Magic show: Brooklyn Public Library celebrates Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary at its Central Branch

Game on: Kids try their hands at the wizard sport Quidditch.
Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about the magic of reading!

Kids celebrated Harry Potter’s 20th birthday at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch on July 28, in an event that recreated the wonder of the beloved children’s novels, according to one mom.

“We had a great time,” said Shéba Michel. “My children love Harry Potter.”

For Potter’s birthday bash — a celebration of the character’s 1997 debut in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — librarian’s redecorated the Grand Army Plaza book lender’s basement to resemble the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The wizarding academy offered courses in herbology, divination, and charms, along instructions on with how to properly care for magical creatures, including unicorns and dragons, and proved so convincing that some kids started to feel like they were back in real school, according to Michel.

“They enjoyed that, but it was little long for them,” she said.

Outside, the kids were treated to wand-making classes, and games of the classic wizard sport of quidditch, which the young athletes were forced to play on foot for lack of any flying brooms.

Library staff produced the event in partnership with the New York City Harry Potter Fan Club, which styles itself as the “Group That Shall Not Be Named” and boasts the largest membership of any Harry Potter club in the world, with more than 2,000 members, according to an event post for the club on

In addition to birthday parties, the club hosts trivia nights, movie screenings, fan-fiction readings, cosplay events, and wizard rock shows, according to the post.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, August 1, 2018
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