Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli
The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

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A new enhanced e-book edition, featuring an extended transcript from Melissa Anelli's exclusive interview with J. K. Rowling and a new, updated chapter!

Melissa Anelli wears a ring that was a gift to her from J.K. Rowling, given as a measure of appreciation for the work she does on The Leaky Cauldron, where her job entails being a fan, reporter, guardian, and spokesperson for the Harry Potter series.

For ten years, millions of fans have lived inside literary history, the only fans to know what it was like when Harry Potter was unfinished. When anticipation for a book was just as likely to cause a charity drive as a pistol shootout. When millions of rabid fans looked to friends, families, neighbors, forums, discussion groups, fan fiction and podcasts to get their fix between novels. When the death of a character was a hotter bet than who'd win the World Series. When one series of books had the power to change the way books are read.

This has been a time when a book was more popular than movies, television, and video games. The series has spawned a generation of critical thinkers and new readers. The New York Times changed the way it reported book sales just to avoid a continual overpowering of its bestseller list.

These events must be given their proper context, and this moment must be preserved.  The series will remain important to literature and pop culture, but the experience will change. Harry's fate will be as commonly known as the identity of Luke Skywalker's father, and readers who never had to wait for a Harry Potter book will have no idea what transpired when the series had hundreds of millions of people waiting desperately for the next volume.

We are the first wave of Harry Potter fans, the ones that are living in the time that shapes how Harry Potter will be remembered for all time. But when this era is over, fans will need some way to remember this strange, wonderful, dizzying experience. Future fans, too, will want to know what they missed. Harry Potter will exist as a seven-book series, but without the indivisible story of the cultural, literary and emotional impact the series has made, the story is incomplete. How can a fan understand Harry Potter without hearing about the midnight book parties, the scams, the theories, the burglaries, the bets, the bannings, and most importantly, the worldwide camaraderie spurred on by mutual love of a boy wizard? How can they know how Harry Potter changed and touched the lives of so many without hearing it first hand?

Harry, A History tells this story.  It tells the personal story of Melissa Anelli's journey through the very heart of Harry Potter fandom.  And wraps this phenomenon up into one narrative, factual volume – one book that tells what happened when Harry Potter met the world.

About Melissa Anelli

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Melissa Anelli has been reporting on the Harry Potter phenomenon since 2001. As the webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron (www.leakynews.com), she has written and spoken for Harry Potter fans in media outlets worldwide. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2001 and spent several years as a daily news reporter and features writer in New York City. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her ferocious cat, Moochka. For more visit www.harryahistory.com.
Published November 4, 2008 by Gallery Books. 369 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Harry, A History

Tampa Bay Times

Originally issued in 2007 in only seven handcrafted copies, the book is a collection of fables for children of the wizarding families in Rowling's imagined universe, a book that played a crucial role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Nov 29 2008 | Read Full Review of Harry, A History: The True St...


On the convention front, we learned US audio book narrator Jim Dale would be speaking at Portus, the Harry Potter gathering due in Dallas, and Terminus announced their keynote speakers, with Cheryl Klein, continuity editor of the Harry Potter books from Scholastic to speak along with author Tamor...

Dec 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Harry, A History: The True St...


It's a Harry Potter gathering promising to bring friends together from round the world for fun, fellowship and "to practise the greatest lessons of Harry Potter: bravery, nobility, acceptance, and above all, love".

Dec 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Harry, A History: The True St...

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Rachel Mary Bernth

Rachel Mary Bernth 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list