J.K. Rowling Releases Two New Harry Potter Books


Valerie Wu, Features Editor

Ever think that maybe, just maybe, your Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail? Have no fear:  J.K. Rowling has released two new Harry Potter books in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the series–showing readers that even when the books end, the magic never does.

“A Journey through a History of Magic” and “A History of Magic” are part of the British Library’s exhibition titled “Harry Potter: A History of Magic.” The two books were released on Oct. 20, and were not written by J.K. Rowling, but by the exhibition’s curatorial team.

“A History of Magic” places the magical objects of the series in political, cultural, and social context with their original inspirations throughout history. “A Journey of a History of Magic” is the family-friendly companion to its predecessor, and takes readers on a detailed journey through all seven periods of the Hogwarts curriculum: potions, herbology, charms, astronomy, divination, defense against the dark arts and care of magical creatures.

Each book spotlights never-before-seen aspects of the Harry Potter world, including how Leonardo da Vinci connects to the Mirror of Erised, the Chinese Zodiac as a form of divination and the relationship of snake charmers to the origination of Parselmouth.

“A Journey of a History of Magic” in particular features activities that allow readers to cast their own Hogwarts right at home. From conjuring your own “ghost in a bottle” to making color-changing potions, readers can experience the magic without all the soul-sucking dementors, Death Eaters or You-Know-Who getting involved.

As if that wasn’t enough, the books also contain never-before-seen screenplays, illustrations and manuscripts from the series, written by J.K. Rowling herself.

The books mirror the exhibition, which will run at the British Library through Feb. 28 of the following year. From there, it will then move on to the New York Historical Society.

The publication of these new books comes after recent revivals of the global phenomenon. The film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”–which takes place 80 years before Harry Potter–was released last November to a majority of positive reviews, and the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” premiered last July at the Palace Theatre in London, to which it received a record-breaking nine awards at the Laurence Olivier Awards.

While the books in no way replace the novelty of Harry Potter, they do offer a nostalgic look into the series’ past, and are sure to apparate their way into their readers’ hearts. Can someone say accio already?