My college students are reading J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, whose title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in England changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone here. Americans apparently don’t like philosophers, or if they do, they don’t want their stones connected to them. Never mind that the philosopher’s stone is historical and had been talked about since 300 A.D.
Not only do I use the book in that class, but also I sometimes pull it into my creative writing classes on the undergraduate and graduate level. Is it my richest, most meaningful book to use? No. My 13-year-old daughter is reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and that’s closer to my heart. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen are a few of the adult books I adore. Yet there’s so much to admire and learn from J.K. Rowling if you’re a writer.