NEW YORK, July 31 Author J.K. Rowling launched
an online book club for young readers on Tuesday and will appear
in a live global webcast in October from Edinburgh, Scotland, to
speak with her fans about the magical world of Harry Potter.
Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic, which developed the
Harry Potter Reading Club website, said it will be a destination
for fans of the British boy wizard and a tool for parents and
teachers who want to set up book clubs to introduce children to
the joys of reading.
"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," Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade, said in a
statement announcing the club.
"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 live webcast with Rowling from her hometown will be
presented by the club at noon EDT (0500 GMT) on Oct. 11 at
Scholastic, which described the webcast as a "live virtual
author visit to classrooms," said it will be Rowling's first
opportunity since 2007 to interact with young readers and to
discuss Pottermore, www.pottermore.com, a website launched in
April to help fans navigate through the tales of wizardry and
The Harry Potter Reading Club will include a guide for
everything about the boy wizard, an overview of the series of
Harry Potter books that have sold an estimated 450 million
copies worldwide and were transformed into eight hit movies, and
information about Rowling, the world's first author billionaire.
Scholastic said it will add activities on the site every
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and