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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II

3.7 547
by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

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The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in


The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London's West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
By now, you’ve heard the news: Harry Potter’s story is getting an eighth chapter, in the form of play and script book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! This is what Potter fans have been waiting for since closing the book on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows seven years ago. Way back then, J.K. Rowling left the Weasley-Potters (Harry and Ginny) and the Granger-Weasleys (Ron and Hermione) in a very good place: dropping their kids off at the Hogwarts Express for their first year. The grownups were safe, the kids were Hogwarts-bound, and all was well. Until now, thank goodness. Read More
The New York Times Book Review - Kelly Link
What a remarkable thing! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the bare-bones script of a play. And yet, it has the same addictive drive as Rowling's novels. Of course, this isn't Rowling's writing, but rather the playwright Jack Thorne elaborating on a story conceived by Rowling, Thorne and the director John Tiffany together. And yet, Harry Potter and Hermione and Ron and Ginny—in their actions and dialogue, their preoccupations and loyalties—remain themselves. By which, since Harry and the rest are fictional characters, I mean Thorne has by some sort of alchemy written a book that I would previously have assumed only J. K. Rowling could write. The humor is Rowling's, as is the tightrope-with-an-umbrella execution of a formidably complicated plot and Rowling's sturdy, pragmatic morality, where the high cost of doing the right thing is nevertheless worth paying. How can a collaboration feel so singularly tethered to Rowling's point of view? There's probably a spell for this you could learn at Hogwarts if Hogwarts really existed, but the ingredients must be rare and difficult to come by.
Publishers Weekly
It's been nine years since readers left Harry, Ron, and Hermione on Platform 9 3/4, as the characters were ushering their own children onto the Hogwarts Express. That scene, which appeared in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, opens this new stage play, now playing to sold-out audiences in London. The script, in book form, will completely undermine the show's hashtag campaign to #KeepTheSecrets, but for Potter fans who can't see the production, this is a welcome substitution. Reading this play--more than 300 pages of dialogue and a few scant instructions for the actors--is, of course, an entirely different experience. The fact that so many of the children are named for key figures from the novels (Albus, James, Lily) and that some of the cast's 42 characters occasionally transform into others demands careful attention to who's talking. Fortunately, most of the characters are familiar, and many of the plot elements turn on memorable events from the novels--the Triwizard Tournament from Goblet of Fire chief among them. A time-turner, last seen in Prisoner of Azkaban, plays a key (if hokey) role, used as a sort of resurrection stone to return favorite characters to life. Stage directions only hint at what an extraordinary challenge it must have been to produce the many special effects that are required--some enchanting, some terrifying--and the bare-bones nature of a script doesn't adequately convey what must be a devastating moment for many in the audience near the conclusion of Part Two. Ironically, after having all the secrets spoiled, what many readers will likely want most is to see the play. Ages 8-up. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I and II

* “Series fans can breathe easy knowing this play has been respectfully and lovingly wrought. Tensions thrum, spells fly… but at center stage, as always in the Potterverse, is the overriding importance of love and friendship, especially in the face of danger.” -- Booklist, starred review

VOYA, December 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 5) - CJ Bott
J.K. Rowlings lit up the young adult reading world with the Harry Potter series. Young people everywhere wanted to learn to read simply to meet Harry as the entire world knows these characters. This play, written by Thorne, is based on a story written by Rowling, John Tiffany, and the playwright himself. Fans may be disappointed to learn that Rowling did not actually write this Potterverse extension. Reading a play is very different from reading a novel or short story, and is also different from watching a play. The character development, setting descriptions, and even the energy, are all different than in Rowling’s novels. This play seems dull in comparison, though the second half is more engaging. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is for readers who know Harry and his friends, those who can close their eyes and see Hogwarts, the train station, talking portraits, winding staircases, chocolate frogs, and many more amazing things. Harry is now in his forties; he and his wife Ginny send their children off to Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione’s children. The story is told in four acts containing seventy-five scenes, ranging in length from two to nine pages, which makes for choppy reading. The short scenes flip in and out of different time periods, adding to the confusion. Harry, the adult, is one-dimensional compared to the Harry readers know—there is no way to avoid the comparison. Reading this play is like reading a jigsaw puzzle; however, once a reader of Potter stories, always a reader of Potter stories. Reviewer: CJ Bott; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
Playwright Thorne and director Tiffany (who previously collaborated on Hope and Let the Right One In) worked with J.K. Rowling to extend the "Harry Potter" universe with an eighth "installment" in the form of the script from the new West End production. The book starts where the last chapter of Deathly Hallows left off—19 years after the main events of the series—with Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione all saying goodbye to their children as they leave for Hogwarts. As Albus, Harry and Ginny's youngest son, attends Hogwarts, he is plagued by the Potter legacy—something he never wanted—and, as he's sorted into Slytherin, is terrible at Quidditch, and constantly compared to his famous father, he becomes reclusive and angsty. His sole friend is Scorpius Malfoy, the only son of Draco Malfoy—prompting further separation from his father. When Albus hatches a plot to go back in time to save the life of Cedric Diggory—what Albus views as the biggest mistake his father made—time becomes distorted and Harry is left to examine his own life, his relationship with his son, and how love can sometimes be much more complicated than it seems. This is an interesting extension of the "Harry Potter" universe, but readers should go into it knowing that it's its own beast. Rowling didn't write it (much to the fury and vitriol of many fans), and it is in script form, so it loses some of the magic that won over millions of readers back when it all began. However, many of the themes that made the original series great are still in abundance—love and friendship conquering all, facing your flaws and accepting them—so that it simultaneously still feels like a "Harry Potter" tale while remaining its own story. VERDICT It is unlikely that the script will create new Potter followers, owing to its format (reading a script vs. reading a novel is a whole other ballgame), but it's a well-crafted and enjoyable read.—Tyler Hixson, School Library Journal
The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
This book version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…turns out to be a compelling, stay-up-all-night read…the suspense here is electric and nonstop, and it has been cleverly constructed around developments recalling events in the original Potter novels…As a bonus, fans are also given a scattering of interesting new insights into Harry, Dumbledore and Voldemort…In this case, it is not giving away too much of the plot of this absorbing and ingenious play to simply recall Dumbledore's words in The Prisoner of Azkaban: "The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed." And time travel, like the art of fiction writing, affords the possibility of imagining ominous alternate futures, if not amazing and harrowing alternate worlds.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Harry Potter
Edition description:
Special Rehearsal Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

J.K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter novels, which have sold over 450 million copies and have been translated into 79 languages, and three companion books originally published for charity. She is also the author of The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults published in 2012, and, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, is the author of the Cormoran Strike crime series. J.K. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut and is a producer on the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a further extension of the Wizarding World, due for release in November 2016.

Jack Thorne writes for theatre, film, television and radio. His theatre credits include Hope and Let The Right One In, both directed by John Tiffany, The Solid Life of Sugarwater for the Graeae Theatre Company, Bunny for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Stacy for the Trafalgar Studios, 2nd May 1997 and When You Cure Me for the Bush. His adaptations include The Physicists for the Donmar Warehouse and Stuart: A Life Backwards for Hightide. On film his credits include War Book, A Long Way Down and The Scouting Book for Boys. For television his credits include The Last Panthers, Don’t Take My Baby, This Is England, The Fades, Glue and Cast-Offs and the upcoming National Treasure. In 2012 he won BAFTAs for best series (The Fades) and best serial (This Is England 88).

John Tiffany directed Once for which he was the recipient of multiple awards both in the West End and on Broadway. As Associate Director of the Royal Court, his work includes The Twits, Hope and The Pass. He was the director of Let The Right One In for the National Theatre of Scotland, which transferred to the Royal Court, West End and St. Ann’s Warehouse. His other work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Macbeth (also Broadway), Enquirer, The Missing, Peter Pan, The House of Bernarda Alba, Transform Caithness: Hunter, Be Near Me, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us, The Bacchae, Black Watch, for which he won the Olivier and Critics’ Circle Best Director Awards, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn and Home: Glasgow. Other recent credits include The Glass Menagerie at A.R.T. and on Broadway and The Ambassador at BAM. Tiffany was Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland from 2005 to 2012, and was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University in the 2010-2011 academic year.


Brief Biography

Perthshire, Scotland
Date of Birth:
July 31, 1965
Place of Birth:
Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England
Exeter University

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 547 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew this was based on the play, but it was not marketed as a script. It was marketed as a book. It isn't. I was willing to overlook that, but the story itself is so very bad. The known HP characters are unrecognizable or almost parodies of themselves. The new characters are flat and uninteresting. After 40 pages of cringe worthy dialogue, I've given up. I don't care what happens. I really wanted to enjoy this book, and I still love the HP books. But this really isn't worthy of the HP name. Save your money and your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this story. I knew it was in scrip form and thought it would be harder to read but it wasn't. In saying that I wish it would have been more like a regular book. I missed the "more" which comes in a regular story. I was grateful to be back in the Harry Potter world if even for a very short time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hate that this is a play. It makes it very hard to read. Rewrite please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm wondering if Rowling was blackmailed. I'm just not sure why she would consent to having her name on this inconsistent piece of fan fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes this book is in script form, and it took me a little while to get used to it, but after getting used to it, it helped shaped seeing the world and how the characters enter and play in a scene as if I were watching the play myself. If you are a fan of the series then I whole heartedly recommend reading this. It take place after the last book at the train station and it is nice seeing all of your favorite characters interacting again. I do not want to give out spoilers, but just eanted to say that i was satisfied with the story and amount of content. It is a rather small book (little over 200 pages) and where I finished it in a few hours on one sitting and it left me with a smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing close to the majesty of the originals. At first I was super excited to read the book and was enjoying the beginning. It started to irritate me that they left out huge details in the originals and reverted from the "after hogwarts" plot points verified by J.K Rowling. Then the plot became boring and flat with no engaging dialogue. The only thing I liked and enjoyed in this book was Scorpius Malfoy. Harry became a horrible and heartless person who his son hated. Ron was a literal Joke who never became an auror. HARRY wasn't an Auror. Shacklebolt is supposed to be the minister not Hermione who is way smarter and more nervous and supportive towards her children. I will not speak of Ebony Dementia Darkness Raven Way, oops I mean Delphi. And I know that not many people noticed but THEY SWITCHED THE RULES OF TIME TRAVEL!!!! This is just a pet peave of mine but I wasn't even engaged in the book enough to finish it. I respect this script as its own but I will never consider letting it into the Harry Potter section of my heart. Also, to everyone who says only people who like Cursed Child are true HP fans, you obviously aren't a big enough fan to notice the details that contridict the real books and don't have the finest taste in writing. Peace-HGranger
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where to start? I was on board with the script format. I have been a about huge fan since I was fourteen (which happens to be the time that the 4th book was released.) I went to Universal Studios to experience the Magical World of Harry Potter. I adore the first 7 books. Then this trash happened- I've been betrayed. Scorpius was the only likeable character. The adult characters- Ron, Hermione- were painfully written. If I were JK Rowling I would be embarrassed to have my name or my characters names associated with this "script." Spoilers ahead... Let me vent about how bad Harry is at his job- he didn't find Delphi sketch??? I thought that she was transparent from the very beginning. Then once her character was revealed to be the child of Voldermort I was rolling my eyes. LAME. Let's be honest- Voldermort would not be able to understand something as intimate as lovemaking. That entire idea is just ridiculously stupid. Then we have Hermione as Minster of Magic... insert another eye roll with an exasperated noise. Thanks so much for making her and her child, Rose, so smug. I didn't care what happened to them. Ron looked like a total buffoon. Then we have Albus... ugh. Selfish little prat. Do yourself a favor if you are a fan- don't waste your money or time. Pretend this pile of trash doesn't exist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This reads like fan fiction. It could have been good if she had taken the time to actually write a book. This is so disappointing. Shame on everyone involved for publishing this rubbish in an attempt at some easy cash.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Expected a book like the others - rich in detail. All I got was a jumbled up mess of screenplay lines that aren't making any sense at all. Ugh. Sorry I wasted my hard earned cash on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was expecting alot better, I was first dissapointed that it was a play, second i was dissapointed at the plot, it didnt make much sense, the movie form should be good though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit when I saw that JK Rowling's had a new Harry Potter book coming out soon I pre ordered it with excitement. Harry as an adult with children..awesome...not..I'm very disappointed that Ms. Rowling's didn't go to effort to actually make this a book instead of a script book....Honestly I wouldn't have bought it... From now on I will be more cautious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So dissapointed that I bought a play script
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a person who grew up with the Harry Potter books, they are what made me fall in love with reading. However, with that being said this is one of the worst books I ever read. It felt like I was reading a book that was written in a few minutes by a bunch of kids on fan fiction. The story line was terrible, it destroyed some of the love I had for the series. It felt like the only reason this book came about was because she needed more money. If it would have been written better I think it would have had the potential to be another great novel, instead of a huge disappointment !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A complete waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this PLAY thinking it would be another in the manner of the books i loved. What a ripoff. Its not even a good play. Last thing i buy from this money ggrubbing gang.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I surprisingly enjoyed the script format more than anticipated. My favorite parts with this play include all the special moments with past characters and the fun "what if" scenarios. It was a fun 3hour read. Readers need to read the description that this is not an 8th novel for Harry's story. It is a play in London that they have published for all of us to read. Elements I didn't enjoy: -Albus' anger towards his father is poorly reasoned and developed. -Albus shows no common sense but if he did there would be no book. -Hermione is NOT that dumb. She would have made a smarter choice. And the whole conflict is predicated on her poor judgement? I don't buy it. -I don't feel any connection to Harry as an adult. -Ron is a mockery of his younger self. Overall it was fun though.
TexasKitten More than 1 year ago
Initially I felt a little like the odd man out for not enjoying this story but I felt the need to share my opinion as it might save someone else the time and money. Now, after reading several reviews I see that what I've felt is actually pretty common. 1) I feel no connection to the original characters. Their identities which was so well communicated through out the first 7 books seems to have been lost which I feel can be attributed to the other "authors". After reading it I'm left wondering who actually wrote the bulk of it because it doesn't read like JKR at all. 2) Regarding how it reads...it's like a really bad fan-fiction. The motives of the characters doesn't seem pure like in the first 7 books, and the origins of the conflicts doesn't seem organic either. It all seems very forced. Also, the characters are a giant mockery of themselves. In the original 7 HP wanted to be an Auror which suited his personality, this story doesn't effectively pay homage to who the characters grew to be by the end of the original series. And whoever wrote this clearly never liked Ron. 3) HP and son have such a poor relationship but I can't gather why when at the end of the books series nothing about their relationship seemed to be so bad. The 7 books left me in a very good place. This did what I feared it would do, and left me with a bad memory of HP. 4) It's not believable. I should start by saying I know this is magic and fiction and non of it is actually real, BUT in the world so flawlessly created by JKR this story it simply not believable. The way Bellatrix is used and the story eventually explained is simply ridiculous 5) JKR once said she regretted the relationship between Ron and Hermione. I always loved it, but whoever had a hand in writing the bulk of this story clearly wanted to make that point that they too didn't want Ron and Herm together. Throughout the story they are surprised over and over again that they are married, it's like "alright alright already I get it". 6) Possibly the biggest problem I have with this book is the giant waste of time part! If you've read and hated any story that basically ended with "...and then they all woke up and it was just a dream" because the author clearly had no respect for your time or intelligence then you will be left disappointed by the end of this story. No, I'm not spoiling anything, they don't all wake up but it is the equivalent. In the original 7 something always happens, progress is made in the fight between good vs evil and the characters learn and grow sometimes happily, sometimes painfully. Nothing happens by the end of this story it just all stays the same! There's no journey. They do a lot to end up right where they started. 7) Albus ends up in Slytherin which never would have happened. HP had a piece of Voldemort living in him and still got into Gryff. That piece died and without it there's no reason his son would end up in Slyth. To summarize: It reads like bad fan-fic. The characters have no clear motive for doing things. Albus is a spoiled brat with an attitude problem. They have a poor relationship for no reason. The characters are a mockery of themselves. The basis for how it all came to be (using Bellatrix) is not believable. The biggest let down is that after everything nothing changes, which actually might be best considering the hack job they would have done. I just don't like that HP & son had a crappy relationship. Save your time and money this sucked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. The characters are not like themselves at all. I do not believe Harry would have said or done some of the things in this script. I get that this is supposed to be a play, but it all seemed too theatrical. The characters were overdramatic and it is honestly an unnecessarily tragic plot. The Harry Potter series has always been tragic, but in a way that naturally helped the plot flow. In this, tragic events are the only thing keeping the plot moving. Jk Rowling killed off the villian at the end of the series, so she was forced to create new conflict (which was done very poorly). The plot was also highly predictable. No shocks or surprises. Overall, the tone set by the series was lost. If you want to remember the characters just as they were, then don't buy this book. I for one refuse to believe this is what became of them. Rowling should have left them with their original ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope this translates better on stage, because once you accept the disappointment that its a badly formated script that starts by badly rewriting the last chapter of 'the deathly hallows', all your left with is something that reads like a poorly written fanfiction story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth it. Kinda ruined HP for me, honestly. Less than 300 pages for almost 15? And half of those pages were play notes. Waste of time and money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the beginning portion of the play , it had good pacing and some nice character development; I enjoyed the interactions with Harry and Albus. I was excited for the plot that was being set up. By part two however, in my opinion it just fell flat. The plot got too convoluted and confusing with a sort of alternative universe jumping around to different time periods. It just didn't feel like Harry Potter at that point; I have been reading the books since before the movies were released (OG fan). It lost me. There was nothing new about the magic world to be discovered which was disappointing since twenty some years has passed in this universe. There was nothing new invented in 20 years in the magic world??? It was just recycled material. Maybe it is more exciting in a live performance, as it was, it was kind of like reading a rather average fan fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't mind that this was a script instead of a novel. What I do care about is the fact that the characters sucked and everything came across jumbled. All of the beloved characters were not like themselves at all. I especially hated how Ron was portrayed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those complaining that is a script book should give it a chance. Once you really get into it, that doesn't even matter. The7 story itself is great. It was actually more than I'd initially hoped for. Being a script, it's a bit harder to read when you start, but it really starts flowing once you get into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids and I are huge fans of the original Harry Potter series. We own all of the books and movies, the Wii Lego 1-8, along with Harry Potter Clue and Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, a time-turner, and the wands of Harry, Ron and Hermione. We had a Harry Potter marathon over the summer and watched all 8 movies in order. We were eagerly waiting this book, but in the end, it turned out to be (you guessed it) a major disapointment! :( Albus was a very unlikeable out of control brat. The only consequences he faced after each of many bad decisions was praise from his weak parents who can't even spell 'discipline.' Harry was a weak whiner, Hermione lost all her intellect and cleverness, and Ron was just a goofball. Have these 2 guys even read any of the original books? The only characters we liked were Malfoys! What does that tell you?! The hero should have been Scorpious - Albus is a joke. JKR should be embarassed to put her name on this book!! The play form was annoying to read and moreso than the money I spent, I regret wasting precious time reading it with my family. In the end, this utterly forgettable and highly irrelevant story had no bearing on the original story, so for us the story of Harry Potter ends when he destroys the elder wand. Forget the cheesy scene of 19 years later when our heroes escort the next generation to the Hogwarts Express and forget the stupidity of this book. Let the amazing world of Harry Potter 19 years ago live on in your memory and flush the story about Albus (don't even get me started on Delphi!) down the toilet where it belongs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too short and too little character development to grow emotionally attached to new characters, and old character personalities are too different to care about.