Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Number of pages: 309
Plot, according to the back of the book:
Harry Potter 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.
Plot, in my own words:
Harry Potter is a normal boy who lives with the most horrible people on the earth. On the days leading up to his eleventh birthday he receives strange letters by a bunch of owls but his mean old uncle takes them away before he can read them. A giant shows up the exact moment Harry turns eleven and informs Harry that he is, in fact, not normal, but surprise! He is a wizard just like his parents were. The letter eventually gets to Harry (not even the Dursleys dare to mess with a giant) and Harry is whisked off to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry where he learns that he is extremely famous because when he was a baby he defeated the evil dark lord “he-who-must-not-be-named” (aka Voldemort for those, like our boy Harry, who aren’t afraid to speak his name) which also happens to be the reason his parents died. He makes friends and fights bad guys.
Thoughts, comments, questions, concerns:
I was really excited to start this series again. I find Rowling’s story telling really easy to read without making me feel as though I am reading a book written for a eight year old. It flows nicely and I forgot how funny this book was. One thing I did notice is Rowling’s attention to detail. Whether she was describing Hogwarts or those nasty Dursleys, the reader is never left in the dark. Having previously read all seven of the books I did notice things, small details, in this book that relate to things in the sixth and seventh books. This woman really has her story planned out from the beginning, which always helps with a series as long as Harry Potter. The story wrapped up nicely without being too cheesy. It left lots of room for a second (and eventually seventh) book, questions about Harry, Hogwarts, Dumbledore, etc. but if this book didn’t turn out to be your cup of tea, the ending left you satisfied enough. This is good because I plan on reading the second one a few books from now, so even though I technically know what is happening I don’t feel like I have to go pick up the next one immediately, which is nice.
The characters are also extremely amusing. The Dursleys are one of the worst families I’ve ever encountered in a book. Uncle Vernon is just disgusting and all I want to do is reach out and punch Dudley. Aunt Petunia is also awful in the way she talks about her sister and treats Harry. As far as Harry goes, I like him well enough. I mean, he is the main character… I definitely would not say he is my favorite though. Since the moment I read through this book the first time my favorite characters were definitely Fred and George Weasley. I love the twins oh so very much. Reading through again I am sticking by my choice. Ron is a really good best friend, and Hermione is a piece of work. Malfoy is all talk, but makes for a good villain. I really like Dumbledore and the rest of the professors. Well, except for Snape. I have a love/ hate relationship with him. He does make a good semi-villain though.
My only concern with this is the movies adapted from the books. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the movies. But I saw the movies before I read the book and when I did read it the characters were not “my own.” I love to create in my mind how certain characters look and talk and act. The movie Hermione is nothing remotely close to the book Hermione, yet all I can picture in my head while reading is movie Hermione. I mean, its nothing to get too upset over, I just like creating my own characters.
Read the book, skip the movie. Having read this again I realized just how much the movie left out. So many important details! (Yes, I am fully aware that they have to leave certain things out of movies, but seriously. They could have done a slightly better job with the script.) Okay, fine. If you are going to see the movie then at least promise me you will read the book either before or after. Just read it at some point. I promise you it will be worth your time. This is an amazing book.