Chicago Harry Potter event celebrates JK Rowling

I still remember laying on my bedroom floor and reading the Harry Potter books cover-to-cover when I was a child. My mom would deliver food to my room and beg me to get some sleep, but I refused to stop reading until each year at Hogwarts had come to a close. But I know that’s not a very unique story when it comes to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

There’s no doubt Harry Potter and his wizarding world had a magical impact on children’s literature. According to The Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report, 51 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old said they did not read books for fun before reading Harry Potter.

To honor J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, non-profit bookstore Open Books is inviting all Chicagoland muggles to a “Growing Up with Harry Potter” party on September 27 at their River North location. The event also celebrates the release of Rowling’s latest book, The Casual Vacancy.

Spokesperson Rosie Gillam said the store hopes the event can be a bridge between Rowling’s magical Harry Potter world and new writing.

“So many kids grew up with Rowling and she really nurtured their love for reading and Open Books shares that mission. They want to celebrate Rowling’s first adult novel with an evening of nostalgia-remembering their childhood, remembering Potter, remembering when they first fell in love with reading,” Gillam said.

“Growing Up with Harry Potter” will feature a costume contest, temporary tattoos, Harry Potter quotes trivia and music by wizard rock band Tonks and the Aurors. Open Books also will hide five golden snitches across the store for kids to discover.

Attendees will receive 20 percent off of all used books during the event, and can pre-order The Casual Vacancy at a 20 percent discount.

Space is limited, so RSVP in person at the Open Books store or email

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