The Complete Idiots Guide to the Ultimate Reading List discussion

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Chapter 10: Fantasy Novels > Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone

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message 1: by MJ, Idiot's Top libriarian (new)

MJ | 1335 comments Mod
I love Harry Potter. I didnt even know who he was until I went home for the Holidays and my nephew wanted to watch the movie (please Aunt Michael ...How could I say no) he sat on my lap for the whole movie (he had already seen it a dozen times). He was so excited about it that I feel in love with the movies. After the 2nd movie came out, i loved it so much that I ended buying the 1st 4 books and reading them all in one weekend. I feel in love with the character and fan been a crazy fan ever since


Sherry How would you say the movies compared to the books Michael?I must be one of the rare few who was not that blown away by the movies.I think part of it is I don't feel all that invested in the characters.Is the book experience different in that regard?


message 3: by MJ, Idiot's Top libriarian (new)

MJ | 1335 comments Mod
Well I saw the first 2 movies before I read the books so i really enjoyed the movies. I am one of the few people that can enjoy a movie based on its on merits and not comapre them to books. Thats being said as the books got thicker the movies started to not hold up as well. I did enjoy them all and understand that they had to leave parts out of the books. I dont even use the excuse of seeing them with me nephew anymore.


Shazzy I love this book but it's Called Harry Potter & the Philosophers stone in the UK, my niece read the series when it came out and I think I read it a few years ago, we have all the books and dvds and I thought the actors played the characters really well. I preferred Richard Harris as Dumbledore. I love the films and the books. The last book has been split into 2 films because there's no way they can condense it into one film.


TeraD (teradugan) | 91 comments You either love it or hate it, but Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone was the beginning of a great phenomenon in fantasy literature. The young wizard and his friends have become household names and have inspired the minds of millions of children and adults around the world. In my classroom alone, I have witnessed many a non-interested reader suddenly devouring Harry Potter books. Has there been another series of books in history that has caused such a desire among children to just sit and read?



message 6: by TeraD (last edited May 28, 2008 11:50AM) (new)

TeraD (teradugan) | 91 comments Richard Harris was a great Dumbledore, it was tragic when he passed away. I think Micheal Gambon (my fault had LOTR on the brain) has done a great job of stepping into Harris' shoes.


Ranata Harry Potter became my life back in 2000. I had just heard about the series and I was damn skeptical about it but I picked one up cuz I needed some readage for the weekend and I got hooked. Loved the series. I hated the last book and I'm sad it's over but it was a damn good story. Very creative.


Ranata Sherry, I wasn't blown away by the movies either but it was nice to see it played out on screen even if they cut important parts.


Sherry Well maybe I should give it a try ,millions of fans can't be wrong.I don't think I've ever heard of anyone not liking the series once they read them.


Shazzy Tera, I agree with you, i've taken my son to the library weekly since he was a baby and he loves to read. But there are many children his age that were really not interested in reading until they discovered Harry Potter, the library assistants told me that the Harry Potter books were responsible for most of the younger generations visiting the library and borrowing books for read.

The actor that plays Dumbledore is Michael Gambon, he's a well known British actor and he has done a great job, but Harris was one of my favourite actors and it was very sad when he passed away.


Santina (LittleSaintina) | 45 comments I just loved this series...the last book was my least favorite at all, it seemed to me she got lazy, but either way I loved the characters. I got into them late as well, read the first 4 one after the other and had a hard time reading anything un fantasy related for a while. My daughter is just getting old enough to read them now, so it's going to be so much fun reading them again.


Angie Best Fantasy EVER.


Ranata Santina, I agree. The book was just crappy to me. I was so disappointed. All the fanfic I've ever read basically played out in the book. Everybody was right about the outcome.
Sorcerer's Stone was what got me hooked in the first place.




message 14: by Cairnraiser (last edited Jun 17, 2008 07:57AM) (new)

Cairnraiser | 16 comments @Tera and @Shazzy: Unfortunately it seems to be so that the new readers that entered the arena with the Harry Potter phenomenon have not chosen to continue reading. A lot of them seems to have read the already published books and then waited for the next installment, instead of searching for more reading material for intervening time.

I read this some time before the release of book six I believe, I'm afraid I don't remember where but this article seems to agree.


Santina (LittleSaintina) | 45 comments That's a great article, and I think it makes the most important point, as parents we have to control what our kids are doing and take part in reading to them. If you let your child sit in front of the TV all day, that's what they'll do.


message 16: by Sherry (last edited Jun 17, 2008 11:54AM) (new)

Sherry As a parent who read extensively to my children and who took great delight in encouraging and helping them to choose books something I continue to do now that they are all adults,only one of them is much of a reader of books.The other two while not book lovers read a lot on the internet and of a broad and interesting variety and can communicate intelligently on any number of subjects that they would not normally have had access to.I think that the electronic media has really changed how and what people read,which I think ultimately is sad but unfortunately inevitable.

The only way to spare our children of this I think is to not have any of these electronic devices in our home,not very practical though.


As parents we can only do so much,culture will always weigh in and have a profound impact no matter how hard we may try.
But keep trying and do your best because there is always going to be that kid that can't resist the feel of breaking open a new book and diving in.


Santina (LittleSaintina) | 45 comments Good point Sherry, I hope my daughter is like that, there is just something about the feel and the smell of books. It's a bonus too that you can take a book anywhere, my daughter has started to follow me there. I always have a book in my purse and now if she knows we're going out she'll grab a bag and throw some books in. I think it comes down to balance, like everything else. If you help them learn to balance things, they will catch on.


Sherry That's wonderful LS,I hope it stays with her.There is no better love than the love of books(well except for our children and partners ect..):)


message 19: by MJ, Idiot's Top libriarian (new)

MJ | 1335 comments Mod
i always have a book in my bag


Santina (LittleSaintina) | 45 comments A good idea for sure, you're never stuck waiting if you have a book with you.


Sherry I always have a book as well and the up side is the shopping for a new purse to carry the book in.

Currently I've been working on The Awakening by Kate Chopin.Short stories are great because I can just keep it in my purse and I don't bother taking it out while at home.Hmm...does this post make sense?


TeraD (teradugan) | 91 comments I think the article had much more information in it than just Harry Potter not creating lifelong readers. I like the bit about not making the Harry Potter series shoulder the guilt or not calling it a failure because all kids are not reading regularly. I think the most important thing that the Harry Potter series did do was attract kids from diverse backgrounds and encourage those kids who may have never picked up a book to read. Even if they only got through one novel a year while waiting for the next installment, it was more than they were reading in the first place. I had students from households of non-readers, who didn't even have books of any kind in their homes, that would devour Harry Potter as soon as they could get their hands on it. These were kids that were so uninterested in reading, we couldn't even get a proper assessment of reading capablity out of them because they just didn't want to read.

Of course these kids, who have no parents encouraging them at home, are not going to know what to do in between books. They don't have library cards or even know how to look for other interesting books to read in the meantime. They don't even have an idea that there could be other books of the same genre to read. For many, still, Harry Potter is the be all and end all. There has to be someone interested in taking the time to educate them on how and what to do during the in between times and what to read now that the series is over. We can't just expect kids to know.

At the same time, we can't say that they are not reading at all. I agree with Kimel and the bit about literacy for information. We live in a time of technical literacy. Our kids are proficient at electronic-based communication- email, text messages, ebooks etc. They are still involved in literacy, just not in the traditional sense or what many people deem as the "correct" way to be literate.

And we cannot forget the role of the parent. I witness this daily teaching children with special needs. Those children who have parents that take the time to be involved are that ones that flourish while the others tend to remain stagnant. A teacher can only do so much to combat the home environment. As a parent, knowing that my oldest son loves Harry Potter, I strive to find other books that involve fantasy and other worlds. These are the books he will read and after going through a period of struggling with him to pick out books, I am finding that my persistence has paid off and he is now finding things to read and reading on his own, but it took educating him in how to do this...computer-based library catalogs, internet searches for books of related genres....All of these people that can spend their time criticizing our youth (not just in the US, but globally) could better spend that time helping educate them.


Hayley  | 21 comments I fell in love with the Harry Potter books back in 2000, I was on holiday with my family and my cousin had brought the first couple with him, I read them in a couple of days and when I came back off my holidays I went and brought them for myself.

I have since studied the books for a unit for my English degree and it made me love the books even more and I was so sad when they ended.

I like both the movies and the books - though I will sit through the movie going 'they've not added this bit' and 'that bits in the wrong place, it doesn't go there in the book' Prime example of this is in 3rd movie, in the book Harry receives his new broom mid book and McGonnall confiscates it. In the movie he receives it at the end and knows who it is from - in the book he only finds out the broom was from Sirius after he realised his godfather was one of the good guys.


Jackie (TheNightOwl) That's funny because I don't recall that discrepancy in the movie. I had read the books as they came out, except for the last book, which I still haven't read. They had Harry Potter weekend on the ABC Family channel this past weekend, with the premiering of The Goblet of Fire. I think that one is my favorite so far for both the books and the movie.

I tried watching the movies without comparing them to the books. However, I found the first two movies kind of boring. Daniel Radcliffe just didn't have any emotion for me. I thought he came around in the 3rd movie. It seems like he was pushed to show more emotion.

Tera, I think you made a great point regarding the role of the parent. I credit my mother who instilled in me my love of reading. It was she who would buy me books and take me to the library every weekend. If she did not care I don't think I would be the avid reader I am today. Many parents forget that teaching and learning begin in the home not when a child first begins school.


message 25: by Sherry (last edited Jul 10, 2008 10:37AM) (new)

Sherry I honestly believe that that nature plays as much role in a child's love for reading as does nuture.I have worked many years with chidren,teachers and parents and with all due respect I know things to be a little more complex than has been previously posted.There certainly are those parents who struggle with their parenting,and for those parents who struggle having to deal with a learning challenged child can be beyond them,especially if they themselves have learning issues or did as a child.We always found that those parents that were the most difficult to deal with usually had difficulties in school themselves.

It's not that they don't care but all to often are intimidated and uncomfortable and in that situation become non-functioning.

I grew up loving to read and was an avid reader from a young age,without any encouragement from any family member.

When my children came along I did my best to foster a love for reading by reading to them,buying books that would interest them.My oldest was reading by the time she was ready for kindergarten.If love of reading could be fostered strictly in such a way I would have certainly succeeded.They are all adults now,my youngest is soon to be 18 and none of them is interested in reading the way that I am.

They pick up a lot of stuff from the internet so their love for learning has not diminished but they are not really book readers.My one daughter who was learning challenged however does enjoy reading now though not as avidly as I would have hoped but as a kid it was like pulling tooth and nail to get her to read at all,and I believe that had a lot to do with confidence.

My husband is not one for reading and I can't say I ever witnessed him encouraging (or discouraging for that matter)the kids to read but from early ages he has set out to teach them practical,problem solving things that he has thought were essential for them as adults.Things which have given them confidence and assurance.

Because a parent doesn't foster a love of reading does not imply that they care less for the well being or education of their child.It just means that their priorities are perhaps channeled else where,perhaps where they feel most comfortable and capable to teach.


Sorry for my rant but I always found the generalities applied to parents short sighted and often unfair.Yes,there are those that seem indifferent but many times there is an underlying problem and not all parents who have a child uninterested should be painted with the same brush.It is just a little bit more complicated and as such I find generalities unhelpful,ineffective and all too often unfair.

I think that both parents and teachers could do with an advocate.It seems both parties care deeply but all to often appear to be on opposite sides of the same fence.

There,I'm off my soapbox and I'm sorry if this does not quite speak to what you meant but it provoked a strong response in me based on my own and varied experiences as someone who was both working in the school system and a parent with children in it.



Nicole (Mrst_292) | 25 comments When the Harry Potter books first came out in the US I was fascinated with their effect. I was teaching middle school and I was struggling with finding ways to get kids interested in reading so they could learn how to discuss literature. The first book was short enough to catch the interest of many of my students. Then the books got progressively longer. I was shocked to see kids who never chose to read reading such long books. I will forever be grateful to J.K. Rowling to getting kids interested in reading.

My husband reads books faster than anyone I know - he read the last book on our flight to Puerto Vallarta and it took me a couple days on the beach to finish it. He didn't think he would like the books because they were "kids books" but it didn't take long for him to get hooked too.

When I clicked on this thread I figured it went without saying that these books are incredible. Anything that can appeal to different ages and reading abilities has my vote.



Karrie Vincent | 14 comments If I start a Harry Potter book, then I need the whole day and night because I can't put it down until I am finished. I love them!


Amber I love love love this book for so many reasons!

This is the book that stated it all for me. I was never a big reader until the 4th HP book came out. I then went to my library and decided to see what all the fuss is about. I read this book in 2 days and then went right back for more. When I was caught up to the forth book (in about a week and a half) I couldn't stop, and so the reading obsession began! I have never looked back and keep finding great people like you to talk about my love of books with. It is great because you don't judge me since a lot of you are just like me. Can't stand when there is an empty space on your bookshelf!


Nicole | 36 comments Mod
At first I was a little skeptical of the books... I was in high school and they were kids books, but then a school assignment forced me to read this one and so my obsession began (By the way, I love young adult books now). I absolutely LOVED every single one of these books (although the third was my absolute favorite due to its uplifting ending) and have been scouring for a replacement since the last one. At first I thought it would be Twilight (but those books sucked royally), then I found Hunger Games (which to me was phenomenal), but sadly that ended as well. So if anyone knows what the next Harry Potter will be, can you let me know?

Also, I totally agree that it is the parents' responsibility to encourage their children to read. When I was young, my dad read to me every night and now I am totally addicted to reading and carry books around with me constantly... However, by the time he had my little brother, he was much older, and had less time to spend with him, so never read to him. Now it is shocking if my brother ever picks up a book... I actually think my dad would have a heart attack if he ever saw him reading on his own (you know, without being forced to do so). I don't blame my dad for this, but I can totally see how much of an impact he had in my life and I wish he had done the same for my brother. Of course, now it's harder because you have to compete with a million different types of video games. However, I will always be eternally grateful to my father for opening me up to the world of reading.


Rachel | 1 comments Nicole - try the series the belgaraid- it is a slow start but the characters are fabulousPawn of Prophecy I have attached a link to the first book -there is a bit of magic in there as well


Nicole | 36 comments Mod
Thanks Rachel :)

I'm always looking for new books to read


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