Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book Review: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Pages: 309

Genre: Fiction/YA/Children

Personal Rating: 4/5

Awards: Winner of the National Book Award (UK), Winner of the Gold Medal Smarties Prize (UK), Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998, School Library Journal Best Book of 1998, Parenting Book of the Year Award 1998, New York Public Library Best Book of the Year 1998, An ALA Notable Book, FCBG (Federation of Children's Books Group) Children's Book Award 1997, Birmingham Cable Children's Book Award 1997, Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year, British Book Awards' Children's Book of the Year, Sheffield Children's Book Award, Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize, Sorcieres Prix 1998, Premio Cento per la Letteratura Infantile 1998, Booklist Best Book of the Year 1998, Booklist Editor's Choice 1998, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001

From the back cover:

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. 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 a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.
What an absolutely fun read. I can see why kids love this series. If I was a kid I would be reading it over and over again. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I'm looking forward to picking up book II (Chamber of Secrets). Rowling has a wonderful imagination. I was constantly amazed at what she thought of and was always looking forward to what she would think of next. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series just to see how creative she gets. To have such an imagination must be amazing! I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about picking up Harry Potter. Worried it wouldn't live up to all the "hub bub". Needless worry. It was a fast, fun, delightful read.

The basics of book 1 is that Harry doesn't know he is a wizard. He is stuck living with his aunt, uncle and cousin, who are referred to as Muggles (people who can't do magic). On his 11th birthday Harry learns he is a wizard, how his parents died and he is sent of to the Hogwarts school to learn how to be a wizard. At Hogwarts Harry gets his first owl and learns to fly his broomstick. He is the seeker on the Quidditch team (a combination of soccer and basketball played with many different sized balls on broomstick) and takes classes called herbology, history of magic, charms, transfigurations and defense against the dark arts. He makes friends makes, some enemies and learns of a plan to steal the sorcerer's stone. All through the story there are these wonderful little snippets that are just wonderful. For example, in pictures, the people don't stay put, they move around. So you can look at a picture and the people might not be in it, or they may be moving around.

If you've been avoiding this series or unsure about it give it a try. I was unsure and I'm glad I gave it chance. I'm looking forward to finishing off the series over time.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to link to your review please let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

Jeane said...

I've really enjoyed this series. I mean to read them all again someday.

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