worldwide – #StartingHarryPotter

(LONDON, 15th July 2022), the digital home of Harry Potter, today launched an exciting free online hub, in partnership with Harry Potter publishers.  Starting Harry Potter is a brand-new dedicated space for children to discover the magic of Harry Potter for the first time, setting them up for their journey reading or listening to the hugely popular series of books.

This summer holiday, whether at home, on a long car journey or at an airport, new readers and fans alike will be able to dive into the magic, engaging in weekly fun and interactive activities to spark the imagination.

The brand-new online hub contains pages jam-packed with story-led quizzes, craft activities, as well as helpful information and insights into the characters and wonders of the wizarding world.  In addition, to help them get started, children can read or listen to the iconic first chapter, The Boy Who Lived, (available for a limited time only) on the Starting Harry Potter hub.

25 years after it was first published in the UK by Bloomsbury on 26th June 1997, Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone /Sorcerer’s Stone has cemented its place in the children’s literary fiction canon, with the series of seven books (which went on to inspire eight blockbuster films, as well as a multi-award winning stage play and a host of wildly popular Wizarding World tours, experiences and attractions worldwide) now reaching the phenomenal milestone of over 600 million copies sold worldwide in over 85 languages.

The books have helped create millions of passionate readers around the world to develop a love of reading at an early age:

  • In 2020 the book was named the best and most influential book of the past 30 years by the industry’s British Book Awards.
  • To this day the book remains in the top 10 bestseller lists in the UK.
  • Since it was first published by Scholastic in the U.S. more than twenty years ago, Harry Potter remains on the New York Times series bestseller list, for nearly 700 weeks and counting.
  • Audible listeners all over the world have spent over 120 million hours enjoying the first Harry Potter audiobook since its release on Audible in 2015.

To celebrate Starting Harry Potter, the first Harry Potter audiobook is available to stream free on Alexa from Audible in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, beginning on July 1st and through August 15th by saying: “Alexa, read Harry Potter Book One.”

Research by the National Literacy Trust last year indicated how listening to a story from an early age helps improve a child’s language and literacy development, benefiting their reading skills, mental wellbeing and emotional intelligence.  Digital technology has meant listening to audiobooks has never been easier.   According to national literacy agency, BookTrust, for children in particular, listening to a story exposes them to a wider vocabulary, encourages independent active play, and fosters a long-term interest in reading.  Similarly, there are a host of developmental, social and emotional benefits from curling up with a good book.  The National Literary Trust has found that children who are most engaged with reading are 3 times more likely to have higher levels of wellbeing than those who are least engaged.

In support of parents hoping to engage young minds with reading or listening to the Harry Potter stories, the interactive, visually rich Starting Harry Potter online hub features a variety of activity pages designed especially to help new readers explore and learn more about different elements of the wizarding world – from understanding how students get to Hogwarts, learning how to pronounce wizarding words, to exploring mini biographies on the characters they will meet in the first book.

There are pages to help them find out all they need to know before they start reading or listening to the Harry Potter series, from  a handy checklist so they know what they should have prepped when they are ready to start their magical journey; to a play page full of interactive activities including trivia, chapter quizzes to put their knowledge to the test and even a Trap Door Trial where, like Harry, Ron and Hermione, they have to put Fluffy to sleep.

Families can join in the fun together, trying out digital interactive craft activities to do at home (including creating their own paper owls or making a lightning bolt keyring).  Parents can also submit the wonderful creations of their talented young witches and wizards with a fan art wall displaying wizarding world inspired masterpieces by new readers.

The Starting Harry Potter online hub also features helpful guides for parents, carers, and teachers to aid them in making reading fun and keeping kids entertained during the school holidays.

The Starting Harry Potter weekly content has been produced through a partnership between Wizarding and the Harry Potter publishers, including Bloomsbury in the UK, Scholastic in the US and Pottermore Publishing.

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