Throwback Thursday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (# 1)
Release Date: June 29, 1997
Publisher:  Scholastic
Pages: 320
Source:  Purchased by the reviewer

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

 

Review: I want to preface my review by saying I am a Harry Potter fan. I was working in a public library when these books were first released and I saw them as children’s books. So, I never really thought twice about bothering with them. Then my sister made me watch the first movie and well, that did it. I knew I had to go read the books and I never looked back.

So here we are as the Harry Potter books are celebrating their 17 year anniversary and I’m once again doing my annual read (or listen) to the series. I decided I’d write a few reviews on the series as I work my way through all seven books. And it’s very hard to write this review on book one when I know what’s coming. And while I’m not going to spoil anything, I may reference future books in the series.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone depending on if you have a US or UK version of the book) is the reader’s introduction to Harry Potter’s world. The main purpose of this story is introduction…. everything from the characters, places, some magical history and even magic itself. Since Harry grew up not knowing of his magical roots, the reader gets to learn everything along side Harry.

The story opens about 10 years in the past with Harry being orphaned and shipped off to live with his only living relatives, his mother’s sister and her husband. Then the story jumps to current day just before Harry’s 11th birthday and the adventure begins.

The cast of characters is diverse and colorful… ranging from those you just love to hate to the just plain oddball to your hero. Be warned, a lot of people are introduced so names will likely jumble together. But most, if not all, will play a part at some point during the series.

And that is one of the great things about this series. Small little facts or characters that appear in one book will make more sense later on when it resurfaces. So, no matter how many times I’ve read these books, I catch something new each time.

I’ll admit, that this first book is not my favorite. Yes, it’s better than the movie, but just as the characters grow and the plot gets more complex as the series, Ms Rowling’s writing also improves. With this first book, you can tell that it’s a “children’s book”. But it is well written and definitely drew me in from page one and had me turning those pages until The End.

While this is not my favorite in the series, it is a very good solid beginning to a great series. If you haven’t read these books, I can’t stress enough how important it is to read these books in order. And I encourage you to savor every word since you never know what little tidbit will be important somewhere down the line.