Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone - J. K. Rowling

I first read Harry Potter at some point while visiting Robyn in Kansas; her mom had a copy and I read it pretty much in one sitting. I just re-read it recently and was pleased to find that it's still an entertaining and captivating story. Of course, the overarching mystery was no surprise this time around, but it's also satisfying to get hints about things that will be explained in later books.

It is much harder to read the books now without picturing the actors from the movie, but fortunately I feel most of the actors were extremely well-cast and mostly look the way I imagined them.

Rowling manages to fit a lot about the wizarding world in this fairly short book, and without some careful planning it would be easy to introduce things that could cause problems later on. I've heard that she plotted out the entire 7-volume arc before she started writing, and it seems to have worked.

In this volume, Harry Potter finally finds out, having been raised by his non-magical relatives, that he's a wizard and that his parents were not in fact killed in a car crash. We get to share in his amazement at every new magical wonder that he encounters for the first time: the Hogwarts Express, Quidditch, Diagon Alley. Friendships, alliances, and enemies are made quickly in this volume (and more or less remain through the series), and Harry quickly establishes himself as a gutsy and extremely lucky kid.

It's a very easy-entry book and it's plain to see how it became so popular; the writing isn't too tricky for kids, but the plot, dialogue, and characters are handled well and hold interest. All in all, a great start to a series.

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 16, 2007 | Comments (0)


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