Celebrate the Birthdays of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling! - National Council of Teachers of English
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A black and white photo of a stack of Harry Potter books

Celebrate the Birthdays of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling!

It’s a double birthday! J.K. Rowling was born July 31, 1965, in Bristol, England. From the stories that Rowling tells about her composition of the Harry Potter book series, Harry was born on a train one day when she imagined the story. Harry’s official birthday as recorded in the novels, however, is July 31. Combine the celebration of both birthdays by revisiting the much-loved series! NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org have several resources that can help do just that.

The School Talk issue Literary Partnerships: Collaborating with Literature to Create Readers share how J.K. Rowling, along with other authors and illustrators, is a literary partner who can lure kids to reading with their own form of “magic.”

In the Language Arts article “The Right to Be a Fan author Peter Gutiérrez asks and answers the question, “Becoming ardent followers of specific pop culture texts can’t be a good thing for young readers—or can it?” Harry Potter’s popularity is also mentioned this podcast conversation between Teri Lesesne and Franki Sibberson.

Seven students from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis tackle a review of one book each of the seven books from the widely read Harry Potter series in the Voices from the Middle article, “Harry Potter and the Avid Readers.”

College instructor Elissa Caruth explains how, over the years she has been teaching Harry Potter, her students have read the book, gone on to read the other books, and been exposed to all the things we want our students to be exposed to in a critical thinking class: literary terms and their application to literature, critical thinking, and writing analytical essays.

The English Journal article “Celebrating Multiple Literacies with Harry Potter” presents a cauldron of hands-on literacy activities inspired by J. K. Rowling’s famous characters.

How will you celebrate Harry Potter?