Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Review.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
by J.K. Rowling.
Published in 1997.
Page count: 223 pages.

Say you've spent the first 10 years of your life sleeping under the stairs of a family who loathes you. Then, in an absurd, magical twist of fate, you find yourself surrounded by wizards, a caged snowy owl, a phoenix-feather wand, and jellybeans that come in every flavor, including strawberry, curry, grass, and sardine. Not only that, but you discover that you are a wizard yourself! This is exactly what happens to young Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's enchanting, funny debut novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In the non-magical human world--the world of "Muggles"--Harry is a nobody, treated like dirt by the aunt and uncle who begrudgingly inherited him when his parents were killed by the evil Voldemort. But in the world of wizards, small, skinny Harry is renowned as a survivor of the wizard who tried to kill him. He is left only with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, curiously refined sensibilities and a host of mysterious powers to remind him that he's quite different from his aunt, uncle, and spoiled, pig-like cousin Dudley.

Important Characters
Harry Potter: The eleven-year-old protagonist of the story, loyal and kind hearted and is known in the wizarding world as 'The Boy Who Lived'. He has black, ruffled hair that remains permanently untidy, just like his father's. He wears glasses, is thin, and has his mother's green eyes peering out from beneath rounded glasses.
Albus Dumbledore: He is the wise headmaster of Hogwarts, though he is considered mad by some.
Hagrid: A half-giant who is gamekeeper at Hogwarts. He is one of Harry's good friends at school, and owns a giant dog named Fang. He is fond of dangerous creatures, regarding them usually as pets.
Ron Wesley: With red hair, freckles, and a number of siblings, Ron is one of Harry's best and most loyal friends at Hogwarts.
Hermoine Granger: A smart muggle-born witch who becomes friends with Harry after he and Ron save her life. She has bushy brown hair, brown eyes, and somewhat large front teeth.
Draco Malfoy: He is a first year Slytherin who has a very unfriendly disposition; he is strongly disliked by Harry, Ron and Hermione. He is thin with sleek blond hair.
Severus Snape: He is Head of Slytherin House and Potions teacher at Hogwarts. He loathes Harry because he's like his father. He has greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and cold black eyes. Most people dislike him, except for the Slytherin House.
Professor McGonagall: She is Head of Gryffindor House and Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts. She takes the place of Headmistress whenever Dumbledore is required to leave the castle.
Professor Quirrell: He is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who has a stutter and is often seen as very uncomfortable and awkward.
Argus Filtch: He is the sneaky caretaker of Hogwarts, who can never be found anywhere without his cat, Mrs. Norris. He enjoys getting students into trouble.
Lord Voldemort: Lord Voldemort was the greatest dark wizard in Harry's time; he attempted to kill Harry as an infant and was only able to leave a scar.

Gryffindor: One of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Godric Gryffindor. Its emblematic animal is the lion and its colours are scarlet and gold. Minerva McGonagall is the most recent Head of House. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, also known as "Nearly Headless Nick" is the house ghost. The particular characteristics of students Sorted into Gryffindor are courage and chivalry, of which the lion is the symbol.
Slytherin: One of the four Houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is traditionally home to students who exhibit such traits as cunning and ambition. Its emblematic animal is the snake and its colours are green and silver. Founded by Salazar Slytherin, the house is comprised mostly of pure-blood students, due to its founder's mistrust of Muggle-born witches and wizards. The house has a negative reputation, with many claiming that it is the source of most Dark Wizards in Britain, notably Tom Marvolo Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort, as well as many of his Death Eaters.
Ravenclaw: One of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Rowena Ravenclaw. Members of this house are characterised by their intelligence and cleverness. Its house colours are blue and bronze, and its symbol is the eagle. The house ghost, who in life was the daughter of the house's founder Rowena Ravenclaw, is the Grey Lady. Many great wizards and witches have come from this house, including Filius Flitwick and Luna Lovegood.
Hufflepuff: One of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its founder was the Medieval witch Helga Hufflepuff. The Head of Hufflepuff is Pomona Sprout. The Fat Friar is the House's patron ghost. Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses, valuing hard work, patience, friendship and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members. Its emblematic animal is the badger, and yellow and black are its colours.

My Thoughts
A brilliant starter for J.K. Rowling's exciting seiries of Harry Poter, introducing all characters and beginning the mysterious plot of Voldemort. It has everything, great plot, awesome characters, adventure. J.K Rowling really knows how to write and please people. I really wish that I had her imagination. This story isn't just for kids, it's for everyone. You just fall in love with it straight away. I couldn't put it down at all, finished it in less than 24 hours. I read this book back when it first came out but I decided to read it again to refresh my memory and I'm glad I did. I also love how alike it is to the movie, but the movie did leave some details out, nothing major. But I do love them both! If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend you do. It's a proper classic and I loved it.



  1. Do you know it is such a long time since I read these books that I had even forgotten which book was which, thanks for the memory, I feel quite inspired to reread the whole series.

  2. I read the first HP book on my eleventh birthday - took me whole night, because I couldn't stop reading! This is definitely one of the series that marked my life!
    But I just checked a blog about top 100 banned books in USA schools, and couldn't believe my eyes, when I saw Harry Potter on the top! O.o

  3. There have always been fundamentalists challenging Harry Potter, but you can't keep a good book down.

  4. This is one of my favorite series! It's so great.

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