Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, is one of the most famous, timeless books of all time. In this book, Harry Potter, a young wizard, faces many obstacles as he attempts to defeat Voldemort, a dark wizard. At first glance, this book seems to be a fantasy adventure story, fighting with an evil wizard to save the world. However, this book has a deeper meaning, allowing readers to connect with and learn from the characters. Harry and his friends endure the struggles of growing up: bullies, friendship, acceptance, perseverance, and loyalty. For example, there is a character in the story named Malfoy that uses his status as a wealthy child who comes from a positive wizarding family to bully Harry, Ron, and Hermionie. Through the entire Harry Potter series, Malfoy is an antagonize that attempts to ostracize and demean Harry and his friends. This books provides a great segway for conversations about the importance of friendship, acceptance, and positive behaviors to help deal with a bully.

Harry Potter is connected to my topic of empathy in children’s literature because it is a classic, world-famous story that has been read by thousands of children. I grew up reading Harry Potter and found myself to be more empathetic and accepting of everyone. Harry Potter has many different groups of fantastical species including house elves, centaurs, and giants. Rowling attempts to show the prejudice and maltreatment of these groups as a means to touch on empathy and accepting one another.

 

Rowling, J. K. (1998). Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone. Toronto: Scholastic Books.
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