Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
J.K. Rowling

Rowling, J. K. 1997. Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. NY: Scholastic Press.

ISBN: 9780590353403


Harry Potter is an 11-year old orphan living with unhappily with the Dursleys, his mean Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, as well as their spoiled son Dudley. He hates his life with them, living in a little room under the staircase and suffering daily  torment from Dudley. Then, something strange happens on Dudley’s birthday at the Zoo — it seems Harry could communicate with the python at the Zoo. Even stranger, he seemed to be responsible for the glass suddenly disappearing from the python’s cage.

Then, the letters start coming, first slowly, then all at once, and as much as Harry’s aunt and uncle tried to destroy them, more would arrive. Letters that say that Harry is a wizard and has been accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And just when they think they’ve escaped the letters, the lumbering giant Hagrid comes to take Harry away to Hogwarts.

Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is full of adventure and new friends, but it is also shadowed by the rumored return of an all powerful wizard who was responsible for the death of his parents.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile Measure: 880L

ATOS: 5.5

Interest Level: Middle Grades

Qualitative Summary:

This book is part of a wildly popular and highly merchandized series which makes it a much easier sell, and giving it a wide appeal in age ranges. It uses somewhat complex language, with an invented “wizarding” language woven into the narrative. The book begins with a flash back, but otherwise doesn’t shift the order of events out of chronology.  A singular omniscient narrator tells the story.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Discussions of characterization are big in this book and would be great to discuss in the English classroom: the characterization of the different houses, the way Voldemort is developed as a villain, and to a lesser extent, the grey area that is Professor Snape. The whole series is good for exploring “coming of age” narratives.



English 9-12

Goal 1 Reading, Reviewing and Responding to Texts

The student will demonstrate the ability to respond to a text by employing personal experiences and critical analysis.


The student will use effective strategies before, during, and after reading, viewing, and listening to self-selected and assigned materials.



  • 1.1.1 The student will use pre-reading strategies appropriate to both the text and purpose for reading by surveying the text, accessing prior knowledge, formulating questions, setting purpose(s), and making predictions.




  • 1.1.2 The student will use during-reading strategies appropriate to both the text and purpose for reading by visualizing, making connections, and using fix-up strategies such as re-reading, questioning, and summarizing.




  • 1.1.3 The student will use after-reading strategies appropriate to both the text and purpose for reading by summarizing, comparing, contrasting, synthesizing, drawing conclusions, and validating the purpose for reading.




  • 1.1.4 The student will apply reading strategies when comparing, making connections, and drawing conclusions about non-print text.




  • 1.1.5 The student will identify specific structural elements of particular literary forms: poetry, short story, novel, drama, essay, biography, autobiography, journalistic writing, and film.



The student will construct, examine, and extend meaning of traditional and contemporary works recognized as having significant literary merit.



  • 1.2.1 The student will consider the contributions of plot, character, setting, conflict, and point of view when constructing the meaning of a text.




  • 1.2.2 The student will determine how the speaker, organization, sentence structure, word choice, tone, rhythm, and imagery reveal an author’s purpose.




  • 1.2.3 The student will explain the effectiveness of stylistic elements in a text that communicate an author’s purpose.




  • 1.2.4 The student will identify and/or explain connections between and among themes and/or styles of two or more texts.




  • 1.2.5 The student will extend or further develop meaning by explaining the implications of the text for the reader or contemporary society.




  • 1.2.6 The student will extend or further develop meaning by comparing texts presented in different media.

Author’s website: http://www.jkrowling.com


  • ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 1999
  • ALA/YALSA Best of the Best 100 (Selected from BBYA 1966-99)
  • ALA/YALSA Top Ten Books for Teens, 1999 (Ranked #1)
  • ALA Notable Children’s Books, 1999
  • Book Links Lasting Connections, 1998
  • Booklist Editors’ Choices, 1998
  • Booklist: Top Ten Fantasy Novels for Youth
  • CCBC Choices, 1998: Fiction for Children
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books 1998
  • School Library Journal: Best Books 1998
  • School Library Journal: One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century
  • Parenting magazine: Book of the Year, 1998
  • Parenting magazine: Reading Magic Books, 1998
  • Voice of Youth Advocates: Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, 1998
  • Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize for Children’s Literature
  • American Booksellers Association Book of the Year (ABBY)
  • CBC Not Just for Children Anymore! List
  • International Reading Association: Children’s Choices, 1999
  • International Reading Association: Teacher’s Choices, 1999
  • National Council of Teachers of English: Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, 1999
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Wisconsin Educational Media Association Golden Archer Award (Middle/Junior High), 2000
  • Sasquatch Reading Award (Washington), 2000
  • Great Stone Face Children’s Book Award (New Hampshire), 2000
  • Arizona Young Reader’s Award, 2000
  • Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award, 2000
  • Nene Award (Hawaii), 2000
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Award (Illinois), 2001
  • Michigan Reading Association Readers’ Choice Award, 2001
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2001
  • Nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature, 1999
  • Nominated for Children’s Book Award (Massachusetts), 2000
  • Nominated for Children’s Book Award (Utah), 2000
  • Nominated for New York State Charlotte Award, 2000
  • Nominated for Young Reader’s Choice Award (Pacific Northwest Library Association), 2001
  • Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Medal 9-11 years, 1997
  • FCBG Children’s Book Award, Overall and Longer Novel Category Winner, 1997
  • Birmingham Cable Children’s Book Award, 1997
  • Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year, 1998
  • British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year (NIBBY), 1997
  • Sheffield Children’s Book Award, 1998
  • Whitaker’s Platinum Book Award, 2001
  • Commended for the 1997 Carnegie Award
  • Shortlisted for the 1997 Guardian Children’s Award
  • W. H. Smith Book of the Year Award, 1997
  • New York State Children’s Choice Award Nominee
  • New York Public Library’s 100 Best Children’s Books from the Last 100 Years


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