Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (HP #1)" by J.K. Rowling

Chances are, you've heard of this book. It's very likely that you've read it- or re-read it- a time or two. I've read this many times, as a child, as a teen, and as an adult, so it seems only natural for me to write a review.

This book was banned in our house shortly after it entered, due the the presence of witchcraft and wizardry, and for other stupid reasons that never made sense in the first place. My brother was able to read the first four books without much trouble, but I couldn't read this series openly in our house without the a certain tyrant of a parent throwing a hissy fit. I was forced to buy the rest of the books covertly, sneak them in the house, and put them on the bottom shelf. If you happen to be a parent, don't ban books- your children will read them anyway, and bury you with that banned book in your hands, and then read a line from said banned book every time the child visits your grave. True story.

The Plot:
Orphaned shortly after birth, Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs as a neglected ward of the Dursleys. As soon as Harry turns eleven, at the stroke of midnight, his world changes. He's been admitted to Hogwarts, a prestigious school of witchcraft and wizardry that both of his parents went to. But he soon learns the scar on his forehead is not the result of a car crash, and he has a foe who may be the greatest wizard of them all...

My favorite quote:

"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."

          ~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling

As a kid, I loved this book because Harry was living a dismal life until the day he turned eleven, when everything changes and he realizes his destiny. As a teen, I loved the concept of a hidden world that ordinary people (Muggles) couldn't see, and the resulting sense of escapism every time I read a Harry Potter book. As an adult, I can appreciate every aspect of this book: the world, the characters, the story, the characters, the humor, the characters, the magic, and most important of all: the Characters.

If you haven't read this book, you've probably missed out on a lot of nerd-culture moments in the last fourteen years or so. I never went to any parties, never wrote a fanfiction of this, and never did anything Harry Potter-related, but I spent much of my teen years with friends who'd read it and liked to discuss it amongst ourselves. Most disappointing to us was the fact we didn't get accepted to Hogwarts (or its American cousin) when we turned eleven, but at least we had the books.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a book that promotes childhood reading, and brings back the childhoods of those who grew up reading it. It may not be written to the tastes of many who read it as adults, and some people don't like it at all, despite reading it as children. But if you have a taste for magic, humor, friendship, mythical beings, and extraordinary adventures, this may be the book for you.

Rating: 5 of 5 stars, for a banned book that made me want to be a witch!

Content: Suitable for almost everyone: mild violence and witchcraft, Ages 9+.

Page Count: 309 pages in my hardcover edition

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