Madison R. Tassi
Assistant Copy Editor
Twenty years ago, the world was introduced to The Boy Who Lived. On Sept. 1, 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in the United States. Though two decades have past since readers everywhere met Harry Potter, the fascination with his story has not faded since its release. Audiences are still clambering to hear of Harry’s adventures and to lose themselves in the magic and wonder of the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. Since its publication, over 120 million copies of the first installment alone have been sold, and the seven-book series as a whole has become the best-selling series of all time worldwide (according to Andrew Sims with Hypable Media).
In these twenty years, the series has earned a substantial and faithful fanbase, which met the anniversary of the book’s publication with tremendous excitement. According to NBC reporter Caroline Burkard, one public library in New Hanover County, North Carolina, went as far as bringing in live owls for fans to interact with, and held a public sorting for those who had yet to be assigned to a house at Hogwarts. Social media platforms were saturated with posts containing the hashtag #BacktoHogwarts to herald what would be the start of the new school year at Hogwarts and its twentieth anniversary. Also in honor of twenty years of magic, Scholastic Books released new book covers for all seven installments, illustrated by Brian Selznick (illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret). Laid out side by side, the covers create one cohesive picture. Recently, Scholastic also partnered with Juniper Books to release box sets of the series specific to each Hogwarts house, packaged neatly into decorative boxes that look like trunks.
Twenty years later, Harry Potter remains one of the most iconic and loved heroes in literature. Harry’s world has served as a catalyst for imagination, equality, inclusion, courage, and hope for two decades, and will continue to do so for coming generations. Twenty years later, Professor McGonagall’s words to Professor Dumbledore about Harry’s future remain true: every child in our world will know his name.