Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is still the nation’s favourite children’s book

JK Rowling's magical tale has beaten off competition from Roald Dahl, JRR Tolkien and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games to be named the ultimate book to read before you turn 14

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The Boy Who Lived is still Britain’s favourite. 

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Sixteen years after the bespectacled wizard first appeared on our muggle bookshelves, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been voted the nation’s favourite children’s book. 

JK Rowling’s debut novel has been charming children (and their parents) ever since it was released in 1997. And it has now come top of a Booktrust poll to find the ultimate book you should read before you turn 14. 

The novel, which follows Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was joined in the top three by Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games – which, like Potter, has become a successful film franchise since its release – and Roald Dahl’s classic giant tale The BFG.

Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights and JRR Tolkiens’ The Fellowship of the Ring also made it into the top ten, as did Winnie-the-Pooh and Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat.

Head of arts at Booktrust, Claire Shanahan, said: “As the biggest ever grossing literary franchise, kids and adults alike clearly can’t get enough of Harry Potter. It’s a worldwide phenomena – it has captured the imaginations of a generation of readers who have grown up in love with Harry or Hermione, want to be friends with Ron, and are truly terrified by Voldemort. Even when up against heavyweights such as Dahl and Tolkien, Rowling ‘s creation remains the nation’s firm favourite.”

Here’s the full top ten: 

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
5. Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne, illustrated by E H Shepherd
6. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
7. The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien
8. Charlotte’s Web by E B White
9. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis


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