What are you doing Saturday night? If you have a mini muggle in the house (or are a Harry Potter fan yourself), look into one of the thousands of Harry Potter parties happening in bookstores across the county for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. It's the first time in nine years that there's been a Harry Potter book release party, and my daughter and her friends—who were preschoolers the last time—are excited to be part of a new generation of kids enjoying the magic. We're heading to a local independent bookstore (the oldest one in the country, in fact) for a trivia game, horcrux hunt, costume parade, and themed treats. Chain bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, are also having super-cool Harry Potter bashes.
I'm sure my daughter will probably fall asleep with her nose in the book that night. It's not a novel, but rather a script of the play being performed in London to rave reviews. (Side note: A new batch of tickets goes on sale August 4—count me among the muggles trying to get them.) The book picks up years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off when Harry himself is the father of three school-age children. While I wasn't able to see in the book in advance (publisher Scholastic is keeping the lid tight on this one), it's likely to be appropriate for kids 10 and up, judging from the age recommendations for the play.
If a midnight party is just too late for your wizard-in-training, pick up a copy on Sunday (which is Harry Potter's birthday) and celebrate with one of these themed treats. And if you're looking for more places to take your wannabe wizards, check out these magical destinations. Happy reading this weekend!
Karen Cicero is a contributing editor for Parents magazine, covering children's books, family travel, and nutrition. You can follow her on Twitter @karencicero.