Twenty Years of Harry Potter

August 26, 2018 | RayL

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Harry Potter Overdrive Promo

Twenty Years!?

It may be hard to believe but it has been 20 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It seemed just like yesterday that kids threw down their POGS and devil sticks to discover Harry's latest adventures. 

While the Harry Potter universe has expanded over the years, there is no denying that the first book launched Harry Potter fever. Fandom communities sprung up everywhere, tribute bands were created, individuals started dressing up as their favourite character, Universal Studios built a Harry Potter ride, etc. Truly, Potter-mania was in full swing. So why is Harry Potter so popular?



Here are a couple of quotes from authors explaining why Harry Potter continues to be popular.

"The first Harry Potter is still a book I re-read every couple years because it's like a template for humour and adventure together"- Gordon Korman

"I love and adore the books because my children grew up with them. Neville is my favourite character – I love that JK Rowling shows him as the boy that has been through such terrible things and comes out such a beautiful human being." - Cornelia Funke

"The books were humorous, adventurous, fantastical, and mysterious all at the same time. My students would read The Sorcerer’s Stone fourteen times before they’d pick up another book, because they said, “Nothing else is this good.” - Rick Riordan

However, for all the praise that have been heaped on Harry Potter, the series remains controversial. 



According to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom(ALA- OIF), Harry Potter remains a frequently challenged series by individuals concerned about its content.

A 2000 article in the New York Times quoted the former president of ALA who summarized the challengers' concerns. "The challenges seem to be objecting to occult or supernatural content in the books and are being made largely by traditional Christians who believe the Bible is a literal document," she said. "Any exposure to witches or wizards shown in a positive light is anathema to them. Many of these people feel that the books are door-openers to topics that desensitize children to very real evils in the world."  


Unlimited e-Book Copies.

For those who wish to discover (or re-discover) the title that launched an empire, Overdrive is offering unlimited electronic copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for library patrons to borrow. This is a time limited offer from August 27th to September 10th.  

If you wish to read the other titles, you can find a list of Harry Potter titles here.