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#BookReview of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

  26 Sep 2019 |    3 minutes  |   Paul Mitchell

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone book cover

Title:  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author:  J.K. Rowling
Date Published:  26 Jun, 1997
Genre:  Children's Fantasy
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN:  978-0747532699
Series:  Harry Potter #1
Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Welcome to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

For those of you who don’t already know (is there anybody??), Harry is an eleven-year-old boy living under the stairs of his aunt and uncles house. That is until one day when he receives an invitation to join Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. You see Harry’s mom and dad were wizards who were killed when Harry was a baby. So begins the adventure…

What follows is a journey through Harry’s first year at Hogwarts.

The journey begins when he is taken to Diagon Alley in a little know part of London behind the Leaky Cauldron pub. Here he is taken first to Gringotts bank (run by goblins) where he finds that his mom and dad had left him a small fortune. With coins in hand, he visits a glorious array of wizardry shops purchasing his first-year items (books, gowns wands). The visit to Ollivanders Wand shop is most memorable.

To get to Hogwarts, Harry must travel on the Hogwarts Express, his ticket says it’s at King’s Cross Station on platform 9¾. While travelling on the train, Harry meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger who share a compartment, the trio form a famous friendship. It’s also on the train that Harry first meets Draco Malfoy to be his arch-rival throughout the series.

So begins Harry’s time at Hogwarts.

Upon arrival, the pupils are put into one of four houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff where they will remain throughout their time at Hogwarts. Each young wizard must wear the sorting hat which chooses the most appropriate house for them. Harry, Hermione and Ron are all put into Gryffindor while Draco enters Slytherin house.

The pupils soon settle into school life, Harry learning that not all the teachers are impressed with him;0 Professor Snape for one. The potions master targeting Harry in his first lesson with several of quick-fire questions to which Harry has no answer. Although he may not understand potions, he does find that he has an aptitude for Quidditch, a game similar to polo, but played on broomsticks.

The book follows Harry, Ron and Hermione through the remainder of the first year at Hogwarts capturing their many adventures. It makes a great story up to a point, but a number of alarming incidents lead us to suspect that Harry may be in danger which raises the stakes considerably.

Oh yes, and then there’s Lord Voldemort…

My Review

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a fantastic read. It may have been aimed at children, but the number of adults who read it suggests that it’s suitable for anybody. The sheer imagination of J.K. Rowling is unbelievable; who else could have thought of platform 9¾, the sorting hat, Quidditch and the many beasts that we encounter in the book? There’s so much more that I could have mentioned in the synopsis but that would have spoilt all the fun for you.

I Loved all the characters, even the ones you are supposed to hate, they’ve all been crafted so well. Characters I haven’t described so far but are also integral to the story are:

Albus Dumbledore – The School Headmaster who becomes a sort of father figure to Harry. Rubeus Hagrid – The Keeper of the Keys and Grounds who guides Harry through Diagon Alley and is a firm friend. Lord Voldemort – For much of the story Voldemort remains in the background but his influence is always present. All are so colourful.

I found myself unable to put the book down until I’d completed it. So if you’re one of the few people who haven’t read the book I encourage you to go out now and get yourself a copy, you won’t be disappointed!

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