Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J. K. Rowling
I never fully hopped on the Harry Potter train when I was a kid. My mom read me the first two books, but I don’t remember anything about them. My husband wasn’t into them either back in the day, so we decided that it would be fun to read them all at once together. He has a good half an hour drive to work, so I got the audio book for him and the hard copy for me! We just finished book one . . . and we both liked it. For me, it was as if I was reading it for the first time. Literally the only déjà vu was at the end with the game of chess, but it’s a fuzzy memory at best. So, as someone new coming into the series, I really didn’t know what to expect (other than having high expectations, considering its popularity). I got swept away into Harry Potter’s world and wanted him to succeed so badly. I loved the characters and Rowling’s writing style. It was easy to fall into this new magical world, as I really enjoy reading fantasy books.
Harry Potter is an unusual boy raised by his selfish, “normal” relations. He soon learns the reason why strange things happen to him – he is a wizard. Harry gets invited to attend the premiere wizardry school, Hogwarts. Against his aunt and uncle’s wishes, Harry goes off to school where he is met with many challenges like being bullied by Malfoy and despised by Professor Snape. However, he forges a close friendship with 3 peers: Ron, Hermione, and Neville, and discovers that he is a natural at the sport of Quidditch. Spoilers: the 4 friends soon suspect that dark magic is taking a hold and resolve to find the source. At first they believe Professor Snape is to blame, but in a surprising twist (after heroically defeating and outwitting many spells) they are confronted by the great dark wizard Voldemort himself, taking residence in the body of Professor Quirrell. Harry is able to defeat him in the end, but not kill him. For now, all is well and the entire school celebrates before ending the school year.
One of my favorite characters is Dumbledore. He said a few things throughout the book that I thought were profound in his world and ours. Like when he is talking to Harry after Harry finds the mirror of Erised. He says, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” Or in the end when he is talking to Harry about Voldemort (or you-know-who), “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” I thought those quotes were memorable.
I’ve heard that the rest of the books get darker and that they are sad, but I’m looking forward to reading them for myself and seeing what I think. So far, I’m enjoying and curious, and definitely drawn in . . . we’ll see where I end up!
Summing it up: I definitely recommend this book if you love fantasy. I’m looking forward to my boys enjoying it one when they’re older!!
All the best, Abbey