Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
These books have been a huge part of my adult life, I started book selling just after the second book in the series came out, but at that time there wasn't a lot of fuss around the books, I don't recall anyone coming in to the shop asking for them particularly. In a bid to become a specialist Children's Bookseller I was reading as much as possible that was coming out and both Mr Norfolkbookworm and I really enjoyed the first two and I know that I was recommending them long before they were the huge hit they later became.
I was involved in the launch parties for all of the remaining books of the initial series, and I know that I missed my sister's hen night because I was working on the midnight launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It has to be said that she was never a fan of the books but I do wonder if this has anything to do with her antipathy...
However this year Kentishbookboy expressed an interest in trying at least the first book in the series and so my poor sister had to grit her teeth and give the book a go. I'd reread the whole series as a reward for finishing my MA a few years back and Mr Norfolkbookworm also decided that it was a good time for a reread...
As before Kentishbookboy's thoughts are in purple and mine are in brown.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter has never event heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He has to make new friends, as well as learning about his past.
Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin and believes that his parents died in a car crash (that was their fault) and has left him with a distinctive scar - which his family insist remains hidden. Strange things have often happened around Harry but until his eleventh birthday he had no idea just how magical these things really were.
Once Harry gets to Hogwarts he has to learn about his history whilst making his own way in a new world.
Harry Potter lived a tough life living with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and their son, Dudley. From having to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, to trying to stay out of the way, life was just too hard. Learning about his past brings lots of danger to him and his friends during their adventures that they must overcome together whilst at Hogwarts.
Harry's main dilemma in this book is learning who he is, who is friends are and what is right and wrong. He also has to learn that even magic can't always give him what he wants the most.
Courage, loyalty and friendship are great themes for the book. It symbolises to always have trust in your friends, no matter what.
As this is the first part of a series the morals and themes that feature in this book are all laying the foundation stones for future adventures (which I can see as I have had the pleasure of reading the books before) but learning who to trust, and who your friends are is an important part of this book, as is learning when to follow rules and when to trust your instincts.
This book is a really good adventure story and is really interesting book to read. I think J.K. Rowling is a talented author and turns ideas in to an action packed story! I would highly recommend it and give it five stars.
I agree with the Kentishbookboy, this is a great story and if as an adult I can see where her influences come from it doesn't spoil the story at all - it is a real page turner. I think that I'd give it four stars now but I know that on my first read I thought it was a great new voice/addition to the Kidlt area. I also enjoy a lot of the wordplay and puns.
I know that Mr Norfolkbookworm really enjoyed his reread of the book, and like he said the writing might not have been the greatest but the plot and story are and they are what count. I think that the biggest surprise is knowing that Kentishbookboy's mum is also intrigued enough to want to know what happens to the characters in book two...
We're hoping to fit in one more non-festive shared book before we pick a Christmas book to enjoy.