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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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I've been Pottered =) It's a good book... I don't understand why the first book is sometimes called "The Sorcerer's Stone" and sometimes "The Philosopher's Stone". "Philosopher" sounds better to me - it sounds more subdued and less flashy.

J. K. Rowling just "gets it" about children. From what I've read so far, the story is not a dumbed-down version of an adult story plotline. It's a sophistocated storyline but from a 11 year old's point of view (ie. the beginning of the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development).

The only other author I've gotten this feeling from is Beverly Cleary (all the books about Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse). And maybe Robert C. O'Brien (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH).


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2001 03:39 pm (UTC)
From what I understand it was a publisher's decision to change the name for the US market... I'm assuming that they thought "Sorcerer" would get the book banned from schools because it advocates "satanism"... Could be simple rumor, but it sounds believable.
Nov. 21st, 2001 05:25 pm (UTC)
They changed it -TO- the Sorcerer's Stone, the original title was ...and the Philosopher's Stone.

I think it's because people were unaware of the original story behind the Philosopher's Stone (yes, there really is a myth/story/whatever behind it) and Sorcerer sounds magical where Philosopher doesn't.

It's rather stupid if you ask me, but such is life... or rather, such is commercialism.
Nov. 21st, 2001 06:46 pm (UTC)
Philosopher's Stone
Is that referring to "The Rosetta Stone"? That was just something written in Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek. The Greek gave them insight into the other two languages.
Nov. 21st, 2001 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Philosopher's Stone
Nope, the Philosopher's Stone was something else. Actually I believe it wasn't technically a stone at all... but some sort of alchemical reagent that would change lead to gold, or perhaps a stone that contained that potion, or whatever. If you search online you can probably find info about it.
Nov. 21st, 2001 05:28 pm (UTC)
What about the Chronicles of Narnia? Or how about Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain? I loved those books as a child.

They were easy enough for me to read as a child but had stories that I thought were very interesting and while I haven't read them recently I bet they'd still stand up even as an adult.
Nov. 21st, 2001 06:40 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten about C.S. Lewis! I haven't read the Chronicles of Prydain(?) though...
Nov. 22nd, 2001 09:18 pm (UTC)
Bill says any gamer will know what a Philosopher's Stone is. The thing is, no one knows what a Sorcerer's stone is anyway, so they have to explain it. And the average Brit doesn't know what a Philosopher's Stone is either.

I also liked reading Beverly Cleary when I was a kid. I used to devour novels as a kid. Now I mostly only read non-fiction. :-)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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