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Harford Library celebrates the release of the eighth Harry Potter book with midnight parties

Aberdeen mother shares her love of Harry Potter with her teenage children

Aberdeen resident Jennifer Davis, 35, has been a fan of the Harry Potter series since the first novel was released in 1997, and she got to share that love with her two teenage children Saturday night during a release party at the Bel Air library branch for the eighth book in the series.

"The fact that we can bond over literature is great in this day of Pokemon [Go] and everything else," Davis said.

"I own all the books, all the movies," Davis said. "We buy the games, you name it, we have it."

She sat on the floor of the branch's second-floor meeting room with her husband, Brian, 13-year-old son Ethan, who was wearing a maroon Qudditch robe, and her daughter, Emma-Leigh, who turned 13 Sunday.

"I figured, what better way to celebrate?" Davis said of her daughter's birthday.

The latest book in the series, which chronicles the adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter and his friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Great Britain, is called "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

The book, which is a novelization of the play of the same name that premiered in London Saturday, was released worldwide Sunday.

Patrons who attended the library party had been invited, as they had placed orders for copies of the book before its release, Harford County Public Library Director Mary Hastler said.

The patrons could borrow their copies from the library once the clock struck midnight.

Before the release, about 60 Harford library patrons and staff gathered for the launch party. The branch opened at 10 p.m. with activities for families, such as a costume contest, photographs of patrons in costume and a trivia contest.

Visitors enjoyed cupcakes made with the flavors enjoyed by Hogwarts students, such as butterbeer, and hot drinks.

"It was just to do something special, something a little bit different, and everybody got excited about dressing up," Hastler, who was dressed as the Hogwarts professor Sybill Trelawney, said.

Jason Eyler, of New Park, Pa., visited the library with his wife and two children. His daughter, Rhiannon, 14, was dressed up as the ghost Moaning Myrtle, and his son, Caleb, 11, was dressed as the house elf Dobby.

"I think the whole idea is pretty amazing, the whole book series," Caleb said.

Rhiannon has read all of the books in the series, some of them twice.

"I just like the books, and I think they're cool," she said.

Eyler said his mother-in-law and sister-in-law work for the Harford library system, and his children volunteer with the summer reading program at the Whiteford branch.

"She's a big reader, much more so than I am," Eyler said of his daughter's interest in Harry Potter.

The Cursed Child story picks up 19 years after the end of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which was released in 2007. Harry, on the cusp of adulthood, has defeated his arch-nemesis, the evil wizard Voldemort, and saved his school.

Deathly Hallows ends with Harry and his friends, Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley, as adults sending their children off to Hogwarts. The Cursed Child chronicles Harry's adventures as a husband and father.

All seven of the prior books have been adapted into hit movies, released between 2001 and 2011. A section of the Universal Studios Orlando theme park in Florida has been turned into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

British author J.K. Rowling wrote the first seven books, and she co-wrote Cursed Child with John Tiffany, who directed the play, and Jack Thorne, the playwright.

The Barnes & Noble bookstore in Bel Air opened at midnight Sunday for early sales of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," and again at its normal Sunday opening time of 10 a.m., Kim Wilson, a manager on duty, said late Sunday afternoon.

She said the store sold out of every copy, except those reserved for customer orders, by around 3 p.m. Sunday.

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