No, seriously — there’s really another Harry Potter book coming out.
The next installment in the monumental series will hit shelves this summer as the eighth book in the order. Scholastic announced today that it will publish the script book based on J.K. Rowling’s latest story about the beloved wizard, called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II. The book comes from a play Rowling worked on with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, set to be released at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2016 — just in time to kick off Harry’s “birthday.”
Although it will only have been nine years since the release of the most recent installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the latest story is set 19 years after the events of the book. A grown-up Harry will be busy working at the Ministry of Magic and raising three school-age children with his wife, Ginny Weasley. At the same time, his past will cause problems again, and it sounds like his youngest son, Albus, will be affected as well. Darkness will ominously come from “unexpected places,” according to the synopsis from Scholastic.
Scholastic shared the news of the book’s upcoming release in a tweet, giving fans a chance to see the cover.
— Scholastic (@Scholastic) February 10, 2016
The Scholastic version of the book will retail for $30, and the script will also be published as an eBook by Pottermore. It’s hard to say whether or not Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will manage to attract midnight lines at bookstores like its predecessors routinely did. But the real question is: Will this new adaptation offer the same magical escapism as the original, page-turning series that swept the world and inspired a multi-billion dollar film franchise?
We’ll have to wait till this summer to find out.
Those who can get tickets to the world premiere of the play will get a chance to find out what happens a few precious hours before readers do; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will debut on July 30 in London’s West End.