Book review: ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

Harry Potter knew that as a baby he had been placed with the Dursleys, his aunt and uncle. He also knew that his parents had been killed in a traffic accident and that the Dursley’s weren’t too happy that he was there, treating him much differently than their son, starting with Harry’s bedroom being a closet under the stairs.

Through a complicated set of events, he belatedly received an invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry also learned that his parents were members of the magic community and that their deaths had not been the result of a traffic accident. They had been murdered by Voldemort (he who shall not be named). Harry also learned that he had been there, and that Voldemort had tried, but had failed, to kill him. The result was a scar on his forehead, and apparently, the failed attempt was at least partially responsible for the disappearance of Voldemort. The reason for the Dursley placement was to remove Harry from the magic community until he was old enough to deal with the implications of his survival.

The Dursleys had gone out of their way to hide the details of his family. They were ashamed that Mrs. Dursley’s sister had married into the magic community and hoped to steer Harry into what they regarded as normalcy. The invitation to Hogwarts ended that hope. Few Muggles (regular people) knew how widespread the community of witches and wizards was. Keeping it that way was the job of the Ministry of Magic. Since he had been raised as a muggle, Harry knew nothing of the magic world, not even the reputation that he had gained by surviving Voldemort. He didn’t know that you bought Hogwarts supplies on Diagon Alley, or even that such a magical place existed. He didn’t know that there you got on a train to Hogwarts at 9 & three quarters, which as far as he could tell was a brick wall. He was to discover the sorting hat and Quidditch and the Sorcerer’s Stone and so much more. He would even learn what had become of Voldemort.

The Sorcerer’s Stone started it all. Much of what became the series that motivated a generation of young people to become readers and the series that is most in demand during the pandemic was introduced in this book. Perhaps you should discover or rediscover the magic? The film series also is worth watching or watching again.

Also by J. K. Rowling: “The Cormoran Strike” mystery series.

Bonus information: I’m won’t do a review, but  if you are interested in reading a thriller without any “good guys,” this may be a book for you: “Out of the Dark” by Greg Hurwitz.

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