J.K. Rowling is bringing a little magic to our quarantines. The author of the Harry Potter series has launched an online hub for children, families and teachers who are stuck inside amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The hub, called Harry Potter at Home, comes soon after Rowling relaxed the copyright permission on the Harry Potter books so that teachers could read the beloved stories to their students over video.
It’s at times like this that we could use a little enchantment to whisk us away from the isolation of our quarantines. And with Freeform no longer giving us the trusty Harry Potter weekends and all the Wizarding World theme parks shuttered, online is the next best place to find that magic. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is offering us a “banishing charm” on our boredom with Harry Potter at Home online hub, a new website that will feature “special contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world,” according to the website.
Rowling announced the launch of the hub on Wednesday, writing, “Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic, so I’m delighted to launch harrypotterathome.com.”
Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic, so I’m delighted to launch https://t.co/cPg0dZpexB pic.twitter.com/i0ZjTplVoU
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 1, 2020
The launch of the hub — one of many Harry Potter-based hubs, including Pottermore — comes a week after Rowling and agents The Blair Partnership relaxed copyright permissions on the Harry Potter books so that teachers can post videos reading the beloved series out loud. It was the latest measure to help teachers with remote reading time, according to Forbes, as British schools remained closed due to measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The videos are only allowed to be posted “onto schools’ secure networks or closed educational platforms” through the end of the school year.
The Harry Potter books have proven instrumental over the years to encourage children to read and have often been used in lessons, which Rowling and her agents have taken note of (and is happily not taking financial advantage of — for now). Another Wizarding World partner, Audible, launched a free minisite too, at stories.audible.com, that offers a “free destination offering educational, entertaining, immersive children’s and family audiobook content.” And with the launch of Harry Potter at Home, kids could be more motivated to learn from home, with the help of a little magic.
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