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J.K. Rowling to Give Webcast to Launch New Harry Potter Reading Club

I don't share news releases all that often, but this one caught my attention. Scholastic is launching a Harry Potter Reading Club, which I think is cool in and of itself. J.K. Rowling will be answering questions from kids live for the first time since 2007. And Donalyn Miller (aka The Book Whisperer) is an advisor to Scholastic on the new reading club, and quoted in the press release. So, worth sharing all around. 


Educators Can Sign Up Starting Today to Join October 11 Webcast Live from Edinburgh, Scotland

New York, NY  July 31, 2012 -- Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children's publishing, education and media company, today announces a live webcast with worldwide bestselling author J.K. Rowling on October 11, 2012 and the launch of the Harry Potter Reading Club, an online destination created to share the magical world of Harry Potter with a generation of new readers. The live webcast is presented by the new Harry Potter Reading Club from Scholastic at

At 12:00 noon ET (9:00am PT / 5:00pm GMT) on Thursday, October 11, J.K. Rowling will participate in a live virtual author visit to classrooms across America to discuss the world of Harry Potter including Pottermore (, an exciting, free online experience that offers Harry Potter fans the chance to explore and discover exclusive new writing by J.K. Rowling as well as immerse themselves in other interactive content and community activities.

The October 11 webcast will be broadcast live from J.K. Rowling’s hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the first time she has had the opportunity to answer questions from kids live since 2007.  Educators can sign up to join the webcast beginning today at  

The new Harry Potter Reading Club website provides educators, librarians, after school program coordinators and parents who want to organize a book club with access to all the tools they need to host a Harry Potter Reading Club and celebrate the joy of reading.  The first 10,000 registrants for the Club will receive a welcome kit including bookmarks, stickers and nametags.  Printable versions of these items will also be available for download from the website.

“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,” said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade. “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 website includes a comprehensive discussion guide for each of the seven Harry Potter novels. The guides provide questions to help club members start an insightful conversation about the themes and events in the books and, in certain instances, how the books may relate to readers’ own lives and the world today. Each month Scholastic will add new themed activities to complement the Reading Club discussions that will often relate to experiences on the Pottermore website.

"I have run my own Harry Potter Reading Club with my students for two years and seen them grow into better readers while having a great shared reading experience,” said Donalyn Miller, sixth grade teacher, Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Kellor, TX.   “I am delighted to be an advisor for Scholastic on the new Reading Club so that many more children will discover and become deeply engaged in the series in their own clubs all across the country."

The Harry Potter Reading Club will also feature a live feed at Twitter #hpREADS providing a community for club leaders as well as “Teacher Tips” from educators already running Harry Potter Reading Clubs. The site will also include a series overview, a glossary of terms and a pronunciation guide as well as information about author J.K. Rowling and illustrator Mary GrandPré. Harry Potter Reading Club members can also expect invitations to additional special events and contests.