On 26 June 2017, the world will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UK publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in Joanne ‘JK’ Rowling’s phenomenally popular Harry Potter series.
From an idea born on a train journey to its creation in a small cafe in Edinburgh, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone started a global phenomenon. It has sold over 450 million copies worldwide in 79 languages, inspired a major movie franchise, a spellbinding theatre production and captivated readers of all ages for twenty years.
Rowling’s language and writing style were a critical part of the books’ success, according to Jan May, a spokesperson for the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English (VATE).
Harry is a hugely likeable child, kind but not wet, competitive but always compassionate. The scene in which he thwarts a bully’s attempt to unseat him from his broomstick during an exacting game of Quidditch – a cross between lacrosse and hockey, played on land and in the air – will ring bells with the most level-headed of readers.