Facts:

  • Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Author: J.K. Rowling
  • Genre: Fiction (Modern Literature)
  • Year of Release: 1997
  • Read 223-page hardcover edition in April 2013.

Book Description: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary, and unlucky, boy.  He lives in a cupboard, is picked on by his bigger cousin Dudley, and is put down by his mean Aunt and Uncle.  However, on his eleventh birthday, which has been forgotten by his family, he gets an amazing visit by none other than a giant.  He learns that he is, in fact, a wizard.  Like his parents before him, whom he never knew, he is to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learn how to be a wizard.  However, a mysterious object is being heavily guarded at Hogwarts, and Harry and his newfound friends become involved in the protection of this peculiar stone, from an evil that not only killed Harry’s parents, but tried to kill him as well.

Book Review: I decided to re-read all the Harry Potter books again in 2013 partly because I hadn’t read them quickly one after another, and I wondered whether I would learn new truths from moving from one to another quickly.  The other reason was simply for pure enjoyment, having read them as they came out back in the 1990s and 2000s.  Anyways, on to the review!  This novel by first-time writer Joanne Rowling, is truly an incredible tale, which takes children’s literature to a stunning new level.  Rowling has done a magnificent job of creating an entirely new environment for her characters, which are themselves very interesting people.  She has developed an entire culture and aura around the group of wizards who live in secret.  Not only is the setting developed in mythic intrigue and detail, but Rowling has also created a vast panoply of characters that are truly unique and unforgettable.  Rowling describes the inner workings of Harry’s mind with amazing and sometimes heart-wrenching details, and the children in the story are themselves very unique individuals, which young readers will be happy to get to know.  Rowling not only uses vivid imagery in her descriptions of Hogwarts and the wizard world, but she also throws in a lot of British humour and phrasing which is a welcome presence.  The conclusion of the novel is also nicely written, with an ending that is thankfully not the same old simplified ending as other children’s books, but one that shares a lesson and leaves lots of room for more future tales.  Finally, the main character of Harry is written with such wonderful appeal, both for kids and adults.  Rowling has created a main character who matters in the reader’s mind, and her hero is truly written with personal passion.  This is a character who we really care about, and with the amazing setting of Hogwarts, Rowling has truly written an amazing and powerful first novel, for readers of all ages.

Overall: 5 stars out of 5

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