July 31 – Happy Birthday, J. K. Rowling!

Posted on July 31, 2013

When little “Jo” was born in England, on this date in 1965, I bet her mom didn't tell her, “You're the sweetest little baby, and you're going to grow up to be really, really rich and famous!”

If her mom had had any idea, when her baby was born, that her daughter was going to write the best-selling book series in history, which would become the highest-grossing film series in history—well, her mom probably would've given her a middle name!

It would've been handy to have a middle name, since Rowling's publisher for the Harry Potter books didn't want a female name on the cover (Joanne Rowling). Instead, they decided to put her first and middle name as initials, along with Rowling.

Only problem: Rowling had no middle name. She had to make up a second initial. So the “J” stands for Joanne (nickname Jo), but the “K” doesn't stand for anything at all!

The British (top) and American (bottom) versions
of the Harry Potter books do not
always have the same cover art

or even the same titles!

How did she do it?

Rowling had written stuff ever since she was six, so she was used to getting good ideas and writing stories. However, when she was on a delayed train trip, one day, and she got the idea of Harry Potter, a boy who didn't know he was a wizard, she was really excited. It seemed like a really good idea to her—maybe the best she'd ever had!

Unfortunately, Rowling didn't have a pen that worked to write down her great idea! She reports that she was really frustrated with the no-pen scenario—but she was too shy to borrow one from a stranger.

Fortunately, Rowling didn't have a pen that worked to write down her great idea! Rowling now wonders, if she had slowed down her thoughts long enough to write them down, would she have lost some of the ideas and stifled others?

Rowling did start writing the book that night—and so also wrote her own rags-to-riches story!

Enter Harry Potter's world, all over again, with the books or movies.

Check out the Harry Potter activities at Activity Village or at iVillageThere are a whole lot of Harry Potter games and puzzles at Surf NetKidsand this Pinterest page has everything from wizard recipes to Harry Potter crafts to Hogwarts printables.

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest pages on July holidayshistorical anniversaries in July, and July birthdays.

And here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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