Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first in the seven book series about a boy wizard.  Harry Potter is an orphan living with his cruel aunt and uncle when he receives a letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and WIzardry.  He learns that he not only has magical powers, but he defeated the evil Voldemort as a baby.  As Harry begins his education, he meets his best friends Ron and Hermione.  The three friends uncover secrets of their school, and fight to save it from destruction.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is appropriate for fourth grade and up.  Obviously adults have enjoyed this series too!  You can’t write about orphans in literature without mentioning Harry Potter!  This is a great book for students to read on their own.  I would encourage them to discuss the book with me or with their peers.  This series almost always grabs a reader from the first page and doesn’t let go till the last word of the seventh book!

Rowling, J.  (1999).  Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone.  New York: Scholastic.

Ahmed and the Feather Girl

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Ahmed and the Feather Girl is the tale of an orphan who finds a magical egg as he travels with a circus.  The egg hatches a singing girl named Aurelia, who is kept in a cage by the cruel owner of the circus.  Ahmed is kind to the feathery Aurelia and is able to get the key to release her.  He then dreams that Aurelia visits him and gives him feathers, which he finds each morning.  Once he has enough, Ahmed makes a cloak and flies away with Aurelia.

This picture books is illustrated with watercolors by the author.  Ahmed is an orphan living in a setting many children dream of: the circus.  It is a great book for ages 5-8.  I would choose to read this book aloud and take time to point out the illustrations.  Students could work on making predictions as we read about Ahmed and his dreams.

Ray, J.  (2010).  Ahmed and the feather girl.  London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.