Imagine you’re a kid who faces great danger, many rivals, and who has to overcome deadly obstacles in order to survive. Well, this is what Harry Potter has to deal with in each of the seven books of the now classic Harry Potter series.
I like books with themes of action, suspense, fantasy and more! So when I first read Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (HPSS), it totally blew my mind. The book mixes all sorts of different genres!
HPSS tells the exciting story of Harry Potter, a young orphan who lives with his aunt and uncle after his parents are killed. He soon discovers that he is a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry. From my point of view, the first few chapters (before he goes to Hogwarts) are slow and boring. However the adventure picks up tremendously from the time Harry Potter boards the Hogwarts Express and the story twists and turns until the final showdown with the murderer of his parents, the evil villain Voldemort.
There are a lot of books that have a combination of genres, but just aren’t good enough to be extremely popular. HPSS has the perfect amount of action and suspense a kid can deal with. No wonder JK Rowling, the author, and the Harry Potter books have achieved such success – according to Scholastic, more than 400 million copies of Harry Potter titles have been sold worldwide, and they've been translated into 68 languages.
While a great read, HPSS is extremely long (300+ pages) and complicated considering it is a children’s book – not only do you have to understand the main characters, you also have to remember a lot of minor characters that appear, disappear and reappear again. Another complaint I have is that the book sometimes provides WAY too much detail – for example, JK Rowling takes one whole page to describe Harry’s mood or a description of the Hogwarts school; this can sometimes take the attention away from the action, and bore the reader. If some of these long-winded descriptions weren’t in the book, it would be much more fun to read. Finally, the very language that JK Rowling uses is challenging to understand, including some of the vocabulary, and the manner in which the characters talk to each other.
I recommend this book for kids 10 years old and up. Younger children might find some aspects of the story scary and confusing, such as when Harry battles a group of ugly monsters called the Dementors. Overall though, kids will enjoy reading this book and seeing how brave and friendly some of the characters are. Like when one of Harry’s friends risks his own life to save Harry.
So before you watch any of the Harry Potter movies on TV or DVD, try reading the books first! If you have already seen the movies, no matter! Read and maybe re-read the books again for fun!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Scholastic, 1998. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!
Have you read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? Let us know in the comments below!