40 books that changed librarians’ lives

The 2020 will mark the 22nd anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—altered from the British “Philosopher’s Stone,” to appeal to American audiences. It’s not too big an exaggeration to say the world of children’s literature has never been the same since the publication of Harry PotterThe series of seven books was published over the course of the next decade, and they changed—and still continue to change—the reading lives of countless kids. In honor of the indubitable impact of J.K. Rowling’s work, we asked our book experts here at The New York Public Library to name a book that changed their lives, growing up. (And we asked them NOT to choose Harry Potter.) The range of their picks was astounding, from monkey-themed picture books to adult legal thrillers. Check them out, in celebration of everyone’s favorite boy wizard and the indubitable power of reading.

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