Harry Potter is an orphan boy who has lived with his aunt, uncle and cousin, the Dursleys, since he was a baby. He was left on their doorstep after the death of his parents, and the Dursleys have begrudgingly taken care of him ever since, but have not been very kind. Harry has longed in his heart for more, but never in his wildest dreams did her imagine what was about to happen. On his 11th birthday, Harry receives a letter informing him of his acceptance at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Dursleys had lied to Harry all his life, so he had no idea that his parents were wizards and so is he. Once ensconced within the ancient walls of the Hogwarts castle, Harry feels more at home than he ever has before. Together with his two new best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry embarks on the adventure of his life, learning all about the world of magic, but his newfound happiness could be cut short. Harry was the sole survivor of the dark wizard Voldemort's attack which killed both his parents, and it is believed that Voldemort may still be alive and not only seeking the Sorcerer's Stone, a source of infinite power and immortality, but also seeking to do Harry in, once and for all.
This was my second read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and I have to say that even after having read it before and seeing the movie four times, it is still just as good as it was the first time I read it. I'm simply a little more familiar with the story now. I started this series a few years ago by reading it to my kids, but when our busy schedules just seemed to keep getting in the way of finishing it, I decided to go back on my own to re-read the earlier books and hopefully, finally wrap up the series this time around.
Even as an adult reading it alone, this is still a delightful book with a magical (no pun intended) plot and a host of colorful and diverse characters. I absolutely love the interactions between Harry, Ron and Hermione. They make an ideal trio of friends whose strengths and weaknesses compliment each other perfectly. I really admire the Weasley family. They may not have much in the way of material possessions, but they have lots of warmth and love and are a family I wouldn't mind being a part of. Professor Dumbledore is the perfect, gentle father-figure who is also a genius with just a touch of humorous eccentricity. Professor McGonagall is wonderful as a very stern, but kind, motherly figure. Professor Snape is a total enigma who constantly keeps me guessing about his motivations. Hagrid is one of the most marvelous characters in the book and also one that keeps me guessing but in much different ways. His affection for and attachment to magical creatures is both funny and endearing all rolled into one, and he definitely has a gift for their care. Of course, these are just a few of my favorites, but the story is teeming with more characters from teachers to students, and from the ghosts and spirits who haunt the castle to Harry's Muggle family, the Dursleys, all of whom are brought vividly to life. It would be nearly impossible not to love, or at least love to hate, each and every one.
Sometimes, it's hard to believe that this was J. K. Rowling's debut novel, but with her enchanting story-telling skills, it is very easy to see why the Harry Potter series enticed so many kids and teens back to reading and is still a world-wide favorite, quite possibly even destined for classic status. I know that when I read a children's/young adult book as an adult and enjoy it this much, it is one I too would have enjoyed in my youth. I very much look forward to continuing this captivating series soon.
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