Book of My Choosing - 2018 · Book Review · Europe Travels · Fantasy/Paranormal/SciFi · Magical Realism · Myths and Legends · Nonfiction

Book Review: Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic by British Library and J.K. Rowling

For this post, I am including a picture of my husband and I at the only place we were allowed to take a picture at the British Library’s exhibit, Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic. This exhibit, that was opened for a few months, was dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of the first Harry Potter publication. Can’t believe it’s been twenty years! In the exhibit, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but it didn’t matter since the book I’m about to talk about does a nice job in including many of the things we saw and read that day.


This is the version I bought that very day: Sunday, October 29th, 2017. There was a hardcover version with Fawkes, the phoenix, on the cover, but it was almost double the price as the paperback and it covered the same material. So, I decided to go with the paperback version instead.


Pages: 143
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology/Non-Fiction
Publication Date: 
October 14, 2017

SynopsisIn this text, the reader follows the myths and legends surrounding the Harry Potter series. The book is split into the main classes the students of Hogwarts take: Potions & Alchemy, Herbology, Charms, Astronomy, Divination, Defence Against the Dark Arts, and Care of Magical Creatures. There are also an additional couple of chapters at the end that speak of Rowling’s other works.

The book is filled with beautiful illustrations, colored copies of old texts where some myths/legends can be found, and even copies of J.K. Rowling’s plans and original scripts.

my review

Oh goodness! I was so excited for this one because I simply enjoyed the actual exhibit, but found myself getting tired towards the end. With this read, I was able to take my time reading to fully appreciate the work. I am so glad to have gotten my copy right after the exhibit as it will always hold a dear place in my heart. As some of you may know, Harry Potter helped me a struggling young reader and one who despised books to one who can’t get enough books!

What I loved about this book the most were the vibrant illustrations throughout. Jim Kay is now illustrating the works of Harry Potter (the first three books have been re-released with his illustrations), which several can be found in this book, and they are just sooo good! I also loved how some of Rowling’s sketches were included.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed was reading scenes that Rowling typed up, but never made it to the actual books. There are a few like this. They were just so interesting and would have affected the series. For instance, instead of Ron and Harry crashing the car into the Whomping Willow in the second book, the car crashes into the big lake. The mermaids help the boys out of the water. Imagine if we didn’t learn about the Whomping Willow in book two, and instead get an introduction in book three? I don’t know if the effect would have been the same as it is now. There was also a scene where Hagrid speaks to the Muggle Prime Minister that I found interesting.

It was also neat to learn a bunch of little facts throughout the book (like the one below).


Aside from gushing over how much I learned and really appreciated peering into some of Rowling’s inspiration, I did find that there was a lot of material. It was an overwhelming amount of myths, legends, stories, etc. from the past. A lot of these were either included or mentioned in the books, but it was too much to try to remember. This is probably why I became tired toward the end of the exhibit.

However, I really did enjoy reading this, and found it cute that were some “magical” experiments parents can do with their children at the end of each class chapter.

Overall, it was a pleasure to read and I can see myself sifting through this one again! It was clear that a lot of work went into making both the exhibit, this book, and most importantly the Harry Potter series.

My Rating5 stars


I recommend this to Harry Potter nerds (using this word lovingly since I’m totally one 🙂 ) who would like to learn more about the series and the classes that the students have taken. If you aren’t a Harry Potter nerd, then I’m not sure how enjoyable this would be for you.

Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
5 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!


Thanks for reading!

Also, don’t forget to vote for my next read – poll closes in a few days!
Book Bucket List – March 2018 Poll

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