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Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!
- What was Harry's home life like before finding out about his secret past?
- Why do you think the magic community allowed him to live with Muggles for so long? Why not take him in themselves?
- What are your impressions of Dudley?
- Why do you think J.K. Rowling depicts the Dursley's as being so terrible?
- What are the advantages to Harry not having known how special he is before he starts school? Disadvantages? What are some of the instances when Harry acts more like a bumbling Muggle than a great wizard?
- What are your first impressions of Hogwarts School? What about it makes it seem special and different?
- If you could have one magic companion, what would it be and why? Rat, cat, owl, dragon, unicorn . . .
- What does it say about Lord Voldemort and his followers when Quirrell tells Harry that, "There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." (p.291). Find other examples throughout all three books where the author helps us understand characters by telling us what these characters believe.
- What event brings Harry and Ron together with Hermione that makes them such good friends?
- Consider the professors at Hogwarts, including Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Quirrell - what does each character stand for? What does Harry learn from each one?
- The Harry Potter series is the most popular children's book series ever written. Why do you think it is so popular? Why do you think adults and kids both like it?
- What do you predict might happen in future books?
Make wands out of dowels, glitter, and metallic markers. Paint lightning scars on your foreheads.
Jelly beans - have kids name each one before eating it - or after, depending on the taste. Make Knickerbocker Glories with lots of toppings!
Portions of this discussion guide are credited to the Scholastic, Inc. Harry Potter Discussion Guide
Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.