HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling
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.
Well …. this was a re-read and it was like catching up with old friends.
It’s where it all began. Harry’s discovery that he was a wizard and his introduction to the wizarding world and all its danger and splendour. It has reinforced my love of these books, the settings and the characters. I remember why Hagrid is such a warm and gentle soul, why McGonagall is strict but motherly, why Dumbledore is … well, Dumbledore, why Malfoy is smug and horrible, and how Snape is mean and multi-layered.
Each time I re-read this series I pick up new things that I hadn’t noticed before. Small snippets that help the penny drop about things that happened later in the series. I can see the early signs of later plots that J.K. discretely embedded into the story. I can see how the characters started, and compare them to how I know they grew later in their lives.
J.K. did so much to get kids (and adults) into reading. Her impact is unmeasurable. When I wrote my first book, The Golden Scarab, I made sure that I wrote some of it in the same place that J.K. wrote Harry Potter (sitting in The Elephant Cafe in Edinburgh, looking out the window towards the castle). I wanted to be where the journey began, and to hopefully channel her energy and skill.
This book was a great start to the series. It set up the characters, the world, the settings, the conflict. It hooked the readers…. it hooked me.