First News: Harry Potter is 25!

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This week marks a very special anniversary – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone turns 25! J.K. Rowling’s book was first published on 26 June 1997 and has since gone on to become part of one of the best-known book franchises in the world!

As Harry Potter celebrations take place across the globe this week, we’ve collected some amazing facts about the book. Here are just a few – check out more in First News this Friday!

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When the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 1997, Bloomsbury (the publisher) only printed 500 copies! The first version of the book has a cover illustrated by Thomas Taylor (pictured). It was Thomas’ first illustrating job after leaving art school and he didn’t even get a copy himself! These copies are now incredibly rare and valuable.

In early drafts of the book, Draco Malfoy’s surname was Smart, Spinks and Spungen!

Dumbledore is an old English word for ‘bumblebee’. J.K. Rowling said she chose this name because she could picture Professor Dumbledore humming to himself.

Only four spells feature in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. They are Wingardium Leviosa, Petrificus Totalus, Alohomora and Locomotor Mortis.opher’s Stone. They are Wingardium Leviosa, Petrificus Totalis, Alohomora and Locomotor Mortis.

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Young people! Send us your news and photos to [email protected] and have your story published on this page and ,perhaps, in First News too.


As a Muslim, I followed the holy month of Ramadan, which was in April this year. Ramadan is when you don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. It is about getting closer to God and feeling how others feel without food.

In Ramadan, it’s important that we give to charity and help other people.


The Great Get Together

24-26 June

Communities are encouraged to come together and host street parties in memory of MP Jo Cox, who was killed in 2016.


27 June – 10 July

The world’s oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament returns. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain!

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Five-year-old Bella J Dark has officially become the youngest female to publish a book. Bella wrote and illustrated The Lost Cat, which has now sold more than 1,000 copies.


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