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Readers Line Up for Harry Potter

Readers Line Up for Harry Potter

Hundreds of Harry Potters and Hermione Grangers are expected to gather at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, The Edge next weekend (SUBS: June 21) for the launch of the much-anticipated fifth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The Aotea Centre launch is to be marked with a world record attempt for the longest read aloud of a children’s book at the 10th Annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators.

The read aloud will begin at the official world launch time of 11.01am on Saturday June 21 when well-known children’s writer Margaret Mahy is handed the first copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The reading will be continued throughout the day and night until the very end.

Festival co-ordinator Robin Houlker says a huge amount of secrecy surrounds the book. “Margaret won’t have the opportunity to even take a look at the book before she begins reading. We’ll be taking it straight out of the box and handing it to her to start.”

At 768 pages and an estimated 255,000 words, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest children’s book ever written and Robin predicts it will take around 27 hours to read aloud.

Well-known New Zealand children’s writers, illustrators, personalities from the media, television, theatre and sport, together with community leaders have been invited to read sections of the book and scheduled readers include television news presenters Alison Mau and Simon Dallow, Dame Cath Tizard and favourite children’s personality Suzy Cato.

The Harry Potter Read Aloud will finish as the Storylines Festival Free Family Day gets underway at the Aotea Centre.

Youngsters attending the read aloud are encouraged to dress up as their favourite Harry Potter character and can take part in a game of quidditch (as played in the Harry Potter books and films) on Aotea Square on Sunday 22 June at 2pm. Children are invited to bring their own broomsticks, but unfortunately there is no magic to make them fly!

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