2008: A Year in Review, the Books

Dec 30, 2008

Posted by: SueTLC


Our third and final Year in Review, this focuses on the Harry Potter novels by author J.K. Rowling. Thanks to Edward for his help and contributions to this final article.


The month began as we saw Scholastic, the
US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, continue their efforts in environmentally responsible publishing. Author J.K. Rowling donates a set of Harry Potter books
to the Scottish Rugby Club, which went on to raise over £6,960 for the
organization. Recognition for the series came soon after, first from the ALA, who honor the Deathly Hallows audio recordings, and second from the Times who name J. K. Rowling one of the 50 Greatest British Post War Writers. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows receives two Nebula nominations, and the USA Today
names the seventh Harry Potter novel the Top Book of 2007. January 17 brings big news as we learn the Harry Potter author would be speaking at the Harvard Commencement Ceremony on June 5, 2008. Meanwhile JKR/WB fill their full injunction (part one, part two), seeking to stop the publication of the RDR book, the Lexicon.

Art Insights delights fans as we learn that artwork of the first three covers of the Harry Potter novels created by artist Mary GrandPre were to become available for purchase. News came of recycled paper being used for Finnish editions of Deathly Hallows, and more international book release news arrived when the Spanish edition cover art for the seventh book was
revealed, followed by the release of the Polish translation of Deathly Hallows. The end of the month saw UK South Bank Show Awards honoring JKR, who gave short interviews after the ceremony.


JKR continued to earn honors as she was named Overall Great Briton of 2007 by Morgan Stanley. US audio book narrator Jim Dale received a nomination for an Audie Award, and the Harry Potter book series were nominated as favorite Book Series
at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Jo gave a fair amount of interviews this month as she discusses the inspiration for the Minister of Magic in the book. A second interview in a Spanish paper saw Jo commenting frankly and in great detail about many topics,
including the role of death in the series, the US Presidential
election, her home life, and much more.

Jim Dale wins Grammy award for his work on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audio book, while JKR received the James Joyce award for her impact in the literary world. This month we saw the release of the Hungarian and Spanish translations of Deathly Hallows, and the auction of few first edition Harry Potter books. Jo Rowling also continued her charity efforts by raising awareness and change regarding the plight of orphaned children in Eastern European countries with her Children’s High Level Group. Finally, the Potter books were named in The Telegraph’s list of Top 50 Children’s books.


March began with news that Harry Potter author was indeed writing again in cafes. This news was repeated in an interview that noted that the Harry Potter author is working on new projects. Along with an auction of rare Harry Potter books that fetched over 36,000 pounds and a nomination for Jo at the Children’s Book Council, our favorite author was the subject of a new interview in the Edinburgh “Student” newspaper, where she spoke candidly about the subject of depression. J. K. Rowling again makes the
news for charitable endeavors,
this taking time to present literacy awards to prisoners in Scotland on behalf of
the Shannon Trust Charity.


The month began with a few revelations from Harry Potter
author J. K Rowling as she discussed the importance of
the characters of Snape and Dumbledore. We then learn that Jo Rowling will be contributing to a birthday book for the Prince of Wales, which is set to contain an extract of Deathly Hallows and new illustrations. JKR then joins felllow authors calling for the intervention in Darfur.

Meantime Jo is honored at the British Book Awards, and the Telegraph includes JKR as 100 of the Most Powerful people in British Culture. Deathly Hallows wins a 2007 Berkshire Children’s Book Award, and a book signed by Jo helps raise over 10,000 pounds for a UK church in need.

April 15 sees the JKR/WB vs RDR trial begin, with complete coverage at this link. Video of the security measures Amazon.com
takes to insure the safety of its handwritten original copy of Beedle the Bard is released. ABC plans to broadcast the JKR documentary later in the year, and another report is published noting the use of Harry Potter novels in the curriculum of schools in Britain. Also online are updated adult covers for the Russian editions of the seventh HP book, and news comes that Deathly Hallows receives the Andre Norton Award.


The month starts out this this wee eye-opener: for the first time in nine and a half years, the Harry Potter novels would not be included on the New York Times Best Sellers list. JKR however kept fans hearts beating as she donated a storycard for a charitable event befitting English PEN and Dyslexia Action that contains new canon material. In conjunction with the auction, UK book seller Waterstone’s launched the What’s Your Story contest for creative fans. Later Jo was named Author of the Year at the Children’s Choice Book Awards. On May 20 we learned Scholastic will be publishing a 10th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, complete with new material from J. K. Rowling and artwork from Mary GrandPre. The original release of Sorcerer’s Stone was included among a list of Top Cultural Moments in Britain.

More excitement followed as we learned the storycard was infact a Harry Potter prequel that featured the Marauders. A JKRowling.com site update soon followed, with further information on the story and the charitable auction. The end of the month saw an interview with artist Mary GrandPre,
who spoke about the artwork she created for the
forthcoming 10th anniversary edition of Sorcerer’s Stone.


Summer now at hand, and we saw a host of news on Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. Before speaking before the 2008 graduating class of Harvard University and receiving an honorary degree, JKR hosted a benefit for the MS Society Scotland. News then came that the Harry Potter prequel sold at auction for 25,000 pounds. The full text of the prequel soon went online (with over 70,000 views in the first 20 hours) and was followed by the winning bidder coming forward to reveal his intentions to continue to raise money for charity with his prized possession.

The annual SyFy Award nominations
came out soon after, and included a nod to Miss Rowling for Deathly Hallows. On June 17th, the Harry Potter series reached a new level in
sales: selling over 400 million copies worldwide. We then learn that actor Daniel Craig, from the James Bond franchise, purchases an uncorrected Harry Potter book at auction, while Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban received an honor as one of the greatest books, and author J. K. Rowling and UK Audiobook narrator Stephen Fry were named among the British Best. Yet another honor was bestowed on J. K. Rowling as she was nominated in the Arts category to become a British National Treasure. The month ended with the publication of the Hindi translation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.


July saw the UK paperback release of Harry Potter of the Deathly Hallows, along with publication the Japanese translation on July 23rd. JKR also gave an intimate interview where she discussed her late mother and the battle with MS.
The end of the month is normally a birthday celebration for both Jo and Harry Potter. Scholastic allowed fans to send birthday greetings to Harry, and Jo gave the fandom a present when she announced that the Children’s High Level group would be publishing the Tales of Beedle the Bard on December 4, 2008.


In the wake of the great news about a new book from J.K. Rowling, we saw new canon teasers as mentions of the Elder Wand, Malfoy family, and Dumbledore were made
when Scholastic released more information regarding the upcoming Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Good news for other charity efforts, as it is revealed that over 10,000 copies
of the Harry Potter prequel sell in the first 24 hours of its release.
As the release of the 10th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone grows near,
Scholastic announces that they would mark the occasion with a Cover to Cover Readathon. We also learn that Harry Potter author is among the winners at the SyFy Awards and was honored
with the Mythopoeic Society Award for Children’s Literature by the
Mythopoeic Society. Late in the month, we get our first look at a few
of the promotional pieces for the upcoming Tales of Beedle the Bard book and there is a new interview from Harry Potter Continuity Editor Cheryl Klein regarding her work on the series for Scholastic.


September arrives with our first look at the German cover art for The Tales of Beedle the Bard and an announcement from Scholastic, stating the US paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published in July of 2009. The 10th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first hitting bookshelves was now upon us, and fans lined up to take turns reading from the book in New York City. Special coverage from TLC soon followed.

September 8 saw a major development on the JKR/WB vs RDR Books trial: JKR wins the copyright case, with Jo issuing a statement on the matter. Back on the Potter book news front, we hear again from Harry Potter Continuity Editor Cheryl Klein, who spoke to MTV about
her job working on the Harry Potter novels. The month was capped off
with news that the highly sought after booklet with the 800-word Harry
Potter prequel was again back in stock.


Autumn was soon upon us, and we are treated to a behind the-scenes look at the production of the UK Harry Potter audio books, and new interviews with key Scholastic employees, many of whom have worked closely on the Harry Potter series for many years. Beedle news follows, as there is an announcement of a release party hosted by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling due to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland. We also learn editors Arthur Levine and Barry Cunningham have generously lent their personal handwritten copies of Beedle for display in public for a month after the release of Beedle; great news for us in the States as Arthurs Levine’s copy is due on display in New York City this December. Beedle will also see a total of 23 foreign language editions of the book published around the world. Finally more honor for the Potter series as the books were placed on the USA Today’s list
of the best selling over the past fifteen years and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was nominated for the Independent BookSeller Award.


The month starts as TLC is able to show you rare and new artwork from Harry Potter artist Mary GrandPre, who is featured in an exhibition of her work in Iowa. We also learn that US Potter publisher Scholastic plans to publish a total of 3.5 million copies of Beedle the Bard. In addition,
lucky London fans would be able to mark the release of the new book as Borders announces plans for midnight release parties. Later in November, an excerpt written by JKR for Birthday Book for Prince Charles came online. At the end of the month, we get our first look at a sketch from Beedle the Bard, as well as images of additional international covers for the book.


With the release of the new book from J.K. Rowling just day away, we learn that a total of 8 million copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard are due to be published, and that the first pre-ordered editions of the book were starting to be shipped. Along with many release parties set around the States, December 3 saw an unveiling of the original Beedle the Bard book in New York City. TLC attended the event, and we, along with Scholastic release video of the event, US Harry Potter editor Arthur Levine reading from the book, and we post a wrap up of the entire event. We also received a treat this month with a rare interview of Barry Cunningham, the first editor to work with Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling. Early reviews of The Tales of Beedle the Bard soon came in, and reports were published on Beedle events in NYC and the J. K. Rowling hosted event in Scotland.

On the trial front, RDR withdraws their appeal, and announce plans to publish a wholly revised edition of the Lexicon, compliant with the judge’s earlier ruling. December came to a close with word from our favorite author on her inspiration for the places depicted in the Harry Potter novels and of the success and charitable impact of Beedle. Released with less than thirty days left in 2008, J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard became the fastest selling book of the year in United Kingdom.


Written by Sue Upton with assistance from Edward Drogos and Melissa Anelli

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.