A few weeks ago, I saw the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the library. I snatched it up instantly. I’d been considering introducing Miss L to the first Harry Potter book, but to be honest, when I grabbed it… it was for me.
Anyways, L saw it, was intrigued, and asked me to read it to her. Now, the age range on Harry Potter is 9-12 years old. Obviously that’s a bit older than she is. So, I figured we’d give it a shot – but if she didn’t like it/couldn’t concentrate I wouldn’t worry too much because I’d still get to look at the pretty pictures.
From almost the first page… L was enchanted. Just absolutely hooked by the story. (To be fair, though, it was probably my ridiculously bad accents at first.) It amazed me how engaged she was. When we reach the point where it was revealed that Harry had no friends at primary because the other kids were afraid of Dudley, L propped her hands on her hips, scowled, and proclaimed “If I was there, I would be Harry Potter’s boy friend!” Then there was a slight pause as I tried not to snicker at her word choice, and she caught herself. “Er… girl friend. ”
She asked to read Harry’s lines. So she sat beside me, patiently, waiting for Harry’s speech so she could read it out loud.
The night after we finished the chapter about the first Quidditch match, I asked L what we’d read so far (to see how much she absorbed), and… wow. She was so excited as she described thing after thing to me, especially the Quidditch match itself. Her eyes sparkled as she clapped her hands over her mouth and pretended to cough out a snitch and then triumphantly put her arms in the air.
Once she’d got it out of her system, I told her I was very, very proud of her for remembering everything that we’d read so far. Then we read the Norbert chapter. When I asked her the next night what she remembered about the Norbert chapter… I finally had to basically put a hand over her mouth to get her to shush. She just kept going on and on about Harry standing up for Neville (which I think happened a few chapters back, but whatever.), and Hagrid writing “Its Hatching” on a piece of paper, and so on and so forth.
Anyways, she’s been swearing up and down that Snape is definitely the bad guy. No question about it. So, when we read chapter 17 (the Man with Two Faces) and she found out that Snape wasn’t the bad guy… she flipped out. Her mouth dropped open, her eyes got wide, and she practically shouted…
“What?! It was QUIRREL?! How did I NOT guess that!! Oh man!” Needless to say, when it was revealed that Voldemort was hiding under Quirrel’s turban, she freaked out again, (Mostly in disgust this time, though) and asked me “He’s not gonna kill Harry, is he?” She sat through an hour and a half of me reading to her in one night just so she could get through the big confrontation at the end and find out what happened. Her eyes were red and drooping, but she sat glued to my side so we could find out if the bad guy got the Stone.
I have never enjoyed reading a book with her as much as I have reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with her. Seeing that engagement, that sparkle in her eyes, and the sheer delight in the story has been absolutely wonderful.
…and now for Miss L’s review.
What did I think about?
It was awesome! I really liked when Harry stood up for Neville. I liked the way Hagrid talked. I liked that mommy did all the silly voices, like when she said ter and yeh instead of to and you. There is a fifth grader on my bus, and she read Sorcerer’s Stone, but her mommy didn’t do the silly voices.
Quidditch was fun! I kind of liked it when Harry gulped the snitch and spit it out. I cheered when Gryffindor won. I wouldn’t want to play Quidditch though. I am afraid I would swallow the snitch like he did.
I didn’t like when Harry got hurt. Or when Ron got hurt on the chess match. I was afraid he was going to die. I didn’t like that Harry and Hermione left him behind. It was yucky in the book when Quirrel turned around and had that face on the back of his head. That’s why he wore that purple turban.
If I went to Hogwarts, I would want to be a Ravenclaw, because they are smart. Hagrid was my favorite adult. I thought Snape was the bad guy for a long time. I was so surprised when we read the end, and Snape wasn’t the bad guy. That Quirrel was the bad guy.
I want to read more Harry Potter. I want to read all the books actually.
We watched the movie last night. It was cool. There were big things that were the same, but a lot of little things were different. I liked that Hagrid was there in the movie waving at Harry at the train station. What was really funny was the troll boogies on Harry’s wand.