Young local wizards help celebrate a cultural phenomenon

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 --- 10:25pm

In the age of technology, it's not everyday you hear a kid say they'd rather be reading a book than watching TV. But, one book series managed to beat the odds, reinvigorate reading, and engage kids of all ages with its magical world and whimsical characters.

“Harry Potter” has made nearly $8 million in book sales, is published in more than 200 territories, and is available in 73 languages.

"The stories are very good and they have a lot of adventure” says Sally Adams, a 9 year old from Madison, who isn't shy to show her Harry Potter fandom. Adams tells NBC 15 she started and finished all seven books just this summer. Even more amazing, she wasn't even born when the first book came out.

"There's a lot of good characters” she says.

It's been 15 years since JK Rowling introduced Harry and the gang to the world; sparking a cultural phenomenon and inspiring kids, like Adams, to put down the remote and pick up a book.

From Quidditch to potions and wands to chess, Madison's best and brightest wizards and witches helped celebrate the birth of Harry. Madison's Meadowridge Library was one of just 15 libraries in the US chosen to be transformed into a wizarding world, after winning a contest with book publisher Scholastic. The library was given money to throw a Harry-themed party on Tuesday, plus received 100 copies of the first Harry Potter book: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.”

"When you read a book, that is coming from your own experiences and that will cement those images better than anything you will see on TV or your phone” says Samantha Skar, a librarian at Madison's Orchid Ridge Elementary.

With close to 500 million copies sold worldwide, Skar says the Harry Potter series is sure to pass the test of time.

"This is a book that's classic. This book is timeless. This book will continue to excite readers for many many years to come” she says.

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