The bestselling series is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

By Nora Horvath
January 17, 2018
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This children’s sensation was the ALA’s most frequently challenged book in 2000 because some parents believed it promoted devil-worshiping and violence. One group in Maine even tried to burn books from the series in 2001. To buy: $64 for a seven-book boxed set;  
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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic will release newly designed editions of the bestselling paperback books this year, with unique illustrated covers.

The new editions will be illustrated by Caldecott medal-winning artist Brian Selznick, the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie Hugo. "I'm a big Harry Potter fan and it is an incredible honor to illustrate J.K. Rowling's iconic series," said Selznick said in a statement. The books will be available individually and in a collectible boxed set, also designed by Selznick.  

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In addition to the new illustrated covers, there will be other anniversary events happening around the country this year to celebrate the bestselling series. The stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was also published as a book in 2016, is coming to Broadway for the first time, after a successful run at the Palace Theater in London. The second movie in the spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, The Crimes of Grindelwald, opens in U.S. theaters in November.

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Since its publication in 1998, the Harry Potter series has sold more than 160 million copies in the U.S. alone. "Brian Selznick, with his unique and cinematic approach, is a visionary and the perfect artist to illustrate these new Harry Potter editions, for readers of all ages," said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade, in a statement. “On this milestone anniversary, we are excited to join the legions of fans as we celebrate this cultural phenomenon, and look forward to introducing Harry Potter to a new generation of readers."