Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Re-Read 2015: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Summary (from Goodreads):
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.
It feels weird reviewing this book. I can honestly say that this book, along with the 6 others, helped make me become the person I am today. I grew up with them. I first read this book when I was 11, and I have read it many times since. Every kid has those books their parents would wish they’d grow out of. The books they read over and over and refused to stop talking about. These books were that for me. I am a huge fan. I have read and written fan fiction. I was the president of my college’s Harry Potter Club. I have been to the theme park in Orlando. I have also been to one Leaky Con.
I haven’t had the pleasure of re-reading these books since I was in college, which now is 6 years ago. I skimmed over this first book a little last year because I hosted a kids book club that discussed it. But, I have not had the pleasure of really reading it again in so long.
I feel like my appreciation for Rowling has grown to an all time maximum. It was fun re-reading this book now as an adult, and seeing all the foreshadowing and all the hints as to what is to come. I was making all kind of connections from book 1 to book 7. And I’m a bit in awe in how much of this story it appears she planned from book 1.
I forgot how long it took Harry to get to Hogwarts. Half of the book is his introduction to the magical world. And as a kid, I remember skimming a lot of this on re-reads. I didn’t need to be re-introduced. On this re-read though, I enjoyed it. I loved reading about Harry’s first trip to Diagon Alley, and watching him continue to attempt to pick up magical letter after magical letter.
I forgot about Peeves! He was left out of the movies, which I have seen more recently than I have read the books. How could I possibly forget about him? I also forgot about the extent of the Weasley twins’ humor. I laughed out loud while reading this. The long-standing joke of toilet seats never ceased to amuse me. Also, I forgot how Malfoy and Harry really first met. And I loved getting to see the spark of the beautiful friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
I never saw this book as my favorite one in the series, but it is so crucial and necessary for the rest of the more intensive plot to come. Not only did this book remind me how much of a master of her craft J.K. Rowling is, but it reminded me what it was like to read this for the first time. Rowling had me remembering and reaching back to my childhood in a way I don’t see any other author quite capable of managing. 
I wish I could read these books again for the first time. And I love seeing kids at my library experiencing this very thing. This re-read though felt as close to reading it again for the first time as I could get. I’m older, wiser, and much more able to pick up on clues in this go-round, but Rowling really had me feeling like a kid again while I read it. And what better praise can a children’s author receive? Seriously, these books are magical and I cannot wait to get on to re-reading book 2. I give it a 10/10.

1 comment:

  1. ''I wish I could read these books again for the first time.'' THIS. SO MUCH THIS. If I had one wish, that would be it! To discover this world again for the first time and not know what's going to happen next...Sigh. I agree that this book was never my favorite but it's so important to the rest of the series. And I do love how Harry discovers everything for the first time. Being a wizard, Diagon Alley, getting his wand, Hedwig, being sorted and all that fun stuff :D Fantastic review Nori^^