Take ‘A Journey Through a History of Magic’ With Harry Potter and the British Library

Books Reviews Travel
Image: Scholastic

Take a ride back to the magical world of Harry Potter with a glimpse into the history of magic in general, and the curriculum at Hogwarts in specific. There is currently an exhibit at the British Library called “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” being held from October 20, 2017 to February 28, 2018. But, not to worry. If you can’t get to London by the end of February, as most of us in the U.S. can’t, there is a new book that takes you through the exhibit where you can get up close and personal with the collection.

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic was recently published and is available to all. From a thorough look at the Hogwarts curriculum to gorgeous artwork to J.K. Rowling’s book notes and drafts, you’ll be in Harry Potter heaven with this one. Profiling professors, diving into magical curricula, and looking behind the scenes into many artifacts and drawings from the creation of the Harry Potter world, this book is really a thing of beauty. I find myself picking it up several times per day, just to flip through it and gaze upon its gorgeous illustrations and fascinating memorabilia, or to read a section of text or two. And though the text is very informative, it’s the artwork that will keep you turning pages and studying each aspect of the Harry Potter universe contained in this book.

Though based on a museum exhibit, the book isn’t just a thin, stapled program that gives some background information. It’s a 140+ page masterpiece sharing important pieces of magical history. It includes previously-unseen sketches and manuscript pages from J.K. Rowling, along with breathtaking illustrations from Jim Kay. It also includes photos of objects related to the real history of magic from a few other places around the world, such as The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall.

An ideal gift for kids and adults who love the Harry Potter universe, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic is a must-have. Maybe it will inspire you to re-read the series.

The British Library is the national library of the UK, and it is high on my list of destinations, once I make it back to Europe for a visit. But truly, if you can’t make it to London, maybe New York City is closer. The exhibition will come to the New-York Historical Society in October 2018 and will include some additional, U.S.-specific artifacts. What a great way to celebrate Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary in the U.S.!

Note: I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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