Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Review)

September 18, 2010

Book cover for "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling.Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Publication Year: 1997

Pages: 224

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: From the bookshelf in my classroom

From the cover:

Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon’s house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him who’s parents have been killed in a ‘car crash’. He is bullied by them and his fat, spoilt cousin Dudley, and lives a very unremarkable life with only the odd hiccup (like his hair growing back overnight!) to cause him much to think about. That is until an owl turns up with a letter addressed to Harry and all hell breaks loose! He is literally rescued by a world where nothing is as it seems and magic lessons are the order of the day. Read and find out how Harry discovers his true heritage at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, the reason behind his parents mysterious death, who is out to kill him, and how he uncovers the most amazing secret of all time, the fabled Philosopher’s Stone! All this and muggles too. Now, what are they?

I’ve been having a mini-conversation on twitter today about my current dilemma: how do I review a book that almost everyone in the English-speaking book world has already read?

Because yes, that is somehow the case for this book (and the rest of the series). I admit it: I have never read Harry Potter before. Well, that’s not entirely true – I’ve started to read Harry Potter before, years ago, around the time when the first books were being published, but I’ve never gotten past about 50 pages into the first volume. I hated it. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t.

And yet, about ten years later, I absolutely loved this book! How does that happen?

I didn’t even intentionally go into this week hoping to start reading the Harry Potter series. It was an accident! I was reading Scott Pilgrim at school one day, finished it, and had nothing else with me from home. When I went over to the bookshelf at the back of my classroom to find something to read, the huge section of Harry Potter books (at least two of each volume) caught my eye. I wanted something simple and fun, and that fit the bill. I stopped looking and decided that I’d give Rowling another try.

To be honest, I’m really glad that I did. I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone incredibly more than I thought I would. I finished it in a few days, and it only took that long because I was only reading them for 15 minutes twice a day during SSR (silent, sustained reading) in my English classes. The story just whipped by, and suddenly I was at the end and moving on to the next volume.

I really don’t know what to say about the books themselves, though. Anything I could say has probably been said a million times before, and that wouldn’t be very helpful. What I can say, though, is this: I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the world of magic and wizardry that Rowling created. I’m not sure how I will feel about the rest of the series, but at least I’ve gotten this far.

If you’re like me, and haven’t read these books yet – I think that you should. Take the leap.

Rating:

2 Comments

  • zibilee September 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I love these books as well, and never bothered to review them because it seemed silly. I am glad you did review this one though, as it made me want to pick up the books and love them all over again. I will be interested to hear what you think once you’ve gotten to the end of the series!

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