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Letters to J. K. Rowling

from Inquiry Unlimited

[in pursuit of inquiry-based strategies.]

These are the thoughts of fifth grade students after reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone represented in letter form to J. K. Rowling. They sent the letters to her in March, 2000.

Words can't describe how great that first Harry Potter book was! At the beginning I wasn't really interested in it all that much but as I got into it, I was interested in it. I learned three important things. First, there's always a time and place for everyting in life. Second, if you put your mind to something you really want to do you can accomplish it with hard work and effort. Third, your friends are the ones that will stick by you.

For example, when Harry was told to use the invisibility cloak only for emergencies, that shows there's a time and place for everything. Remember when Harry got into it? Later in the book, Harry used his powers and his strength to defeat Voldemort. That showed that you can accomplish anything if you really put your mind to it. The main thing I learned that was similar to something I learned from The Phantom Tollbooth is friends are true friends who stick with you through everything in life.

So, in conclusion, I think I learned some very interesting and important things from your well-written book. (Sateydra B.)

Your story of Harry Potter was really exciting and funny. When Harry was defending himself against Quirrell and Voldemort, that made me say, what next! It was funny when Harry said he was going to have a lot of fun with Dudley that next summer.

Harry sees a lot of scary things in the story. Take an invisible animal or person drinking the unicorn's blood. That wasn't something you see every day, but Harry wasn't afraid when he saw it like Malfoy and Fang, the dog, were. He stayed there, but then his scar started to hurt. Then he was saved by Firenze.

I also liked the first Quidditch match. It was funny and dangerous. It was funny because when Harry caught the golden snitch in his mouth and the referee said he caught it and Flint, the other seeker, said it was more like he almost ate it. It was dangerous when Quirrell was cursing Harry's broom and trying to kill Harry while Harry was trying to find the snitch.

Also, I liked the Halloween chapter. What I liked was the mountain troll getting bashed over the head with his own club. He got knocked with his own property! I also liked how Hermione lied to a teacher for Harry and Ron! That was amazing because she thinks teachers are saints!

Finally, I am saying that I loved this story. It had a lot of things to read about. (Jaime B.)

You have really inspired me to like fantasy. In this prompt, I will tell you what was my favorite part, how it goes altogether and what made me like fantasy.

Ever since I started to read, it has been boring because the books I read were boring. But then my teacher brought your book. It was amazing with talking pictures and especially the Mirror of Desire. That was my favorite part. Harry got to see his family and everything else. That was the best out of my choice. Not that I don't like the other parts.

This book goes all together like when Hagrid and Harry went to the bank and you told about the sign and what happened and how the bank got robbed. The only thing you should do is get right to the point.

What really made me like fantasy was how you had talking pictures and also the mirror of Desire.

Please see if you can write more books. (India C.)

I really like your writing. I have always hated fantasy books until I read your book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This book was great. It didn't take too long to read and was very interesting. I really like it and can't wait to read your next book.

I like your first books. It had lots of ideas. I liked when you created the mirror of Erised. It was great to find out in the secret words you put that it meant things you desire the most. I thought Quirrell was the good person and Snape was Voldemort in disguise. You made it seem that there was no other possibility. I was wrong. It was Quirrell working for Voldemort. What I like about the book was that I felt excited and sometimes scared because when I was reading the second to last chapter I felt like it was becoming real. I like that about your work. You put some fun into it.

Your book is great. Children and grown-ups of all ages enjoy these. I hate to read and hate fantasy books. This proves that you are a good writer because the book made me change my mind about fantasy and reading. I know you will continue to write more of these fantastic books. You're a great author and have a lot of talent. your characters are great. They all have something to connect to real life. There were bullies, brats, know-it-alls, and a whole lot more. The characters show a lot of action and I like that.

I'm happy that I read your fantasy book. Now I am starting to open other fantasy books. This book can change your mind and tell you what you see is not to be suspected. You showed this when you had Hermione think that Snape was trying to hurt Harry. Well, she was wrong about that and got Snape caught on fire for no reason. Snape was really trying to save Harry's life from Voldemort. As a reader, you don't really have to believe what you see. It is not always true. It could be an act like in this book, and it sure fooled me for some time until I found out the truth. That is what I was thinking about while reading this book.

I have really learned a lot from your book. I really admire your writing. (Kenti E.)

I have both of your first two Harry Potter books on tape. I like to listen to them at night since I don't fall asleep right away. At least not until 11 o'clock, that is.

What I really wanted to write on was your first Harry Potter book. I like it but you take too long to get to the point. You took all that time to get to the sorcerer's stone.

Why must you tell how people get hurt like you do? You can really describe good but you should do stuff telling that they hurt their leg but not use all that blood and gory stuff.

When Snape got hurt, did you have to describe it like that? I think you said he got his leg torn off. I think that was really nasty.

I think that you are very talented and as you write more of these books you will get even more amazing. Keep on going, you'll reach the top. (Imani G.)

I'm writing you this letter to tell you how great your first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was. I just finished reading it.

The part I loved the most about your book was how clever the ending was. I liked the way you had Harry's curiosity pay off for him and how brave he was. Also, I liked they way you had Voldemort be set up. First he was a great, powerful, evil sorcerer. Then he doesn't even have enough strength to maintain his own body shape.

The book was pretty long though. That was the only thing I didn't like about the book. It looked like when you were writing it you could not think of a way to end the book. You should have planned the plot out before you wrote it.

The parts about the book I liked the most were the Quidditch matches. They were very creative the way you had the rules and equipment set up for the game. Where did you come up with the idea for Quidditch? I wish it were real. It sounds fun to play. Also, where did you come up with the idea for the sorcerer's stone? It sounded interestingly mysterious.

That's all I have to say about your wonderful book. I would also try to read the next book and maybe the whole series. I would like to thank you for writing the series. They are great! (Sharee J.)

You write so great! I just finished reading your first Harry Potter book. I don't like reading long books, but I really enjoyed reading your book so I am writing you to tell you some of the things and ideas I liked.

There are so many things I like, I don't know where to start. I really liked Hogwarts so I'll start with that. One thing in Hogwarts I liked was that you have to know the password to get in some places. To get through the portrait with the Fat Lady you have to say "Pig Snout." I thought that was real neat. Also, I liked the mirror of Erised where you had readers look backwards at it to say Mirror of Desire.

Now, let me talk about the characters. I like the way Harry, Hermione, and Ron were good at something and at the end it came to be known. At first, I didn't like Hermione, but throughout the story, she became more fun. About the three-headed dog, I thought it was funny that it was so ferocious but had such a sweet, kind name - - Fluffy. You really had me going about Quirrell and Snape. I thought that Snape was the bad guy. That is until the end when I found out it was Quirrell and Voldemort.

I loved this book, but there was one thing that I didn't like. That one thing is that you took so long to get to your point. You did add stuff to make the story more interesting. If I had to rate this book 1-10, it would be a 10! (Antoinette L.)

This letter is to tell you what I think of your book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's funny, exciting, and scary.

First, it is funny because Harry at the zoo made the glass on the snake tank disappear. Next, he kept getting letters from someone he didn't know. Finally, Hagrid made Dudley have a pig tail on his bottom.

Second, it's exciting because he had to run through a barrier to get to the hidden platform. They had to tap the wall to get through into an alley and that was exciting. It was exciting to wait until Harry found Voldemort. It was exciting when Harry made the glass on the snake tank disappear.

Finally, it's scary because the Dursleys could have killed Harry. He kept getting letters from a mysterious person. Harry had to get Norbert up to the top of the tower without getting caught. Voldemort could have killed Harry trying to get the stone.

What I have been trying to prove is this is a good book and I'm glad you wrote it. (Shakeil M.)

I have finished two or your Harry Potter books. I am going to start the 3rd one. I have always been a fan since I read the first book. It took me to the world of witches and wizards.

The first books was interesting. I must say that the idea you had on making Harry a wizard who lived with Muggles was very creative. I enjoyed the idea that he didn't know he was a wizard.

I did not like the part when Harry got the letters and when Uncle Vernon didn't give them to Harry. I didn't like it because I thought it was not right that Uncle Vernon kept doing that to Harry and never told Harry his secrets.

My favorite part in the whole book was the part when Harry destroyed the body that Voldemort was hiding in. It was my favorite part because Harry destroyed the one person he hated the most in the world while he was right before Malfoy and his group.

In conclusion, the book was very interesting to read. I loved the book. I hope to read the other books and hpe to read the 3rd one. Good luck on the other books. I can't wait to read them ALL.

P.S. I saw you in a book. You were in a wizard's robe. You looked like a real witch going to Hogwarts. (Samantha M.)

Hello. I will tell you how I like your book but I will also tell what I thought wasn't important in it. I am not trying to be mean, okay?

I think you are a great writer because when you write you are trying to express yourself. I think the characters you made "acted" good. I thought that you did well because when you put Snape, Voldemort, and Quirrell in the story, it was better. Most stories have a bad person. Those are things I thought were good in the story.

I liked when you did the Mirror of Erised (Desire). I thought that was cool. I wish I had one so it could tell all my desires.

The parts I thought weren't needed or weren't important are all that stuff in the middle of the book because supposedly the book is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, right? Well, I thought you needed to talk more about the stone. That was supposed to be the main part of the book, but you left it for the end.

I still think you are a great writer because some of those details were funny and some were sad. You did a good job. I'm also sure you did much better in your other books of Harry Potter. (Brenda O.)

I love the books you write! Not too long ago I read your first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I'm just writing to you to tell you how much I love the books and how you could make them better.

There's only one thing that I don't like about this book. It has three hundred and nine pages and the chapters sure are long.

I like the school Hogwarts. I like some of the things that Hogwarts has like the Mirror of Erised. I like this mirror because it shows your deepest desires and people like Harry are desperate to see their desire, even if it means seeing your parents for the first time in your life.

I also like the invisibility cloak because without it Ron, Hermione, and Harry wouldn't have been able to get the sorcerer's stone before Quirrell got it. It's also good that you made the characters good at something. If Ron didn't know how to play chess then they wouldn't know how to play and get their way across the board. If Hermione wasn't smart then she wouldn't know which bottles to drink in order to go through the fire.

The only think about your book is that it was too long. Otherwise your book was good. I know I'm going to read your next book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Your books are so great I hope I get to read all 7 of them. (Rushekia R.)

Your first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, caught my attention as I was reading. I got so into the book that I couldn't let it go until I finished. The book contains mystery, adventure, creative characters and everything I enjoy put together.

I think it's very clever the way you made Harry have a lightning scar on his forehead and the way it burns. The Mirror of Erised is one of my favorite parts in the book. I figured out the message written on top of the mirror because I've seen a lot of other authors use the same idea.

The most surprising part of the story was when I discovered it was Professor Quirrell causing all the trouble. It's always the person that's least expected that is evil and bad. I think the fat lady on the portrait is great. I like the way she can talk and leave when she wants.

Another thing I though was clever was when Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to go through all these rooms to get to the sorcerer's stone. It was like a video game because you had to use your knowledge and fight monsters until you found the treasure. First, they had to get through the three-headed dog and it's funny that you named it Fluffy.

I love reading, especially a long interesting book. I heard t here are seven books and I'm looking forward to reading all of them. I'm sure the others will be as good as your first book. (Laurie T.)

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