SOURCE: Scholastic Inc.

Scholastic Inc.

December 15, 2009 12:03 ET

2000-2009 -- The Decade of Harry Potter Gives Kids and Adults a Reason to Love Reading

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - This was the decade of Harry Potter. Who could have predicted that one magical series could get kids around the world to put down their video games, shut off the TV and devour 800-page books? Books became cool again, with the birth of the midnight release party and kids and adults dressing like fictional characters. Fans of all ages read and re-read J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and anxiously awaited the next in the seven book series. "What the numbers leave out is the singular experience that so many young people had of actually growing up WITH a literary character, which had never been done before," said Arthur Levine, Publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books, VP Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL). "Kids who began reading Harry Potter when they were in elementary school, finished Harry's story as they finished major life milestones in this decade. And they took with them not only a deep experience of the pleasure a book can bring, but a validation of hopefulness that one's actions matter more than one's circumstances, and a message that truly love does conquer all." While this decade has nurtured Harry Potter's first generation of fans -- people of all ages will continue to re-discover the love of reading a truly magical story as they come to experience the adventures of Harry and his friends for decades to come.

HARRY POTTER MILESTONES

(All sales figures are U.S. only)

July 8, 2000 -- 3.8 million - the record-breaking initial print-run of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

July 11, 2000 -- 3 million - copies sold in the first weekend from the release of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," breaking all publishing sales records.

March, 12, 2001 -- Release of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through the Ages" with net proceeds to benefit Comic Relief, UK.

June 21, 2003 -- 6.8 million - the record-breaking initial print-run of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

June 22, 2003 -- 5 million - copies sold in the first 24 hours following the release of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," breaking all publishing records.

July 16, 2005 -- 10.8 million - the record-breaking initial print-run of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

July 17, 2005 -- 6.9 million - copies sold in the first 24 hours following the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," breaking all publishing records.

June 14, 2006 -- Scholastic's Kids and Family Reading Report reveals that 76% of parents say reading Harry Potter has helped their child do better in school.

August 1 & 2, 2006 -- 2 sold-out nights of "Harry, Carrie & Garp." J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John Irving read and answered questions for fans at Radio City Music Hall, benefiting Doctors without Borders and The Haven Foundation.

June 4 - July 20, 2007 -- 40 libraries across the country visited by the Knight Bus where fans were invited to share on video their thoughts and feelings about the Harry Potter Books.

July 21, 2007 -- 12 million - the record-breaking initial print-run of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

July 22, 2007 -- 8.3 million - copies sold in the first 24 hours following the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," breaking all industry records.

August 2, 2007 -- 11.5 million - copies sold in the first 10 days following the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

October 15-19, 2007 -- 2,000 - books signed by J.K. Rowling at each of four free events on the Open Book Tour, where J.K. Rowling read, from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and answered questions at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, the New Orleans Convention Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

June 11, 2008 -- Scholastic's Kids and Family Reading Report finds that 74% of kids say reading Harry Potter made them interested in reading other books. http://www.scholastic.com/readingreport

September 23, 2008 -- 7 1/2 hours - spent by hundreds of fans reading aloud J.K. Rowling's first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in its entirety at Scholastic's "Cover to Cover" event in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the book's publication.

December 3, 2008 -- Scholastic releases "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" to benefit the Children's High Level Group, a charity co-founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, MEP to make life better for vulnerable children.

September 20, 2009 -- 228 - weeks Harry Potter spent on The New York Times bestseller list.

For more information, please visit the Scholastic Media Room http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/.

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