Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Reviewed by Garrett
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is the first in the series of seven books by
this author. In this book, Harry Potter, the protagonist, is an orphan whose parents died when he
was only a few years old. He lives with his aunt, uncle and his ill-mannered cousin and his life is
miserable. His aunt and uncle did not want to be burdened with the task of raising him but they
did so anyway. They treated him like a servant, made him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs,
do all the chores, and wear only gray dyed, hand-me-down clothes from his cousin.
Just before he turns 11 years old, Harry receives a letter addressed to him and invites him to
attend Hogwarts School of Magic. His aunt and uncle try to prevent him from reading these
letters. They even travel to remote locations to try to escape the many, many that were arriving
daily. Despite their efforts, Hagrid, the game-keeper from Hogwarts, finds Harry and hand
delivers the letter. He explains that Harry is a famous wizard and Hogwarts is where he is
supposed to go to school.
Hagrid then takes Harry with him and they prepare Harry for school and Harry’s amazing
adventure begins. Harry visits shops at stores for witches and wizards, visits the wizard bank
and meets other wizards and magical people. A key moment occurs on the train ride to school
when Harry meets two other students, Hermione and Ron, who will be his best friends and
confidants through all the books. These important supporting characters help Harry gather clues
and solve mysteries.
I first wanted to read this book because I wanted to see if it was better than the movie and after
a few minutes of reading it, my wildest expectations for the book were exceeded. It goes into
much more humorous detail and character backgrounds than the movie.
To me the book is successful because of the strong contrasts and metaphors. For instance,
Harry’s relatives do not want him or care for him yet they include him on family outings and they
try to shield him from his wizarding past. They do not give him nice clothes or toys like they give
their own son, yet they are concerned about how Harry’s hair looks. They terribly spoil their own
son and yet they make Harry do chores and he is not spoiled at all. Harry’s humble childhood
makes him a likable character that the reader can relate to and enjoy because he represents
everything that is good. He is just the polar opposite of the main evil wizard, “He who should not
The reader follows Harry’s curiosity as he explores his ideas and seeks to resolve the situations
he encounters. These are life lessons that everyone should aspire to and imitate. An example is
when Harry sneaks into the library at night to look at a secret book to maybe find clues to things
that have been happening around him. He risks disobeying school rules to pursue answers to
his questions. In another instance, Harry stands up to a student for harassing a fellow classmate
and Harry is rewarded by landing a spot on the Quidditch team.
The book is fun to read and almost impossible to put down because of the descriptions of the
magical world that parallels the regular world we all know. Some examples are the owl postal
delivery service, goblins who run the bank and the secret train platform at the station.
Other elements I enjoyed were the Hogwarts system of sorting students into their houses and
the other student characters Harry encounters. Additionally, the talking paintings inside the
school let the reader into insights into the story that are not told by the main characters.
Overall, I enthusiastically give this book a 10 out of 10 and would recommend it to people who
like fantasy and for people who are ages 9 - through adulthood. It is addictive to read and hard
to put down. It is the foundation to understanding the entire series about Harry Potter because
one book builds upon the next. It made me want to read all seven books, which I did. Lastly, it is
an incredibly imaginative and creative example of writing that should inspire every reader to
think about how they too can develop and publish as captivating a story.