One of the hardest things about the current stay-at-home orders is the lack of school. From elementary-school-aged children to those who should be in their senior year of college, in-person classes are canceled across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic. Homeschooling isn't easy, which is why J.K. Rowling and Pottermore came up with Harry Potter At Home, a way to keep fans entertained and occupied. The latest release from Harry Potter At Home features actors reading chapters of the books, starting with Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone if you're British.)
But this isn't just any old audiobook of the now well-known and beloved tale. After all, Scholastic and Bloomsbury have released multiple adaptations of those over the last two decades, with Jim Dale reading the Americanized versions of the books and Stephen Fry reading the British ones.
These will feature Fry and Dale, but they are just part of a star-studded line up of actors who will be reading the books aloud on video for fans to watch. Each chapter will feature a different actor or celebrity, from David Beckham to Dakota Fanning. Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts films, will do a reading, as will Noma Dumezweni, who originated the role of grown-up Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
But Chapter One kicks off with the most significant actor on the project: Daniel Radcliffe.
Radcliffe's rendition of "Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived" is live on the Pottermore site for fans to watch for free.
According to the Pottermore site:
Daniel will be the first of many exciting contributors to help us read through the first Harry Potter book, as he introduces the Dursleys, who don’t like anything mysterious. Enter a cat reading a map, owl-filled skies, and whispers about the Potters. So, get comfy and enjoy!
But Harry Potter At Home is not just a way to keep kids of all ages entertained. It's also an educational tool. After listening to Radcliffe read aloud the first chapter, Pottermore has links to a "Chapter Challenge" where Hogwarts students can earn house points doing puzzles and quizzes related to the reading, as well as a "secret quest."
And this is just the first video of a whole series:
Look out for more famous faces and friends of the Wizarding World (and beyond!) to help us read through all seventeen chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone over the coming weeks.
Fans can only wait and see who else will be reading, and who will join in the fun as the series rounds into further books.