Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter has grown up his entire life believing he is completely ordinary. He lives at his relatives the Dursley’s who seem to hate Harry for no good reason. Mysteriously, Harry starts to receive letters from an unknown source that his Uncle Vernon keep taking away. On his 11th birthday Harry is visited by a half giant named Hagrid who tells Harry that he is a wizard who has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry had never learnt this do to the Dursley’s hate of anything abnormal with them being muggles (non magical). Hagrid also informs Harry that well he is no only a wizard he is famous for surviving an attempted murder by an evil wizard named Lord Voldemort who killed Harry’s parents though for some reason died trying to kill Harry. After learning this, Harry is whisked away to learn magic, make friends and begin an adventure he could not have imagined.
Harry Potter is an intelligent, witty and kind character who after learning he is a wizard develops a confidence in himself that he did not have before. After discovering that he is famous and the son of two talented wizards Harry does not develop a bighead and believes he needs to prove himself before he receives any praise. Harry proves himself courageous throughout the novel as he puts himself in dangerous situations to save people and when he is in danger while he is scared, he stands his ground to do what is right. Harry proves himself to be a kind character as he stands up for people who are being picked on like his friends Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom and Hagrid. Harry develops to be a capable wizard (for 11 years old) and proves himself a brave and good person. Ron Weasley is Harry’s best friend and is the second youngest of 7 kids. Ron is a very loyal friend and family member constantly standing by Harry’s side throughout the entire book. Ron is also incredibly funny as he lightens the mood during many scenes and also is good at insults like Harry. He also provides an insight to the wizarding world as out of Harry’s two closest friends Ron is the only one to come from an all wizard family so he understands that world and constantly is a good friend by explaining things about wizards and Hogwarts to Harry. Hermione Granger is Harry and Ron’s other friend who comes from a muggle family so the whole wizarding world is new to her. Well she might not be from a wizard family that does not stop her as she decides to read all their textbooks ahead of time as she enjoys books and likes to know every answer. At first her and the boys do not get along very well with Harry and Ron thinking she is just a know it all but after an incident where they save each other they then become good friends. Other than her extreme intelligence, Hermione proves to be a very caring friend as she constantly is looking out for the boys and helps them with their homework. She is a good friend who is constantly looking out for Harry and Ron.
I believe that this book is a perfect opening to a series as it properly introduces the world and characters in numerous interesting ways. The characters are vastly different and intriguing with the Harry, Ron, and Hermione as I already discussed are great characters but also there is the greatest wizard of all the headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall who is a strict but caring professor that Harry grows fond of as well as Hagrid who loves Harry and is Harry’s first friend and first person he meets in the wizarding world. Hogwarts as a school is well realized with amazing descriptions of the corridors, the classrooms, the dormitories, the great hall and the grounds with many things that make it unique like moving pictures and moving staircases. The world as a whole is described in great detail with such things as there being a wizard bank, government, newspaper etc. The story itself is quite interesting with a captivating mystery and good twists.
The only thing that I think could be a weakness of the book is that this first book is meant for kids so there are some childish elements.
All in all, I give this book my highest recommendation of them all and would say this is good for anyone.
This was a quick, easy read for me, and one that I enjoyed. From the characters to the plot, J.K. Rowlings has produced a near-perfect introduction to the Harry Potter series. This book is only 223 pages, but the details are remarkable. Every scene is described in such depth that I had no problems visualizing any part of Hogwarts.
There are so many characters found in this book, but they all add to the novel. Whether they advance the plot, or they develop one of the protagonists or antagonists, there are very few wasted characters found in this book.
I found the plot moves along quite quickly, but I didn’t find myself with questions about holes in the plot or in character descriptions. One thing I do like about the plot is that it kept me captivated for the entire novel, a true page turner, but it also left me looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book is perfect for a young reader looking to jump into the world of fantasy without the large amounts of violence, or even a more mature reader who has enjoyed the genre. The book does a great job of appealing to many audiences, and I think most people will quickly fall in love with the world surrounding Hogwarts quite quickly.
The biggest strength of this novel is the ease at which you can immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter. Along with the lighter tone, the book also provides dark moments, which aid in the world building, which allows older readers to enjoy the story as well. The book also has good use of foreshadow, which creates a beautiful mystery revolving around the namesake of the book, the Philosopher’s Stone. However, the main weakness of this novel is the simplicity. Besides the mystery, there is not much deeper story than that. The description of the world is surface level, as it is a shorter novel.
All in all, the novel is still a fun book to read and is open for readers of all ages.
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Rowling, J. K., & Kay, J. (2018). Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone. London: Bloomsbury Children’s Books.