LONDON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ --
- Survey Reveals Harry Potter Books Encourage Children To Read More Books
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' has been voted the best book children have ever read in a survey commissioned by Waterstone's. The fourth book in the Harry Potter series narrowly beat 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' to the title. The ranking also reveal a taste for darker storylines amongst children.
1. Book 4: 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'
2. Book 5: 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'
3. Book 3: 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
4. Book 2: 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'
5. Book 1: 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'
John Webb, Children's Buyer at Waterstone's, believes the reason may be to do with romance: "It is in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' that the first signs of romance begin to blossom around the Quidditch World Cup, and this probably appeals to girls and boys alike. The ranking also suggests that children are enjoying the fact that the content of the Harry Potter books is becoming darker as the series progresses."
Children Would Prefer An Audience With Beckham or The Queen Than J. K Rowling
Despite 69% of children surveyed saying that one or all of the Harry Potter books were their favourite books of all time, children would still prefer a royal appointment than an audience with the queen of children's books, J. K. Rowling, who had to settle for third in the popularity stakes behind David Beckham and The Queen:
- David Beckham (35%)
- The Queen (31)
- J.K. Rowling (28)
- Tony Blair (7%)
Voting Reveals An Unlikely Hero
And on the subject of their favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, Ron Weasley made a surprise dash for the top boy spot. Unsurprisingly, Hermione Granger took the top girl spot amongst children but Harry didn't enjoy the same landslide for the favourite male character:
- Hermione Granger (41%),
- Harry Potter (19%)
- Ron Weasley (13%)
- Hagrid (5.3%)
- Dumbledore (4.1%)
John Webb explains: "Hermione was always going to stomp home in the favourite female category as she is super-intelligent, caring and has some great one-liners. However, the battle for the top male character is not as surprising as it first may seem. Obviously Harry was always going to win this race as he is the hero, but children can empathise with Ron. He is a comedic, underdog character in the books who shows his fears but whose bravery always prevails, and we like to see him succeed."
Hagrid To Become A Teacher?
With 82% of children wanting their school to be more like Hogwart's School of Wizardry, children who voted revealed another surprise when asked which teacher they would most like at their school. It wasn't Dumbledore who took the top spot but disgraced former Hogwart's pupil, Hagrid:
- Hagrid (35%)
- Professor Dumbledore (33%)
- Professor Snape (10%)
John Webb comments: "Again, this is not as surprising as it may first seem. Hagrid has always been a friend first and someone that Harry, Hermione and Ron can depend on and trust. In the books, Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures lessons are definitely the most fun (albeit the most dangerous), and I think children would enjoy them far more than a dull hour of Divination with Professor Trelawney!"
Harry Potter Has Made Reading Cool Again
In an age of multimedia distractions, 41% of children surveyed said that the Harry Potter books have made reading cool again and 39% of children said that they would even miss their favourite TV programme to read the new Harry Potter. It is going to a be a busy weekend for bookshops as 40% of those surveyed revealed that they would get hold of a copy of the new book in the first weekend and it's a good job that the school holidays have started as 48% of children said that they would stay up late to read the new book.
John Webb says, "With just one week to go before the launch of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' there are literally millions of children across the world waiting in anticipation. This survey demonstrates the true value of Harry Potter: it fires children's own enthusiasm for reading books and inspires them so much that they want to read more."
Notes To Editors
Survey methodology - the survey was carried out through the Federation of Children's Book Groups among its members during June 2005. There were 1,000 respondents between the ages of 8-16 years old and 100 teachers across the UK. The survey accompanies the launch of 'The Harry Potter Report' that assesses the impact that Harry Potter has had on the UK.
Federation of Children's Book Groups is a national, voluntary organisation that exists to promote enjoyment and reading, and to encourage the availability of a range of literature for all ages, from pre-school to teenage. The Federation works closely with schools, playgroups, publishers, libraries and other organisations.
SOURCE Waterstone's Booksellers Ltd