Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. You’ll have to buy or borrow this one, but it’s widely available and has been on best seller lists for years now. It experiences a resurgence in interest with every new Harry Potter movie and book.
Audio available from audio.com and other sources–check your local library!
READ AT LEAST THE FIRST HUNDRED PAGES
Questions for the Discussion Board
1. Here are the standards for the U.S. Newbery award. Based on these criteria, explain how well the book meets these standards of excellence, using specifics examples from the book. Give the book an overall score, 1-10 high for overall achievement.
The criteria for excellence:
Interpretation of the theme or concept
Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization
Development of a plot
Delineation of characters
Delineation of a setting
Appropriateness of style.
How well did the novel meet these standards for excellence, and what examples do you give for each of these criterion?
2. Where might you recommend that an illustrator add an illustration? Who might you recommend for the job of illustrating Harry and his adventures? Why? Please note: your answer needs to recommend someone other than illustrators who have already done this job, as noted in the lecture.
3. This book is wildly popular at the turn of the millennium. Should we include it in the textbook, given that its longevity is unknown? At what point can we say this book is a ‘keeper’ and no longer just a popular fad? (An aside: I began teaching this course and book when the book was new-it’s not so new anymore, so we have some vantage point of history to guide us.)
4. What items/characters/events in the book remind you of others in other literature? For example, hypogriffs are from Greek mythology, and the chess game comes from Alice through the Looking Glass. Please be as exhaustive as you can.
5. Is this book English/British enough to represent English/British literature for children? Why or why not?
Please respond to at least one colleague in the class with a substantial response that shows your agreement/disagreement/questions about their answers to the questions for the lesson.
Please evaluate these websites for inclusion in our textbook:
J.K. Rowling http://www.jkrowling.com/
Harry Potter Scholastic http://harrypotter.scholastic.com/
Differences between British and US versions of PS: https://www.hp-lexicon.org/2001/08/25/differences-between-british-and-us-versions-of-ps/
Extra for Experts
A current movie that’s both like Harry Potter and quite different. Please view and review for the class:
Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find ThemRead
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