In the world of Harry Potter, where magic exists, you will find characters much like yourself according to author, JK Rowling, who through the magic of the internet visited schools across America, and parts of England, on Thursday, October 11th. One school that was more than happy to watch and listen to the live webcast from Edinburgh, Scotland, was School District 146’s Fierke Education Center in Oak Forest, IL.
Set up in conjunction with Scholastic Books, Media Center Director Jennifer Ferrucci was more than thrilled to host this free, in-school event for the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The students and teachers sat, watched and listened attentively to the ghostly-type image on the webcast.
JK Rowling spoke to students of the mystical and exciting world of her famously-created character, Harry Potter, and introduced Pottermore (www.pottermore.com), a new and free, online website that offers Harry Potter fans, both young and old, the chance to uncover never-before seen writings by Ms. Rowling, and immerse themselves in an interactive and fun website.
Children and teachers were enthralled as Ms. Rowling read from her favorite passage from her first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The book was written and published in the U.S. nearly 15 years ago in 1998 and still has a very strong following, gaining new followers daily.
Ms. Rowling spoke insightfully to her vast audience, capturing their full attention in the full 45-minute session. When questioned about what most excited her over the last 15 years since the book series began, her answer was one that was a bit surprising, and actually quite humbling. It wasn’t the wealth or the fame that she has gained. What has excited her the most have been the children, from all over the world, that have reached out to her to tell her that they relate to the characters and their vulnerabilities. The children have a sense of comfort in finding relatable-characters with qualities like their own. She referenced a young boy, perhaps 10 years in age that said, “Harry does not often know what he’s doing, and neither do I.”
So, what has JK Rowling been up to lately? She is currently working on a book promotion for a book written for an adult reader, and hinted that maybe her next book will be another children’s novel. And for the avid reader out there, and the child in all of us, let’s hope that she does just that.
Please check with your school's Media Center Director, or local library, for a copy of the Harry Potter books. To check out the new Pottermore website visit: www.pottermore.com.