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First official Harry Potter book club formed

Scholastic launches Harry Potter Book Club: J.K. Rowling to appear in live webcast

Harry Potter book club

On Oct. 11, 2012, J.K. Rowling will make a virtual tour of US classrooms via live webcast, the first opportunity for the author to answer readers’ questions live since the last “Harry Potter” book hit shelves in 2007.

Though J.K. Rowling may be moving on to adult fiction with this fall’s highly anticipated “The Casual Vacancy,” she has not quite left Hogwarts behind. Scholastic has announced Rowling will once again be returning to the young wizard who made her world famous in the form of the Harry Potter Book Club. Even better, Rowling will appear on Oct, 11 in a live global webcast from the her home in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rowling will answer pre-submitted questions and discuss all things Potter, including the recently launched website, Pottermore.

The webcast is organized in conjunction with the first official Harry Potter Reading Club, an online portal geared toward educators, librarians, and parents, to encourage budding Potterphiles to read and to explore the world of Harry Potter. The site, which was launched with much less fanfare than Pottermore, appears to be geared toward younger readers.

Scholastic called it a destination for fans of Potter and a tool for parents and teachers to set up book clubs of their own.

“Scholastic has been in conversation with educators, librarians and other book lovers about ideas for bringing the Harry Potter books to new readers in exciting and different ways,” Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade, said in a statement announcing the club.

“The Harry Potter Reading Club is a direct response to that feedback and provides an entry point through which the thrill of these books can be shared with new generations of Harry Potter fans both within and beyond the classroom.”

The Harry Potter Reading Club allows parents, educators and readers to organize Potter clubs of their own. The site features reading and discussion guides, pronunciation aides and a plethora of interactive activities that relate to each of the seven books in the series. These include: a guide to starting your own Harry Potter book club, reading and discussion guides, pronunciation aides, a glossary of Hogwarts-related terms, and a cauldron’s worth of interactive activities relating to each of the Harry Potter books. Activities available for this month include a creative writing exercise in which writers must imagine they received a letter from Hogwarts, a “create your own wand” download, and a search for missing Potter objects. Scholastic has said it will add new activities each month. Bookmarks, stickers, and nametags are also available for download on the site.

The first 10,000 individuals to register for the club will also receive a book club welcome kit that will include bookmarks, stickers and nametags, although these items can be also be downloaded.

Consider the Harry Potter Reading Club and Rowling’s upcoming webcast your key to surviving the last weeks of summer with young readers – and a reason to look forward to another school year.

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