Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, book 1) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.
There are no words to describe how much this book means to me. No review that could ever do it justice. So I'll attempt something.
My story with Harry Potter begins in the 3rd grade. Our little school library (and basically any library in my home town) really never got anything new. Until Harry Potter. The only reason I read was because AR Reading (AKA Accelerated Reading, er, reading) I didn't like any of the books and they had me on super low. The teachers I had before deemed that I could not read hardly at all. Barely passing reading homework, but acing my reading tests. The reality was that before the teachers had started to "teach me how to read", I already could. Between my mom reading to me, teaching programs on the computer, Sesame Street, and Between the Lions I was pretty advance long passed the silly children's books I refused to read. Though I was a slow reader. I still am compared to some of the other power readers out there, but it's something I've always loved because I feel like I commit the book to memory better.
So I wasn't that into reading after school got done with me, but when Harry Potter hit the library students went insane. There was to be a school wide drawing that would determine who got to check out the book first and then from there who would follow. When I went to put my name in the drawing bowl my teacher actually scoffed at me and told me I wouldn't be able to read it. So of course I put my name in. To my surprise I was the first person drawn out of that bowl. It was the first time I had ever won anything. It was also one of the first times I ever enjoyed a book that was “for school”. Yes it took me a month to devour it. Mainly because it didn't occur to me until halfway through that I could take my AR books home and actually enjoy them.
Upon finishing that first Harry Potter book I knew that I was truly a reader. My mom so astonished that she even bought me the other available books at the time. I was a reader! Sadly the library still had limited books I wanted to read and R.L. Stine didn't test for a lot of points. It wasn't until my 5th Grade teacher saw me reading a huge paperback for “fun reading” that it was realized that I was a damn good reader. That's another story.
I've reread and reread this book many times. Before this latest reread I hadn't picked it up since 2007. Part of it is because I soon became a member of the “real world” and it broke my heart that I would never get my letter via owl ever. Another part is because the final book came out in 2007 and the epic journey that had shaped my youth ended.
What prompted me to pick up Harry Potter is that I find myself at a crossroads in life again. A huge struggle and I knew the one book that could help me would be it. The book was even easier to read then ever. I knew my old self would have binged it in a few hours, but with my current struggle that wasn't an option. That's okay. It allowed me to savor the amazing content of this book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a simple setup book and an introduction to the world. Maybe nothing ground breaking happens, but the world of Harry is so unique it is that ground breaking. No one can deny Rowling's unique voice and power over words.
I've watched the movies since and I find it fun seeing which lines were jazzed up or down. Which ones were taken away from characters and given to others. I do truly wish Peeves could have been in the movie and I understand why not. Though really it's a shame because of a certain scene with Professor McGonagall many books later.
I did find myself quite surprised by how little Dumbledore actually is in this. Besides a few odd speeches and appearances he doesn't come in until the end of the book to make his very famous words that I still live by. So I can only assume my undying love for the crazy old coon comes in the later books.
It surprised me how insufferable Hermione was until the troll incident. “But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
What truly surprised me was how much this time around I loved Neville Longbottom. I'd like to say it's not because I know how he turns out. Instead that I've experienced enough of the world to appreciate the klutz in this book who in many ways is truly as brave as Ron, Hermione, and Harry. He's relatable as a kid trying to find his way in life despite his many great fears. Not to mention that even though he lives with his wizarding family he clearly has just as horrible a home life as Harry.
I can also see how Harry's bond with Fred and George begins. For such a “simple” book and intro to the world there's a lot of foreshadowing and clues that I never picked up on before. Even during my great reread in 2007 for the final book.
So that's my story and review for my great love Harry Potter. I can understand why people may feel disenchanted by this first book. (Though I still think they be fools.) It seems so straightforward and basic. (Though I have a feeling they either heard about the world or watched the movies before appreciating this first book.) My love for Harry Potter has no bounds. It also says something that I used it as my first book reintroducing me back into the world of reading again. As one of my favorite actors (who I deeply miss) states of the books:
“When I'm 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I'll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, “After all this time?” And I will say, “Always.” – Alan Rickman (AKA Professor Snape)
Content Warning: Huh, I don't think this hits any buttons, my child abuse/cruelty from aunts and uncles. (Not just Harry's.)
5/5 - Forget obsession this book consumed me.
|Previous book(s) in series:|
|Reviewed on BW:||Amazon:||Goodreads:|
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4)
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (5)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (7)