“Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1)” by J. K. Rowling
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.
All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley—a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry—and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable. For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.
I’ve read this series so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve probably read this book at least 8 or 9 times. I love the books but I’ll try not to gush as I ‘review’ the books.
The Sorcerer’s Stone has some amazing world building. I’m the type of person who wants to know everything about a world in books. I want to know the hows and the whys of that world. Obviously I want to know everything I can about this world. Rowling does a really good job with her world building. There is quite a bit of information in this book but it’s just enough. It gives you just enough understand the basics of this world. While I would have been perfectly happy with pages of info-dumping, it’s probably for the best that it’s not there. It gives a good sample of what is to come.
I’ve read this book (and series) quite a few times. I guess I’ve never paid attention to the foreshadowing but it’s a nice touch. There are references to the dragon at Gringotts, Snape telling Harry about the bezoar, as well as other things. It’s the type of thing that makes rereading the books a huge delight. You can pick up on stuff you’ve never paid attention to before.
The characters are undoubtedly the best part of the series. Harry is a fantastic protagonist. He’s got a decent mix of good qualities and flaws. It makes him a more rounded and realistic character. Harry wants justice but he’s completely reckless to gain that justice (the Rememberall incident). Ron is just completely loveable. His humor and awkwardness make him so real. I was surprised that Hermione annoyed me at the beginning of the book. I don’t remember her being that bad. She probably annoyed me because she reminded me of me. I would most definitely be a Hermione type character taking everything far too seriously. Even though they aren’t in this book too much, the Weasley twins will forever be my favorite characters. Their humor comes so easily and I think it adds heart and warmth to the story. Obviously the Phelps twins play a huge part in my love for the Weasley twins.
You can’t go wrong with the underlying themes of the story: truth, friendship, loyalty, courage. They’re so simple but the simple stuff is what we sometimes need to be reminded of. It definitely has the qualities of a lasting story.
The bottom line? This is children’s literature at its best.