Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

ISBN: 0439554934
ISBN 13: 9780439554930
By: J.K. Rowling Mary GrandPré

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Children Childrens Favorites Favourites Fiction Magic Series To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

Reader's Thoughts

Thomas

Because everyone on the planet excluding me and maybe some of the Kardashians have read this series, I'll skip the plot summary and go for a less formal review. I can see why so many people adore Harry Potter. While Rowling does not introduce anything particularly groundbreaking in terms of fantasy or plot or characterization, she does abide by the hero's quest with great precision. Harry is the underdog from the start and you can't help but cheer him on as he overcomes obstacles with the help of his friends and his mentor. Each of the characters has a distinct personality, and Rowling's simple writing style leaves room for brevity and enough imagery to pull you into the setting. Story-wise, she includes all of the necessary elements: foreshadowing, conflicts that escalate to the climax, a pretty satisfying plot twist, etc.I'll probably read one other book in between each installment of this series. I'm looking forward to seeing the characters mature and the plot become darker as many others have said it will!

Keely

Fairly standard kid's fantasy fare from Rowling as she re-introduces the world to the classic British fairy tale, which had been mostly forgotten since Tolkien spliced it with the epic. She mines gold from this rich and storied tradition, but doesn't really fashion anything unique from it.We can see the beginnings of Rowling's authorial failings (and a hint of her strengths as well). She adopts Rouald Dahl's 'awful family' trope, though it's clear that Rowling does not have the gift of bizarre characterization or the knowledge of the darker parts of the human soul that made his books resonate.She writes sympathetic characters, but not unusual ones. Overall her writing has relatively little character or style. Then again, mass success often requires leaving the more unusual elements behind. So she relies on standard character types, managing to keep them afloat through the patented perpetual plot of the airplane book.She also pulls from that old British tradition of 'children lost in fairyland', seen often in early fantasy (Dunsany, Eddison), which Lewis also made use of. She also has the vast, unknown underground of magic just beneath our world which keeps itself always mysterious and quiet, much favored by Gaiman and other Urban Fantasy authors (though Rowling's invented world is strained and piecemeal, moreso as the series goes on).The strength of the book is that it combines the tradition of the 'child in fairyland' with another British standby: the boarding school bildungsroman. It's the same neat trick Mervyn Peake pulled in 'Gormenghast', though Rowling's version is tame in comparison. Her tale of the intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of the young, outcast everyman is rather predictable, except for some insight into angst in the fifth book.Rowling's prose is quick and simple, but sometimes awkward and without music or joy. It is not the sort of deliberate simplicity Carroll achieved by expressing complex ideas in playful terms. It is rather the sign of an author whose unsophisticated voice prevents her language from vaulting higher.Simplistic elegance is deceptively difficult to achieve, and so it's hard to blame Rowling too much when she falters. It's unfortunate that she didn't put a few failed books under her belt before finding success, as such early outings are often best winnowed chaff.Her plotting--as ever--is scattered and convenient; though in a shorter book, it shows less. Her plot twists, as usual, disappoint; they are not built upon progression of events but upon reader expectation and emotional red herrings.It's the beginning of an enjoyable series, but there's really no need to start any earlier than the third book, when Rowling finally finds her pace and begins to lean more heavily on that which she does well, which helps to hide her faults. Watch the movie if you need a primer.My Fantasy Book Suggestions

Meg

LEAH'S RATING (age 4): 5 STARSRAEF'S RATING (age 6): 4 STARSMEG'S RATING (age--none of your business): 5 STARSLEAH'S REVIEW:I liked the book and I liked the movie. It was exciting when they destroyed the troll.LEAH'S FAVORITE QUOTE:"Welcome!" (Dumbledore) said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."RAEF'S REVIEW:They should have figured out the answers faster and had better questions. The part I liked was the part when they were trying to get the Sorcerer's Stone at the end. The ending was a surprise.RAEF'S FAVORITE QUOTE:"And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?""Throw it away and punch him on the nose," Ron suggested.MEG'S REVIEW:I get it! I finally get Harry Potter! I know it's not exactly rocket science, but I didn't fully understand the obsessive fascination with this series until I read the first book to my kids. They were absolutely RIVETED the entire time. Every magical enchantment was rewarded with an "ooohhh" and "ahhh," every one of Ron's jokes met with hysterical laughter, and I could actually watch my son and daughter grow stronger with each impossible obstacle or horrific monster Harry overcame. In one early scene, Leah literally started crying when Harry thought he would be thrown out of school and sent back to the Dursley's. Now THAT is a sure sign of someone who is LIVING a book, not reading it.So that's why my kids loved it. Here's why *I* loved it: Harry is strong. He stands up for what is right regardless of who stands against him (friend, enemy, authority figure, incorporeal undead wizard of darkness, etc.), which makes him a powerful hero for my 4- and 6-year-old. He's brave, self-sacrificing, and honorable. I think Harry proves his own character, and addresses the book's central theme itself, in a scene he shares with Malfoy near the beginning of his time at Hogwarts. In this particular scene, Malfoy gives a snotty little spiel on how he can introduce Harry to the best wizarding families and help him stay away from the "wrong sort." Harry then refuses to shake Malfoy's hand and responds, "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks." And isn't that the essence of growing up? Moving away from simply doing what others tell us to do and learning to discern right and wrong for ourselves? Then, as soon as we know what's right, we can work on growing strong enough to stand up for it regardless of who stands against us. Harry is brilliant! Almost as brilliant as his author, who's created a story that is both wonderful and wonderfully told. Bravo!MEG'S FAVORITE QUOTES (and, of course, Dumbledore says most of them):Scars can come in handy.Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. The very dust and silence seemed to tingle with some secret magic.From that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.One can never have enough socks.Death is but the next great adventure.Humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.The truth... is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

Elisa (Just a Hunch Book Blog)

I highly doubted that I would ever write a review for any of the Harry Potter books. Instead, I created a shelf called "seven greatest books ever" and threw them all in there, hoping that would be enough to display my immense love for them. After seeing Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows movie, I decided that I would kick start the re-reading process before the release of Part 2, so I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for probably the 15th time, and began to read. I realized part way through, that even if I didn't want to review it for its literary merit, I still had much to say about the book solely regarding how it makes me feel.At twenty three years of age, the book is still everything that it was for me when I was only twelve. I remember seeing it in a book order (remember those?) in the sixth grade and putting a star next to it to take home to my mom. My mom, not wanting to buy me a book I'd never read, denied me my request, adding that it looked pretty silly anyway (the joke was on her though, she came to love them too). Anyway, the next year, my cool uncle (don't we all have one?) decided he was going to buy them for my cousin and she was going to have to let me borrow them. So I began the Harry Potter books, and suddenly being twelve- awkward and unpopular, wasn't quite so lonely as it had always been. I dreamed myself right into Harry Potter's world; not in a dangerous, psychotic way, but in a starry eyed, childlike way. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were better friends to me than anyone I met throughout my junior high and high school years, which in a way is a bit sad, but I have no regrets.This was the first time that I've read Sorcerer's Stone since Deathly Hallows came out, and it inevitably made for a far more emotional experience than the first time around. What was once just good, innocent, fun can't exactly be viewed as such when you've seen the big picture. I literally burst into tears at the end of the chapter in which Harry and Ron finally take Hermione as their friend. Oh, what the heck? I'll go ahead and post the paragraph, in case anyone else is wanting to ride the high of that emotional wave:But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.Ah! Knowing what they were in store for- years of utter devotion to one another made this moment so much bigger now than it had seemed at first. Either way though, it's a very moving moment. I love this book. I will always love this book. And I full intend to disown any future children of mine who can't appreciate it with me (I haven't decided as to whether or not that's a joke yet).

Mohammed Arabey

سُئلت مؤخرا علي الجود ريدز-فضلا عن عدد لانهائي خارجه- عنأكثر الكتب تأثيراً في تكوين شخصيتكوقد أجبت عن هذا السؤال باكثر "تصويت" غير متوقعالاجابه عن السبب سأعلنها غالبا بعد قراءه اخري قريبا لهذا العالم الساحر والذي بدأت دخوله علي استحياء بمشاهده الفيلم في فبراير 2002ولكن الامر صار دخولا حقيقيا بحادث ما نتج عنه قرائتي طوال ليله صيف للكتاب الاول لهاري بوتر من منتصف الليل وحتي مطلع الفجر تقريباواستكملته باقي اليوم التالي في احد ايام سبتمبر قبل الدراسه في 2002ولندع الاجابه لاحقا حين كتابتي لريفيو يليق بتلك السلسله ولكني ادعوكم للخروج معي من تلك الخزانه الصغيره تحت السلمودخول حاره دايجون والحفاظ علي السر الذي سنعرف بوجوده في بنك جرنجوتسوالجري للحائط بين رصيفي 9 و 10 ولانقلق من الاصدام بهودخول بيتنا الحبيب مره اخري..هوجوراتسواذا سالتني "ستفعل كل ذلك مره اخري ؟"فلن اجيب عليك الا بـدائمامحمد العربي

Voldemort

This is a disgrace to all pure bloods. My head looked quite dashing on that strange professor's head.. If only I could have extended my stay. Harry Potter.. This is not over yet.

Harold Bloom

Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes.Taking arms against Harry Potter, at this moment, is to emulate Hamlet taking arms against a sea of troubles. By opposing the sea, you won't end it. The Harry Potter epiphenomenon will go on, doubtless for some time, as J. R. R. Tolkien did, and then wane.The official newspaper of our dominant counter-culture, The New York Times, has been startled by the Potter books into establishing a new policy for its not very literate book review. Rather than crowd out the Grishams, Clancys, Crichtons, Kings, and other vastly popular prose fictions on its fiction bestseller list, the Potter volumes will now lead a separate children's list. J. K. Rowling, the chronicler of Harry Potter, thus has an unusual distinction: She has changed the policy of the policy-maker.Imaginative VisionI read new children's literature, when I can find some of any value, but had not tried Rowling until now. I have just concluded the 300 pages of the first book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," purportedly the best of the lot. Though the book is not well written, that is not in itself a crucial liability. It is much better to see the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," than to read the book upon which it was based, but even the book possessed an authentic imaginative vision. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" does not, so that one needs to look elsewhere for the book's (and its sequels') remarkable success. Such speculation should follow an account of how and why Harry Potter asks to be read.The ultimate model for Harry Potter is "Tom Brown's School Days" by Thomas Hughes, published in 1857. The book depicts the Rugby School presided over by the formidable Thomas Arnold, remembered now primarily as the father of Matthew Arnold, the Victorian critic-poet. But Hughes' book, still quite readable, was realism, not fantasy. Rowling has taken "Tom Brown's School Days" and re-seen it in the magical mirror of Tolkein. The resultant blend of a schoolboy ethos with a liberation from the constraints of reality-testing may read oddly to me, but is exactly what millions of children and their parents desire and welcome at this time.In what follows, I may at times indicate some of the inadequacies of "Harry Potter." But I will keep in mind that a host are reading it who simply will not read superior fare, such as Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows" or the "Alice" books of Lewis Carroll. Is it better that they read Rowling than not read at all? Will they advance from Rowling to more difficult pleasures?Rowling presents two Englands, mundane and magical, divided not by social classes, but by the distinction between the "perfectly normal" (mean and selfish) and the adherents of sorcery. The sorcerers indeed seem as middle-class as the Muggles, the name the witches and wizards give to the common sort, since those addicted to magic send their sons and daughters off to Hogwarts, a Rugby school where only witchcraft and wizardry are taught. Hogwarts is presided over by Albus Dumbeldore as Headmaster, he being Rowling's version of Tolkein's Gandalf. The young future sorcerers are just like any other budding Britons, only more so, sports and food being primary preoccupations. (Sex barely enters into Rowling's cosmos, at least in the first volume.)----------------------------The first half of a little piece I wrote from the Journal in July 2000. Rest is available at [http://wrt-brooke.syr.edu/courses/205...].

Mike (the Paladin)

I read this years ago...my kids were still young.Did it bother anyone else that the publishers assumed Americans were too ignorant to know what the "philosopher's stone" was?yeah, me to.Well anyway, I've read and listened to this (these) and gone back to them several times since. Even though my children are grown I still enjoy this series of books. As originally written the series (considering the time between publication of each volume) actually grew with the first generation of kids who read them. They do get gradually darker as they go on, but (originally) the children who'd started were growing to. So, they actually matured with the story. (My only caveat is that parents should be sure their children are mature enough now to move to each volume. Now a ten year old could conceivably buy the set and read them one after the other, so, parents need to be proactive and be sure their "youths" are ready, mature enough for each book.)I'm amazed at how much I still "feel" I know these characters and care about them even though they are fictional in a fantasy world. It's an accomplishment that's seen in the best of novels. Congratulations Ms.Rowling. While they have their flaws these are wonderful books. I had started to give them 4 stars, I give very few 5 star ratings. BUT upon consideration, I realized I'd read them several times and still enjoyed them greatly. These are wonderfully written novels. I rate it 5 stars.This novel opens the story of Harry Potter, the boy who lived. We get to meet Harry, his aunt, uncle and cousin. We are introduced to the "wizarding world" and we go to Hogworts. And of course, we meet Ron and Hermione. I'd say if you're not charmed by this book and don't find yourself caring about Harry and his friends...maybe you should check for Grinch blood??? Enjoy.

Jennifer

Yes, I've been living under a rock.

Anushka

You don't like this series? Well, fuck off then. You and I are N-E-V-E-R going to get along.

Patrick Henderson

Oh go to hell. These things are like crack.So I just finished the 7th one and I have no intention of re-reading them, though I do have fond memories of them. My most recent encounter with Harry Potter was on an airplane a couple of days ago. This humongous 16 year old kid from North Dakota was sitting next to me reading the 5th book. He smelled like cereal and farts and was audibly mouth-breathing for the whole flight. I tried to engage him in conversation periodically to get his little whistle to quiet down for a few minutes at a time. We chatted about the little bastards at Hogrwarts and it kind of got me misty...not for the books, but for how terrible high school was even though I didn't realize it at the time. And this kid clearly didn't either. He just wanted to read his book and make it home. I wanted to tell him that in 10 years he wouldn't even remember what his goddamn school looked like. Instead I tried to convince him that what he heard about Dumbledore dying in the 6th one wasn't true. Stay strong, brother.

Kira

Okay, let's see here.I somehow recall reading (and not particularly enjoying) a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. So what is this sorcerer GoodReads speaks of?Granted, my copy was a UK one, and came out eons before the movies. I think I was about twelve when I read this. Ugh. You know, props to Ms. Rowling. She's an absolutely fabulous writer and her imagination is completely mid-blowing. I just cannot endorse stories about witches/wizards/quidditch. They just don't do it for me. I like me a bit more edginess. You know, behemoths. Big hairy werewolves that eat people. Zombies, bitches!So, yeah. Not for me. But still worthy of success. My rating is purely based on personal preference.

Chris

Since pretty much everyone I know has read these books, I figure reviewing them is pretty pointless. But with the new book coming out in a couple of weeks, I have to go through them beginning to end. To make the reviews more entertaining, I will be doing them in a variety of unexpected formats. For this review, I will be writing as someone incapable of suspending his disbelief.This book was terrible! I mean, this author is obviously on drugs or insane or something like that, and why she has been allowed to publish such patent nonsense is beyond me. What is even more horrifying is that so many people, adults and children, are supporting this madwoman. I mean, even some of my friends and family, people I respect have come under her spell!Her spell. Ha! As though such things as spells and magic really exist. I know she and her hoard of followers believe so, but we, the right-thinking, rational people of the world know better, don't we?The beginning was okay, and I had high hopes for it. I thought it might be an interesting story about this family, the Dursleys, who seem to be people after my own heart. Sensible, no-nonsense folk, these, who know what's real and what isn't. But within ten pages, I knew something wasn't right. Think about this - some crazy old man in robes shows up with a tiny device that can put out streetlights from a distance? A cat changes into a woman? Outrageous! And then the flying motorcycle, and nonsensical ravings about magicians and dark lords and curses, and that's where it all started to go downhill.I forced myself to slog through this mess of nonsense, though by the time I got to chapter five, I had pretty much given up. Nothing this book describes could possibly take place in the real world, and it is almost criminal that she should get this kind of fame and attention. She is a font of nonsense and mayhem, poisoning the minds of everyone her work touches. If you haven't read these books, I recommend that you stay away from them. If you have, then I beg you to come to your senses and embrace the real world. Give up this madness and join us over here in the world where truth is truth and Harry Potter is meaningless vapor.

Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)

NOPE. CAN'T PROPERLY REVIEW IT! FANGIRL TIME!!!(view spoiler)[THE MASSIVE GROUP READ LIST:1. Me2. Amy3. Bonnie4. Grimlock5. Nine6. Mary7. Rose8. Angela9. Anna10. Aly11. Jgilles12. Noora13. Tandie14. Ally15. Gertiebee16. Christina17. Whitley18. Wart19. Tonina20. Scott21. Angie22. Abbe23. Jennifer24. Michelle25. Sarah26. Kaya27. Jo28. Summer29. Amanda30. Andrea31. Lily32. Erica33. Natalia34. Camila35. Julia36. Lane37. Johanna38. Sha39. Gitta40. Lyndi41. Moonlight Reader42. Aoife43. Cindy44. Amanda45. Silver Thistle46. Lisa47. Marianna48. Anna Janelle49. Autumn50. Sara51. Mary52. Rashika53. Readmore54. Drea55. Lady Danielle56. Hayley57. Jessica58. Michelle59. Shelby60. Flavia61. Lisa62. Synesthesia63. Catherine64. Kerri65. Kenzie66. Astrid67. Khanh68. Maru69. Liz70. Inga71. Asia72. Sophie73. Kathy74. Lau75. Jackson76. Shell77. JennyJen78. Jen79. Jordyn80. Kelly81. Loki82. Jackie83. Clio84. Brandi85. Ashley86. Sofihun87. Ingrid88. Zanahoria89. Haven90. Jo91. Mel92. Kitty93. Meltem94. Karli95. Ayla96. Nadia97. Elaine98. Donna(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Manny

Oh look! A cute, funny children's book, just the right length, with a nicely constructed, self-contained plot and a good ending.Well, obviously we want to turn it into a huge, bloated, ridiculously self-important seven-volume series. Nothing else would make sense.

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