Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Middle Grade | Fantasy | Classic Literature
Goodreads | Amazon
Published by Scholastic
Released June 26, 1997
I was eleven years old when the first Harry Potter book came out in the United States. I grew up with the series, eagerly awaiting each next book. When the 800+ page fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released, I read the entire book in a single day because I refused to do anything else. The series will always have a special place in my heart, and I hope that if I have children one day, I can pass that love onto them.
I’ve been wanting to reread this series for so long. I reread it once in my early twenties, and now that I’m in my early thirties, I thought it would be a good time to do so again. My house burned down when I was 19, so I lost all of my original copies, but I found this set on Amazon of the hardcovers that came in a cute trunk and purchased it.
When I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this time around,I was worried that I might have outgrown it. These are middle-grade books from twenty years ago, after all. I needn’t have worried, however. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked all over again and felt as intrigued and excited as I did when I was eleven and reading it for the first time.
I’m assuming you know what the plot of Harry Potter is, so I’ll jump straight into the review.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first and shortest book of the collection. It follows Harry and his new friends during their first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
One of the first things I noticed on this reread was my absolute fury towards the Dursleys for the child abuse they constantly throw Harry’s way. When I read the book at eleven years old, I know this wasn’t something that I would have paid much attention to, as I was more focused on the magic and the creatures and wanting my own wand. As an adult, however, the level of abuse shook me. As a result, when Harry gets to leave and go to Hogwarts, despite the protests of his adopted family, I felt a wonderful sense of relief for him.
The Harry Potter novels are the only books I’ve read by J. K. Rowling, but I’ve always loved the pacing of these books and her writing style in them. Nothing in the books is unnecessary or pointless fluff – every word matters. There’s also a great deal of foreshadowing that you might not pick up on during your first read through. That’s always a trait I love in books and it made the story move at a steady and fast pace.
The story is sad, funny, infuriating, and endearing all at once. Each character has their own distinct motivations and personalities that bring them to life. They’re courageous and imperfect, making plenty of mistakes along the way, but do the right thing in the end. I was reminded in this reread that Hagrid is one of my favorite characters, at least in this first book. His loyalty to Hogwarts and to Harry is wonderful and he’s so full of life.
I knew before reading this that I would be sticking with my rating of five stars. Its status as a modern classic is well-deserved.
This month I’m going to be picking up the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I can’t wait to continue this journey!