Welcome to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter. Set in a series of 7 books that were originally labeled as “young adult fiction”, J.K. Rowling began what is widely known as one of the best and most universally acclaimed fiction series ever written. We begin the incredible tale with a lonely boy that lives at number 4 Privet Drive, who unknowingly has magical powers. We follow Harry through his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and become introduced to all of his friends and foes along the way. With such an amazing start to an awesome series, it’s no wonder Rowling has achieved such success with this book and the rest of the series.
We begin Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with the mundane and depressing life of Harry Potter, who endures constant teasing by his heavyset cousin, Dudley. Harry has experienced this, along with an almost constant stream of taunts and oppression by his aunt and uncle, with whom he now lives, for as long as he can remember. He has no memories of his parents: only the knowledge that they died when he was very young in a car wreck and that he was brought up by his mother’s sister and her family. He experiences a number of odd events and feelings that he can’t explain, and he has always felt different from other children in school. His world then turns upside down one day when a letter personally addressed to him announces that he is in fact a wizard, and has been accepted into Hogwarts, a magical school that specifically caters to witches and wizards (how he gets the letter is a funny story indeed). After some persuasion from the groundskeeper of Hogwarts, who pays Harry’s family a visit on a flying motorcycle, Harry’s Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon agree to send him to the school, partially glad to be rid of him and partially upset that their free labor has left their care.
At Hogwarts, Harry experiences a freedom he seldom knew existed. He soon befriends Hermione Granger, a know-it-all that helps Harry to adjust to wizarding life, and Ron Weasley, a funny and slightly aloof housemate of Harry’s that comes from a large family of wizards and witches. Together the three experience the ups and downs of wizarding life, but they come to find that not all is as it seems. Tales of a break-in at the wizarding bank Gringott’s circulate around Hogwarts, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron come to find out that a three-headed dog is guarding a mysterious object that could have been stolen from the bank. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late? Will Harry be able to adapt to his new life as a wizard?
One of the best features of this book is the fact that it is extremely accessible. Rowling’s writing and tone appeal to all ages, and she makes the story of Harry Potter intriguing and extremely vivid and realistic. I can’t tell you how excited I was to follow Harry as he was introduced to a magical world of wizards and witches that exists not too far from our own “muggle” lives. Rowling takes care to tell us every detail of the wizarding world, down to how the new arrivals to Hogwarts travel via a special boat that crosses a lake under the power of magic. It is so detailed and imaginative that you can’t help but be pulled in to it. We learn about all the rules and regulations of Hogwarts at the same time as Harry, we are just as naive about the powers of magic as he is. This is why this book is special: we become Harry and become extremely invested in his well-being. I can safely say that reading this book was one of the best imaginative experiences I’ve had with a book, and it took little to no effort to see the wonderful world that Rowling has created. Even if you don’t traditionally enjoy fantasy/adventure novels, this is one book that you cannot pass up. I guarantee you’ll love it!
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my eleventh completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
Hardcover 309 pages
One lucky winner will have the opportunity to win a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Paperback) by J.K. Rowling. For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below. Comments will be accepted through midnight of Saturday July 30, 2011. Winner will be picked at random and announced on Sunday July 31, 2011. Giveaway open to US & Canadian residents only. Good luck!!