Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling fulfilled the “Reread a Favorite Book” category of the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge. The classic story of the boy who lived will always be one of my favorite stories of all time.
In case you’ve been asleep for the past twenty (yes, twenty) years, HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a wonderful fantasy novel about a young man, neglected by his aunt and uncle guardians, who finds out he’s a wizard. He enters a fantastic world of magic, mythical creatures, and true friendship. His journey is fraught with both magical problems and those of a new kid at school. That’s the easy version of the tale. It’s also a battle between good and evil that spans seven amazing books. ’Nough said.
This would be my third pass on Sorcerer’s Stone. The first was paper and the last two times, I listened to the great Jim Dale read the novel. In retrospect, I should have got the Stephen Fry version of the audio. Then I’d compare and contrast.
What can one say about HP#1? It’s all been said, blogged, argued, videoed, and debated. Everyone and their mother (literally) have chimed in on the tale and I’m not sure I can bring some fresh thoughts to a great story. There’s no point in reiterating how brave Harry was, how loyal Ron was, or how smart Hermione was. Digging out the Easter eggs from Book One that play up in the end of the series is pointless too. So what can I share?
I read the story back in the 90s when it first was published. I remember the debate in the school where I taught. How dangerous it might be to have a novel about witches for children. My librarian saw the story for the gem it was. He always had copies in the school library. Back then, I was young and single and had no problem reading a kid’s book, for research purposes, of course. Like many others, the first chapter made me stumble and blinded me to the greatness of the series to come. But once I read Book Two, I was hooked for life.
My children were born many years later and I couldn’t wait to share the tales with them. But they were so little, it’d be a long time before they would understand the wonderfulness. That’s another tale that ended in tragedy as neither of them have read the entire series.
Instead, I shared the series with my husband’s best friend, an intelligent, single guy fresh out of the Navy. He didn’t care for such books. But as luck would have it, I had two copies of The Goblet of Fire. (Someone stole my CD Walkman, yes, CD Walkman, out of my car and I lost a disk. When I called the company to get a replacement, they sent me the entire audiobook again. Squee!)
My friend was about to embark on a cross-country trip. I handed him the case and said, “Just try it.” Well, by the time he got to California, he’d ordered all the books he could get his hands on, paper and audio. He wore those disks out listening. I’m so proud of that.
So, my only notes on the story are the tough first chapter. Besides that, I like that the villain conveniently waited until the end of the semester to work his evil plan (as he does in every book). And on the movie side, I hated that Harry touched ***spoiler*** Quirrell to turn him to dust. Harry Potter is no killer and to make him do that at only eleven. Anyway…
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, classic, well-written, inspiring book. Go read it. 5 Green Sparks and a hippogriff.