Bone-fires in Witch Week

Kyla Tornheim kyla at
Wed Jul 26 17:01:03 EDT 2000

actually, it's a rant, with a slight spoiler for the first "Harry
Potter" book. And sheesh, the new one! A good half of my campers (40 kids
aged 10-14) have been reading it in the past three weeks.

On Thu, 20 Jul 2000, Neil Ward wrote:
> Why was it changed for the US market?  It seems 'dumbing down' of UK
> children's books by their US publishers is quite common.  We've had quite a
> debate about this on the Harry Potter lists, and most of the Americans
> reckon that "Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone" was only changed to
> "...Sorcerer's Stone", because Scholastic feared US kids would not
> understand the reference to philosophy.  The fact that the real Nicholas
> Flamel, discoverer of the Philosopher's Stone, is mentioned in the book,
> making a clear link with the title, might have suggested that this was a
> pointless change. I doubt US kids are that stupid!
oh, I was furious about that change. I can deal with changes like
"jumper" to "sweater," although I do think that American children should
just *learn* the British terms for things, dammit (speaking as someone who
still does a double-take at "chips" and "biscuits" :^). But this change
wasn't from Britishism to Americanism, it was from accurate term to stupid
term. As anyone who's read "The Ogre Downstairs" knows, a philosopher's
stone is one that turns things into gold. And, gee, is that what the stone
in the book does? Gee. But no, they have to change the name to "sorcerer's
stone," which says absolutely *nothing* about what it does and why it's
cool. I mean, a sorcerer's stone could be the big rock in the magic-user's
backyard that he likes to sit on!


Buffy: You're a real bad-ass when it comes to packing. 
		--"Faith, Hope and Trick,"
			"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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