Book Hungry 5 out of 5 House Points to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted Sep 22 2011, 7:00 am in , , , , , , ,

Our Book Hungry members were chatting one day when the subject of the Harry Potter books came up and several members admitted never having read them.

*pause for gasp*

As they have become a publishing phenomenon, this astounded me. I’ve read the series several times over now but decided to re-read our selection this month just to refresh my memory. So glad that I did. The book continues to hold its position as one of my all-time favorite stories.

For anyone else who has still not read the books, here’s the summary. Totally unaware that he is actually famous for having survived an evil wizard’s attack that killed his parents, Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and mean cousin, who treat him poorly. When Harry is invited to attend Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he learns the truth about himself… and it’s not always pretty. Book 1 focuses on Harry’s first year at Hogwart’s, where the famous sorcerer’s stone has been hidden to keep it safe from the wizarding world’s biggest evil – Lord Voldemort – the same evil wizard who murdered Harry’s parents.

I read The Sorcerer’s Stone – originally published as The Philosopher’s Stone – when my now 16-year-old son was just six years old. He enjoyed magic and loved stories and because I’d heard all the hoopla over the story, I thought I’d give it a shot. I read it through first and then read it out loud to him.

He was instantly hooked. As was I.

And that – right there – is what I think makes Harry Potter so magical. How do you write a middle grade book that appeals to adults as much as their children? First, you base your story on a time-worn plot like good vs. evil and put a little magical spin on it. Next, you put your main character on a classic hero’s journey liberally lined with myths and philosophy. Finally, you build an entire world for your hero from the ground up, a magical world within the ‘real world’ so that it’s not only believable, but maybe even possible.

Easy, right? *rolls eyes*

Whatever the magic formula was doesn’t matter – the end result does. This is a fine story for young children. There are lessons in believing in magic, friendship and trust, appreciating intelligence, and courage for children. For adults, there is the cleverness with which Rowling retells old myths and legends. In fact, my local community college offers a course on Harry Potter philosophy. I love the Mirror of Erised that only reflects one’s deepest desires. In fact, I think it wasn’t until the second or third time I’d read this book that I noticed Erised is desire spelled backwards.

I fell in love with this story ten years ago. It provided a solid foundation on which my son and I forged a common interest that even at sixteen, he refuses to let go of. JK Rowling’s humble beginnings encouraged me to try my hand at this writing thing. I now have six finished novels to my credit – unpublished…¬†for now. *smiles*

Just for giggles and grins, I did a little informal Twitter poll to ask if anyone has NOT read these books. Only a few of my followers responded. I hope this review convinces them to give Harry a try.

If I haven’t convinced you, please read the other Book Hungry book reviews. Just follow the links on your right to their blogs.



3 responses to “Book Hungry 5 out of 5 House Points to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

  1. Linda G. says:

    Love the HP books! My whole family does. It’s fantastic–and rare–to have books we can ALL enjoy equally.

  2. abby says:

    i too have read the series several times over, but decided to re-read #1 for book hungry and, like you, i’m so glad i did. the magic is as fresh as ever and i got sucked right in. so much so that i’m planning on re-reading the entire series! i can’t wait!

  3. Kelly B says:

    I still haven’t read it. I promise to do so just as soon as I can get it less than $25.00. Or on my kindle. Whichever comes first.