Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book #1)

by J. K. Rowling

Other authorsMary GrandPre (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1998



Local notes

PB Row (c.2)




Scholastic (1999), Edition: 1st Edition, 309 pages. $6.99.


Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.




Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

309 p.; 5.25 inches

Media reviews

One can reasonably doubt that "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is going to prove a classic of children's literature, but Rowling, whatever the aesthetic weaknesses of her work, is at least a millennial index to our popular culture. So huge an audience gives her importance akin to rock stars,
Show More
movie idols, TV anchors, and successful politicians. Her prose style, heavy on cliche, makes no demands upon her readers. In an arbitrarily chosen single page--page 4--of the first Harry Potter book, I count seven cliches, all of the "stretch his legs" variety. How to read"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"? Why, very quickly, to begin with, perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do. is there any redeeming education use to Rowling? Is there any to Stephen King? Why read, if what you read will not enrich mind or spirit or personality? For all I know, the actual wizards and witches of Britain, or America, may provide an alternative culture for more people than is commonly realized.
Show Less

User reviews

LibraryThing member BeckyJG
My friend Padric is sophisticated, witty, and urbane, a career bookseller and one of the most well-read people I know. He's equally at home with Oscar Wilde or James Ellroy, Elizabeth George or Jared Diamond. He reads in a wide range of genres and categories, and I defy you to come away from a
Show More
seller-customer experience with him without an armful of books or, at the very least, a long to-be-read list.

And yet, twice a year, right around February and then again in July, one of us will contact the other, by email or by phone, and the message will be: it's time for Harry. What brings us, readers and booksellers both, back to this children's series, twice a year, every year?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first of the seven Harry Potter books. In it, Harry Potter--an orphan, known in one world as "The Boy Who Lived," known in another as "you" or "boy"--is taken out of his classically awful existence and transported to a magical world. Pretty standard stuff, the basic plot, give or take, of story upon story, year after year, of kid lit. But, something sets these books apart, even in this first installment which--let's face it--is not particularly well-written or even that original. And yet...

We enter the world of Harry Potter with a little prologue, in which we learn that there has been a cataclysmic event: someone terrible and evil is gone and the world is celebrating. But a boy has been left orphaned, and the prologue ends with him being left to grow up in what will almost certainly be unpleasant circumstances.

Ten years later we meet the boy, Harry Potter, skinny and undernourished but still plucky and resilient. He's been made to sleep in the (now iconic) cupboard under the stairs, his birthday is never remembered, and Christmas presents usually consist of a pair of his uncle's used socks. But he remembers things sometimes, and even if he doesn't know if they're dreams or real, he knows there's something more.

His hero's journey (and make no mistake about it, over the seven volumes it becomes a classic Campbellian journey) begins when he is plucked from the constrained, antiseptic world of suburbia and taken to be trained up as a wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he will face tasks and trials, sometimes alone and sometimes with his friends Ron and Hermione beside him.

J.K. Rowling draws from classic British novels of life in public school, such as Tom Brown's Schooldays, and from classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk spring immediately to mind), and her own reading or instinctive understanding of Joseph Campbell's monomyth of the hero's journey. What makes the Harry Potter series special is not the world that Rowling creates, although that world is certainly wondrous, but rather, her treatment of her characters. What matters to J.K. Rowling is knowledge, bravery, loyalty, friendship, and--most of all--love.

Oscar Wilde once quipped (and I apologize for my awkward paraphrasing) that one would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell. I love Dickens and I love that thought, because there must be something absurd and over the top about any scene capable of such tear-jerking pathos. And this is how I feel about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's funny and sweet and deeply heartfelt, and if some of the sentiments might seem like well-worn platitudes when taken on their surface, dig a little deeper and the truth is there.

And if you can get past Neville's being awarded 10 points for Gryffindor because, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends" without both crying and laughing, then you do have a heart of stone.
Show Less
LibraryThing member fundevogel
Clearly this book doesn't need another review. However, enjoyable as it is, I was disappointed to realize that the text had indeed been Americanized since I first read it ages ago. It doesn't hurt the story of course, but it seems like a supreme act of over-editing to tailor editions to specific
Show More
dialectical regions. Aside from the Harry Potter series no one ever felt the need to "translate" an English, or Scottish or Australian book for American audiences.

Give us some credit. I've read tons of English language books from other countries, no Americanization necessary or desired.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bratlaw
My 10 year old son was not a reader but every Christmas I bought him a book hoping to spark his interest. One year I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, at the time 2 other books in the series had already been published. He read it in two days, and begged for the next one, we bought him 2
Show More
and 3, he read them before he went back to school after Christmas break. Then he told the rest of the family we had to read them. One day I finally picked it up and was hooked, as was the whole family. These books span all ages, J.K. Rowling actually did something few authors could ever do. People, especially children put down video games, turned off the T.V., and picked up a book. We were the nerds who stood in line at midnight just to get the first copy. We were not alone, hundreds stood along side us. We never left the store with less than 3 copies, so we could pass them to each other faster. I think these books are a magical fantasy that works on everyone's imagination. I wish she would do another series of books like this, but then maybe nothing could top Harry Potter.
Show Less
LibraryThing member 391
Book 1 of the Harry Potter series. This is the book that started it all, that millions of people read and were immediately hooked by, that a certain ten year old named ZanKnits read while her cousin was taking a shower and fell so madly in love with the series that she read the other two within
Show More
twenty-four hours and remained a devout midnight release book buyer until the final chapter of the series was released. I will always have a soft spot for this book.
Show Less
LibraryThing member JenniferMReads
Each time a new HP book or movie is/was released, I reread the previous books. For years, a few fellow Potter-heads have been urging me to listen to the books. So, this time, prior to the release of the last movie ever, *sob* I opted to listen instead.

Well, I didn't start
Show More
listening early enough ... these babies are LONG! I'll be listening long after I go see the last movie at midnight next week. I read the books in nothing flat but listening is a different experience. I am reminded why audiobooks are not my preferred medium: I like burning through the pages and I can do that with paper whereas I am at the mercy of the reader's pace with audio. The first HP book is 7 hours.

So, time invested aside, I must say that I am very sorry that I waited so long to listen to these treasures! Jim Dale is AMAZING. He captures each characters voice and makes you feel like they are standing in front of you. Jim Dale is so good that I just about fell over when Hagrid entered the house-on-the-rock as I thought for sure the giant was breaking in my own door while bellowing for Harry.

Every true Harry Potter fan should take a listen. It is a fantastic experience ... and frankly, I'm so glad that I will have the audio to look forward to after I see the last movie. My "new HP" experience will be extended just a touch more as I make my way through the hours of Jim Dale's exquisite work!
Show Less
LibraryThing member ncgraham
Well, I’ve finally climbed aboard the Harry Potter bandwagon. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

(Considering that it has been over a decade since Harry came on the market, this is probably “later.”)

Actually, I did read this, the first installment of the series, some years ago—and
Show More
then, for some reason, I didn’t continue. I remember enjoying it, though, and having been hounded by the recommendations of various friends to it again, I find that I enjoy it still. Fans of the series tend to abuse the earlier volumes by comparison with the latter, but The Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, if that’s your cup o’ tea), while very much a children’s fantasy book, is a very good children’s fantasy book. Once you take into account the reading level and intended audience, it’s a thrilling ride.

The great charm of the book is, unsurprisingly, the sense of discovery. Although the characters are winning and there is enough suspense to propel the plot forward (the scene in the Forbidden Forest is very intense), it’s the scenes of “every day” life at Hogwarts that really make this book glow. The quirky, outlandish, yet somehow very familiar world that J. K. Rowling has created is a joy.

Much attention has been given, both positive and negative, to the quality of Rowling’s writing. While her prose never blew me away, I found it serviceable for the most part. But please, why did no one catch all those nasty comma splices? If the author didn’t know better, the editor ought to. The all-caps to signify shouting is a trifle overdone, too.

An effective opener for a series. Recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member readafew
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the title was changed because the editors thought US readers would be confused by the name "Philosophers stone'. I personally was confused by the new title. When they finally described the properties of the stone I thought 'That sounds just like the
Show More
philosophers stone', and later learned about the switch.

This is the first of seven books about a boy called Harry Potter, living with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin Dudley finding his life rather awful. On his 11th birthday he learns a wonderful secret, he's a wizard, and will be starting school at Hogwarts in the fall. We follow Harry as he makes friends and enemies and learns a little bit about magic.

Great story for young readers and still very good for older readers as well. Lots of fun and full of adventure.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bardsfingertips
Look what I read! Seriously, look!

Anyway, those who have known me quite well would find it bit of a shock that I read the first of the Harry Potter books. However, it should be know that I have been beset on all sides of friendly fire to read the books. So, around the time that book 5 or 6 was out,
Show More
I made a promise that I would venture towards Hogwarts once the series was over and done with.

Well, it's over and done with…and a few weeks ago, I had forgotten to bring a book with me to my girlfriend's house when I stayed for the weekend. I picked up her copy of the first book and started reading. 150 pages later, the weekend was over and I placed it back upon the shelf. Last weekend, I decided to start back again where I left off and finish.

And, I must say without much surprise to a lot of you, that I truly enjoyed it. It was fun, it was escapism at its best and easiest. In addition to that escapist aspect, it was a story and a cast of characters one could really feel at home with while reading.

I look forward to reading more of the saga.

One thing I should note: I think I figured out what separates adult fiction from preteen fiction (aside from subject matter). In children's fiction, there seems to be a lack of introspection. There also seems to be a lack of details cited to the reader that takes place between events in the story. For example: Harry leaves Area A for Area B. While getting to Area B, there might be an occurrence in which someone (or something) interrupts Harry's travels; and this is cited to the reader. But that is it. There is no self-discovery introspection; nor is there a sudden tangent that relates a current event with an event in his past while walking. Anyway, I am sure such things are developed in the later novels (after all, about three or so of them are rather lengthy). And, I feel that Rowling in conscience of her reader's change in maturity as her audience continues with the series.

Unless, of course, I am wrong.
Show Less
LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
Yes, I am a member of the Harry Potter generation. I was eleven when the first book came out and I grew up right along with Harry and his friends. This book is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most reread book I own. Throughout my childhood, I would read it upwards of ten to fifteen times a year.
Show More
I couldn't get enough of Harry Potter. One of my favorite childhood memories is sneaking onto the family computer and typing up my own Hogwarts acceptance letter, than putting it in the mailbox for my parents to find, hoping they would get the hint and send me off to Hogwarts. It didn't work, but that didn't stop me from dressing up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween or making my dad carve me my own wand from an old tree branch.

Though I don't try to be a witch anymore, I have lost none of my love for Harry Potter. With the sixth movie coming out in July, I thought it appropriate to reread the series once again. After eleven years and what must be somewhere around sixty rereads, I still love this book. For those of you not familiar with Harry Potter and his magical adventures, this is the first book in the series. Harry finds out he is a wizard and goes off to his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which he will attend for the next seven years. However, dark things lurk about the corridors of Hogwarts and Harry soon finds himself trying to stop the theft of the Sorcerer's Stone, a magical stone which turns any metal into gold and also creates the Elixir of Life. On top of hidden plots, Harry must learn to play the dangerous game of Quidditch, deal with a snarky Potions teacher who hates him, and get past a giant three headed dog. Will Harry even make it to the end of his first year?

I don't know what I can say about this book that hasn't been said before. In my opinion, it's amazing and one of my favorite books of the series. Several passages still make me laugh out loud and no matter how many times I read this book, the scene in the Forbidden Forest and the final showdown always leave me breathless. Rowling knows how to create suspense, even in a children's book. Her prose is at once engaging but almost childish in its simplicity. When Harry first meets someone, the details he takes in just leave me smiling. The first time he meets Ron, he describes him as "tall, thin and gangling, with freckles, big hand and feet, and a long nose." It's just one of those odd descriptions, giving you the strangest details about a person, yet it works perfectly. I don't need anything else. With this description (and the added detail from earlier that Ron is a redhead), I have a great image of Ron in my head. All of Rowling's descriptions are like this. Simple, direct, but with everything you need to vividly see the adventure unfolding.

And of course, as seems to be common in most children's books, we are instilled with moral values. There are things more important than money and fame, value your friends, yadda yadda. We've seen it all before. However, unlike a lot of other books, Rowling doesn't preach it to you. Characters have their different opinions (even amongst friends), and no one's perfect. Everyone's three dimensional, even the bad guys (although honestly, you'll see more of that in the later books). I would highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you've already read it before or if you somehow managed to miss the craze (better late than never). It's a great story and an exciting adventure with characters you'll love and adore for the rest of your life.
Show Less
LibraryThing member justabookreader
This summer I thought I would re-read the Harry Potter books. A lot of people are talking about them and it reminded me how much I loved this series. I haven’t read the books in so long and I thought it was a good time to start from the beginning again.

I’m not going to do a full re-cap or
Show More
review of the book. I’m going to say --- and yes, it’s a generalized statement but I think also a rather true one --- that most people know what the books are about so this is all I’m going to say by means of a re-cap:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first book in the series. This is the book where Harry finds out he’s a wizard, goes off to Hogwarts, makes friends with Ron and Hermione, learns to fly a broomstick and play quidditch, makes enemies of Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy, and starts to understand what it means to be the boy who lived.

Good? I am. Now, let’s move on. I haven’t read this book in several years but as soon as I cracked the cover, I remembered how much I loved the world that Rowling created. There are so many wonderfully magical things, creatures, and people that I wonder how someone could not be swept away. There are also a lot of little details that I didn’t remember, for instance, the fact that Dumbledore wears high heeled shoes and is a lot flashier than I remembered him to be. I relished the fact that I still don’t like Snape (I don’t know how anyone can and I still won’t forgive him even in the last book for all the horror he inflicted for an old grudge, among many other things.) and how snarky and cruel Draco can be. Hermione is slightly unlikable at the start but I found it fun to see Harry and Ron become her friends and the three become inseparable. Oh and Ginny. Ginny is one of my favorites and I love her enthusiasm and crush on Harry. I find it so endearing. Ahhh….is all I want to say when she points at him in the train station. Hagrid, oh Hagrid, you big, lovable oaf. A dragon? Really? And who else would name a three-headed snarling beast of a dog Fluffy? Yes, Hagrid would. When Harry’s first year finally comes to an end and he has to return to the Dursley’s I don’t feel disappointed at all. I look forward to opening the next book and continuing the adventure.

The books are not perfect and there are some awkward bits of dialogue and this book, being the shortest in the series, is not nearly as detailed as the later books but the enchanting nature of the story itself makes all of that fade away for me. There is something very endearing about Harry that makes me always want to cheer him on even when he’s being stupid. The world of Hogwarts is an amazing place to fall in to and there are some wonderful characters to take on the journey with you.
Show Less
LibraryThing member magemanda
I don't give out five star ratings very often. In my view a book has to be simply excellent to warrant it - it has to be a book that I return to again and again. In my opinion, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone falls into this category. It isn't as though it's a perfect book - the writing is
Show More
pretty ropey at times and the basic story is not dissimilar to others I have read - but it is a warm, entertaining, and very inventive read.

Who doesn't know the story by now? Harry Potter is on the cusp of his eleventh birthday, living with the beastly Dursleys, when he is visited by Rubeus Hagrid who informs Harry that he is a wizard. From here Harry goes to Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He finds out that he is famous, thanks to events that occurred when he was just a child and managed to defeat Voldemort (or He Who Must Not Be Named). In this first tale about Harry, we are swept into the world of wizardry and straight into a first-class mystery about the object being guarded by a three-headed dog...

So why do I love this book so much? Well, I can tell you why I don't love it! The plot is straight out of other books - who hasn't read about the orphan child who discovers hidden powers, and learns to use them in order to defeat evil? When have we not met a kindly elderly gentleman with long white hair and rather formidable magic skills? I can name a number of authors who have written about similar ideas, especially in the field of fantasy. Rowling is writing nothing original here, in terms of plot.

The reason why I was so taken by this lovely debut novel is the 'surroundings' to the plot. The world of Hogwarts and the fantastic little twists on familiar items that Rowling adds in are simply superb. Right from the first time we hear about chocolate frogs that can actually jump, and portraits which the subjects sometimes leave, I was hooked and felt that every little detail of the world was delightful.

Rowling also writes with great humour and an appreciation for the minds of children, and what would appeal to them. My favourite moment in this respect is when Harry and Ron are being held by the Devil's Weed and Hermione is fretting about not having wood for a fire when Ron yells "Have you gone mad? Are you a witch or not?" The relationship between the three main characters is written beautifully, from the way they defend each other to the bickering that breaks out amongst them.

In fact, all of the characters are very solid - it is easy to see this when people who have read the series pick out different favourites! I enjoyed the sarcasm and quiet menace of Snape, and was keen to find out more about the reasons why he hates Harry so much. McGonagall reminds me of my old English teacher (stern, but with a heart of gold underneath).

The writing is reminiscent of both Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. From the former, Rowling cherrypicks ideas from her various school stories (e.g. Malory Towers - castle-like school on a cliff, with four Houses, travel by train to get there). From the latter, she uses the sheer inventiveness and wit of taking common items or ideas and turning them on their heads. I have no objections to the hint of plagiarism since I love both authors and hence have taken this series to my heart as well.

Extremely good fun and a great way to encourage younger readers. Highly recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mhgatti
After months of promising the eight-year-old that I would read it, I finally gave in. I went into this fully expecting to hate it - it's been my experience that books selling in the hundreds of millions are often written only to satisfy the lowest common denominator. Plus, I saw the Potter books as
Show More
kids book, no matter how many adults read them. Well, after reading the first of the series, I still think it's a kids book - but a very well-written kids book. Rowling so vividly creates a fantasy world that it somehow never seems implausible, while at the same time nailing the real-world social interactions of pre-teens. The result is a perfect combination of mystery and humor (though there's a lot of set-up before you get to most of that mystery and humor). I don't see myself reading the second Potter book any time soon - I'm more of a Superfudge kind of guy - but I can now see why so many people are into the series, and I feel a lot better about my son reading it. My faith in the best-sellers list has been restored, at least until the next Dan Brown novel comes out.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookworm12
An 11-year-old orphan lives with his horrible aunt and uncle in England. He finds out that not only does a whole secret wizarding world exist around him, but he is a wizard too! From there we follow Harry off to school at Hogwarts as he takes classes, makes friends and eventually must face off with
Show More
a villain.

The first book in the Harry Potter series starts off a bit slow, but once Hagrid bursts through the door on Harry's birthday the plot is full steam ahead. Every time I read this book (along with the rest of the series) I am completely swept away by Harry's world. Of course the book isn't perfect and many have criticized the writing style and plot points, but when a story is so engrossing that it makes me forget about everything else, I tend to be very forgiving about the small things.

One of the best things about the book is how real the characters feel. Harry's wonderful friends, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid are all flawed. Ron has no self-confidence and wants to surpass his brother's successes, but doubts he can. Hagrid has a blind spot when it comes to creatures of all kind, even though they might be dangerous. Hermione is a know-it-all and a goody-two-shoes. Yet we love all of them and they work together to bring out the best in each other. As Hermione pushes Ron and Harry to work harder, they help her to loosen up a bit.

The first book is not the best, but it is something special. It's the gateway to a world that has captivated millions in the last decade and will continue to do so in the future.
Show Less
LibraryThing member susanbevans
[close] The imagination and details that go into the Harry Potter series is truly phenomenal! I did not start reading this series until all seven books had been published. It was a good thing too - once I started, I could not put the books down.
LibraryThing member reading_fox
The first of the now world famous young adults fantasy series. Charming, quirky, inventive, not actually brilliant - but better than most.

In case you've been hidden in Atlantis for the past decade: Harry Potter is an ordinary boy brought up by his Aunt and Uncle after his parents died when he was
Show More
very young. On his 11th (what is special about 11? Every YA book always seems to feature heros who have special occurances when they turn 11) birthday a letter arrives informing him that he is in fact of wizarding blood and should attend the Hogwarts school of wizardry. His fiercely normal family don't wish this to happen, but eventually he does go. There he learns the beginings of magic, makes friends and enemies, runs afoul of teachers and during the course of a year there he incidently learns more about his parents and a secret that is hidden in the school.

It is a short book. A year's worth of action is compressed into a few key incidents - the flavour of the lessons given in just one or two examples. About the first third of the book is spent setting up the storyline, introducing all the magical terms and names and the key characters, this is all done well, there are no long tedious passages, and the use of unpronoucable names is kept to a very minimum which is nice to see in a fantasy work. It is fairly light on descriptions and very much character driven. The characters are a joy. Rowling has a deft touch and a good sense of humour which makes for genuinally enjoyable characters, though you won't like all of them. In a work this short there is no room for complex character backstory. Harry is the hero and even he gets very little, but as a fast flowing story you don't really need them.

Overall it's a fun fast paced imagenative YA fantasy adventure, easily readable by adults but without the moral depths that would make it really interesting.
Show Less
LibraryThing member keristars
This has always been my favorite of the Harry Potter series for the exact reason that I hear that so many people like it least: it's the one that's the most "children's book" and the most similar to boarding school series books.

I had actually avoided the series entirely until the summer that Goblet
Show More
of Fire was published. The only reason I read the books at all, to be perfectly honest, was a series of rainy days when riding my bike to the library a mile away wasn't the best idea. Since I'd already finished the five or six books I had checked out for myself, I decided to read the ones my little brother had borrowed - they happened to be the first four Harry Potter books.

I managed to read the first three that afternoon, but had to wait until the next day to read the fourth. The one I liked best was Philosopher's Stone (or Sorceror's Stone? I can never remember which is the American title) because it was the most *fun*. I liked all the new, magical things that Harry was experiencing, and I liked the way all the characters fit so neatly into children's series roles - though I didn't articulate it that way to myself at the time.

In fact, this was the only book from the series that I bothered to buy and keep for my own. (I never did end up reading Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hollows - the series had strayed too far from the beginning to really keep my interest.) But for all that, I'm not really crazy about the book. There are loads others aimed at a similar audience that I like much better and find to be more re-readable.

I can't really pinpoint exactly what about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone leaves me feeling ho-hum, since I did like it a lot when I read it. Maybe I'm just reacting to the popularity of the series, and also anticipating my disinterest in the books that follow (after all, it is very clearly the first book of a series, and not very good as a stand-alone children's novel).
Show Less
LibraryThing member silenceiseverything
I absolutely love and adore Harry Potter! Sorry. It had to be said. No, but seriously I do. I first bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at my school's Scholastic book fair when I was in 5th grade. I remember that they were having a buy one, get one free sale and I went there with the sole
Show More
intention of finding another Party of Five book told from Claudia's perspective (I had bought one of those at a previous book fair and loved it. Oddly enough, I had never watched the show at that point, just read a few of the books...) and I thought since it was free, might as well pick up The Sorcerer's Stone. My older sister by a year had been raving about this book because her teacher was reading it to the class and she loved it. So, I picked it up.

I devoured that Party of Five book in a day, loved it, and re-read it again the day after. The day after that, I picked up The Sorcerer's Stone, read one chapter, deemed the book "boring", set it down, and that was that. At least until the movie was released during my freshmen year of high school. I watched the movie in theatres and absolutely loved it. I then picked up my 5th grade copy of The Sorcerer's Stone, dusted it off, read it, and loved it so much more than the movie. That started my anything but brief obsession with everything Harry Potter.

I just fell in love with the whole world that J.K. Rowling created in the books. And I'll admit that even though I was a freshmen in high school when I first read it (all types of grown-up or so I thought), I still dreamed of waking up and finding my own Hogwarts letter delivered to me by owl post. I think that's the magic of the Harry Potter books. The children fall in love with a brand new world that's so different from their own and the adults are taken back to a more innocent time, where you still believe that good always triumphs over evil and when we all still believed in fairy tales.

Since that first initial read, I have re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and the other novels in the series) more than a dozen times. Every time I re-read it, I get something new out of it. Some subtlety that shows up in the later works that I didn't really grasp until I had read it again. It also never fails to make me feel better if I'm having a crappy day because let's face it. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were going through something so much worse.

I just loved every single one of these characters. Harry was everything a hero should be: brave, loyal, clever, etc. And Hermione and Ron are the types of friends that everyone hopes for. The ones who are with you through thick and thin and don't judge you the whole way through. My favorite characters in this series would have to be Hermione, because I'm just a big a nerd as she is, and Fred and George, because their humor always made the books for me (of course, Luna is also one of my favorite characters, since she doesn't show up until Book 5, she doesn't get more than a brief mention here). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone introduces all of us to an amazing world with tremendous characters (both good and evil and everything in between).

However, as much as I love The Sorcerer's Stone, I do have to say that re-reading it both last year and this year, I'm not surprised that I put it down in the 5th grade. Since it is the first book, we have to wade through the exposition of how Harry gets to go to Hogwarts. The result is that the beginning chapters aren't as exciting as the ones that follow. I do have to say that as much as I love this book because it introduced me to the spectacular world of Hogwarts, it is my least favorite of the seven. It's just that the books get so much better as the series goes on. And now I feel bad for even thinking the words "least favorite"...

Anyway, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will always hold a place near and dear in my heart because not only is it a fabulous novel, it was the book that got me back into reading. While I read a lot in elementary school, my interest in reading waned during middle school. Since I've read The Sorcerer's Stone, my interest in reading hasn't waned one bit. And I think that's the magic of the whole Harry Potter series, it a lot of people back into reading and it definitely got kids excited about reading again. I think it's influence is something that will still be significant in years to come.
Show Less
LibraryThing member conuly
I recently read this book to my young nieces, who are in Kindergarten and the second grade. And, of course, I read the book when it first came out as well :)

Let me tell you, it has been years since I read HP1. I mean, *years*, so it was all-in-all a little surreal for me, rediscovering the book
Show More
while knowing how it all turns out.

This review is going to be divided into two parts: My view on the book, and my view on reading the book with two small children.

My view on the book: Yeah, it's overhyped. Lots of books are, of course, and lots of movies and TV shows and whatever. It's a good book, but JKR isn't actually as brilliant as all that. Quite aside from the fact that the woman can't do math (which leads, among other things, to any number of fan theories trying to put together why Hogwarts used to have thousands of students, but nowadays can't possibly have more than 300 - sometimes I prefer the fandom to the series, honestly!), she has a bad habit of telling instead of showing in all her books, and it's obvious even in this first one.

But, when you overlook that (and most people do), what you've got is a good kid's book, and from there a decent series. You've got adventure, excitement, friendship, and happy endings up the wazoo. I may not think it is THE greatest book (and series) to come out of children's literature ever, but I certainly enjoyed it as a kid, and again upon re-read.

My view on reading this book to small children: Well, truthfully, I think this book is not suitable for most kids my nieces' ages, and I probably should've put it off a year or a year and a half. There are a number of scary parts that might concern any sensitive child, and I found that there were simply too many characters for the younger niece to keep track of! She kept asking me "Wait, who is this?" because she couldn't remember who Quirrel was, or Dumbledore, or Hagrid! The plot of the first book also twists around a little, which is great if you can keep track of the fact that Harry found the Mirror of Erised or that Ron's brother keeps dragons... but it proved to be a little tricky for Evangeline. (And, just to brag a bit, but she tested as gifted by our school district and is currently working at least six months above grade level in all areas. You don't care about that, but I like to say it whenever I can wedge it into a conversation!)

This observation does NOT affect the rating I gave the book. The book is a solid 4 star book in my mind, the series as a whole mostly rates the same, and my older niece did enjoy it except for the scarier parts.

However, if you are itching to read this book to your small child because YOU read it as a child and you want to share it with your kid - think about it first. It may be best to hold back until your kid is slightly older, so he or she can REALLY enjoy it. (Or it might not, you know your own kid best, etc. etc. etc.)
Show Less
LibraryThing member ctmsmihet
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone is about a boy named Harry Potter Who is a very famous wizard and doesnt know about it until a giant named Hagrid tells him. Harry is undertreated and lives with his mean aunt and uncle. His aunt and uncle (The Dursleys) want nothing but a normal life so they
Show More
make sure Harry doesnt know he is a wizard. When Hagrid comes he takes Harry with him to go to the wizard school, Hogwarts.

I like Harry Potter because it has things in it that were beyond your wildest imagination and it was a combination of everything. From giants to trolls, and from wizards to centaurs the book has just about every myth you can think of. J.K. Rowling, has morphed the real world with myths and legends in her imagination.

Another thing that i really like about this book is that There are wizarding adventures everywhere you turn. After one adventure Harry and his friends do even more things to get themselves into even more trouble.

The reason I rated this book five stars is because it sucked me in and it was so good I read it faster than I usually read my other books I have read. I have to say this book is one of my favorite five books that I have ever read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member tapestry100
The first installment in J.K. Rowling's smash hit Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone introduces us to all the key players and locales that will take part in the series: we meet Harry Potter himself, the boy who lived; Harry's remaining living family, the Dursleys (the worse
Show More
king of Muggles); Hagrid, Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts; all the other instructors and staff of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts; Harry's best friends, Ron and Hermione; Malfoy, Harry's immediate enemy at Hogwarts; even Voldemort, Harry's archenemy, the dark wizard who tried to kill Harry when Harry was an infant and failed. I could go on about the story and what happens, but I'm sure that most everybody already has an idea of what goes on in the story, either from having read the book or seen the movie. If the only experience that you have with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is from the movie, do yourself and favor and read the book; while the movie is fun and gives you all the basic story, it does leave out some key points and some of the funnier moments from the book. This will be a theme that plays out in all of the movies, and it gets worse as the books become more and more involved.

Having the read the book several times already before, and having finished the series now, I can see the inconsistencies in Rowling's storytelling and structure, but at the same time, knowing what's coming, it's interesting to see where she had been dropping clues to the rest of the story from the very beginning. I also like seeing how she progresses as a writer throughout the series, cleaning up her writing style as the books go on. Also, again still going on the knowledge of what's to come, I had forgotten how refreshing and lighthearted these earlier books are, before the story starts to take on its more darker tones. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the series as a whole, and may even enjoy the later books more than the earlier volumes, but that doesn't change the fact that this was still just a plain fun book.

On a side note, I listened to the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this time around, as I have never listened to any of the books, and I have to say that I really enjoyed Jim Dale's take on the characters and his telling of the story. It took me awhile to get used to his version of the voices (I'll be honest, I kept waiting to hear the voices more like they were in the movies, but the only one that seemed to match was Hagrid), but once I got into the story and his version of everything, I found it easier and easier to enjoy the audiobook. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook versions of the Harry Potter books before, take a couple of hours and give them a listen. It's worth it.
Show Less
LibraryThing member JechtShot
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; the book that started the Harry Potter phenomenon that is still thriving years after the final book was released. I picked up my first Harry Potter book in an airport many years ago and continue to return to this series again and again. The first, where not
Show More
the best in the series, sets the stage well. Book one gives us our first glimpse into the 'Potterverse'. Hermoine, Ron and Harry solidify the friendship that binds them through the series. We already see glimpses of Harry's courage, spirit, love and passion to always follow your gut and do the right thing, we get our first glimpse of Lord Voldemort and we, the fortunate readers, begin our love/hate relationship with Severus Snape. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to read this book in my lifetime.
Show Less
LibraryThing member beckykolacki
A brilliant start to a brilliant series. Granted, the first chapter can be a bit hard to swallow the first time you read it, but push through and you'll be glad you did. One of the best things about Sorcerer's Stone is the introduction to the magical world- it's such a creative, unique place that
Show More
Rowling clearly has thought out in detail. While this is mainly a children's book the series really matures and this is a great start to it.
Show Less
LibraryThing member 4dKC
Harry Potter, went to Hogwarts a wizard/witch school, and has to save the Sorcerer's Stone. This story would be perfect for a 4th grader that likes adventure and magic stories because it is full of adventure and magic.
LibraryThing member BJK1903
Very good details. Very good connections in the end. Really good.
LibraryThing member megan_henley
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first book in the Harry Potter series. Harry lives with his aunt and uncle where he is neglected and unloved. When he begins getting letters in the mail from Hogwarts, he starts to realize there is more to his life than living with his aunt and uncle. He
Show More
is then accepted into Hogwarts school of Wizardry where his life takes a drastic turn. He meets two new best friends, Hermione and Ron, together they unravel a mystery within the school and end up saving the sorcerer's stone from the evil Voldemort. Thanks to their help they prevent Voldemort from growing stronger and returning to power.

Harry starts as a young boy who is neglected and unloved. He feels very alone and out of place. Only when he is accepted to Hogwarts does he start to grow as a person and find his true self. Many students have these same issues when they are just entering into middle school. Harry Potter is a great book to help students see that everyone can find their place. Even though they may not become wizards, there is a purpose for everyone. It also teaches good lessons on friendship and sticking together.

It took me forever to finally be convinced to start reading the Harry Potter books. I now know what the big deal is. Even though I have only read the first one, I am hooked. They are great books for all ages. It has an extremely well thought out plot line. At times, it is a little far fetched, but that is what makes them so appealing to readers. I will definitely be finishing out the series soon!
Show Less

Similar in this library




(30946 ratings; 4.3)
Page: 0.4897 seconds