Birmingham Schools take part in Miles of Magic: The Harry Potter Book Relay as the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Publishing celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter

10 Feb 2022
Harry Potter Trunk

The National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Publishing have teamed up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone inviting two schools in Birmingham to be part of the magic.

To mark the anniversary, 25 schools from across the National Literacy Trust’s local area campaigns, including Birmingham Stories, are taking part in Miles of Magic: The Harry Potter Book Relay. Over the next four months, a special copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will travel from school to school, with pupils adding their own additions to the book before passing it on.

Two of the 25 schools invited to take part include Harper Bell Seventh Day Adventist School and Erdington Hall Primary School. The book will reach Birmingham in March when pupils will have the chance to contribute to this well-loved story.

Meanwhile, the 25 schools have each been gifted a Harry Potter trunk of goodies to inspire pupils to celebrate the books and support their reading. Each trunk contains a class set of free Harry Potter books, a school resource from Warner Bros (the production company behind the Harry Potter films), a printed copy of the new Miles of Magic Reading Challenge, stickers, merchandise and more.

The National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Publishing launched their Miles of Magic activity to schools across the UK on Harry Potter Book Night (3 February). Over 26,000 pupils have so far watched an exclusive event with Jonny Duddle, the illustrator of the Harry Potter 2014 book covers and this year’s silver anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Jonny Duddle also launched the Miles of Magic Reading Challenge, a free classroom resource to encourage reading for pleasure and develop reading stamina. The challenge takes pupils on an adventure from Privet Drive to Hogwarts hitting magical locations for every 30 minutes they read. It is available for all schools and can be downloaded on this webpage.

"We are so excited to be teaming up with Bloomsbury on this project to celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter! The books have inspired so many children – and indeed parents – in Birmingham and across the UK to find a love of reading which is so vital to supporting literacy development. “With two Birmingham schools taking part in the Book Relay and all Birmingham schools encouraged to watch the Jonny Duddle event and run their own Miles of Magic Reading Challenge, we hope many more children in the city will be charmed by the magic of reading.”

Kyle Turakhia, Birmingham Stories Hub Manager at the National Literacy Trust

“For 25 years, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has cast a spell on generations of children, thrilling passionate readers and encouraging reluctant readers to discover the joy of reading. We are thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust to continue Harry’s legacy and help the children of today begin their magical reading adventure, unlocking their potential along the way.”

Beatrice Cross, Head of Publicity at Bloomsbury Children’s Books