Reviewed by Cleo Scott Huggins
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
By J. K. Rowling
Bloomsbury Pub Ltd
Paperback: 224 pages, Feb 2000, ISBN-13: 978-0747532743
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling is a book about bravery and courage. As Professor Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, says “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it for muggles aged eleven and up. This is the first in the seven book Harry Potter series. I think readers must read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before reading the other books in the series, as this book sets the scene for the Harry Potter world.
As the title suggests, the main character in this book is Harry James Potter, also known as the boy who lived. The book follows Harry in his first year at Hogwarts, where he meets Hermione Jean Granger, a genius, and Ronald Bilius Weasley, a red head with six siblings.
When he was just a baby, Harry’s parents were killed by a Dark Arts wizard named Voldemort. Voldemort also tried to kill Harry but failed, leaving Harry with a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead, and giving him the title the boy who lived.
On the night of his parents’ death, Harry was placed on the doorstep of his aunt and uncle, the Dursley’s, much to their displeasure.
“Harry – yer a wizard” Harry was told on his eleventh birthday. With this news, he left the Dursley’s grasp for Hogwarts.
Harry, Ron and Hermione discover that in a room in the Forbidden Corridor on the third floor at Hogwarts, covered by spells and curses, lays the one and only Philosopher’s Stone – a stone that can transform any metal into pure gold and also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. During his time at Hogwarts, Harry develops the feeling that his potions teacher Professor Snape hates him, and has a gut feeling that Snape will try and steal the stone. One night, Harry, Ron and Hermione sneak up to the Forbidden Corridor to get the stone before Snape does. The trio pass through challenging obstacles. In the end, Harry has to finish the mission on his own and to his surprise, it’s not at all what he expected.
The theme of this story is magic and mystery. Nothing is as it seems, with changes at every turn.
This book is unlike any other; J. K. Rowling has opened the door to a whole new world of reading. Those readers who enjoy the Scarlet and Ivy series by Sophie Cleverly should also enjoy the Harry Potter series.
About the reviewer: Cleo was Commended in the 2019 Hunter Writers’ Centre/Compulsive Reader Review competition. She is in Grade 6 and her favourite subjects are novel study, reading groups and writing. Cleo has participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge since she started school. Cleo plays as the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack in her local netball team, which she loves. Cleo’s dream is to have a dog and she is yet to know what she wants to be in the future.