Children dressed in varying shades of red, green, yellow and blue gathered at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch of the St. Johns County Public Library June 22 for a Harry Potter-themed “Houses of Hogwarts” event.
Four tables – one for each Hogwarts house – were set up around the room with various activities. After the talking Sorting Hat had “sorted” them into their proper houses, kids traveled around the room, visiting each table as the feature film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was projected on a screen.
At the red table, Gryffindors battled one another at “Wizard’s Chess” and “Gringotts Checkers.” The green Slytherins, meanwhile, played “Harry Potter” versions of the classic board games “Clue” and “Trouble.” At the blue table, Ravenclaws played a “Harry Potter” card game, while the yellow Hufflepuff table was designated for arts and crafts.
“I haven’t been sorted yet, but I’m kind of hoping to be in Slytherin,” said a boy in green, as he rushed off to make a magic wand. Hufflepuff Kayla Bond-Cashen, however, decided to make a Hungarian Horntail dragon.
“I’m a very big fan of ‘Harry Potter,’” Bond-Cashen said. “I’ve been in love with the books since I was about 8. Ever since I read the first book, I magically fell in love with [the series]. And it’s not about magic, it’s about, like, friendship and trust, and even though if you’re being hunted down by a crazy lady, or a guy who wants to kill you, never give up.”
Part of the library’s summer reading series, the get-together was arranged specifically for local “tweens” ages 8 to 12.
“Tweens are a very interesting demographic to try to get a handle on,” said Assistant Branch Manager Anne Crawford, who also serves as youth services librarian. “They’re not old enough to really do the teen stuff, they’re too old to do the kiddie stuff, so finding something that lights them up is always an interesting challenge. But we thought, well, what better thing than Harry Potter? Who doesn’t love that?”
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, “Houses of Hogwarts” will not be the library’s last Potter-themed event this summer. On July 6, the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch will hold a “Harry Potter Trivia Throwdown” and viewing of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” from 2 to 5 p.m.
“We’re big Harry Potter fans,” said Crawford, who will host the July event. “Harry Potter never goes out of style.”