Book Review – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (UK/Original title) – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (USA)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Illustrator: Mary GrandPre
Format: hardcover
Written: 1995
Published: 1998

I was going to save this one for a little bit, but in honor of Banned Books Week, I thought I should do it now, seeing as though this is one of the most banned books of the last decade.

I first read the book several years ago, and I’ve seen most of the movies. But I was a little grumpy when I read these the first time, so I decided to give them another go. See, here’s the thing, Eoin Coiffer wrote an incredible book called Artemis Fowl that came out right around the same time, and I spent a lot of grumpiness on the fact that JK just got better marketing than Coiffer did. This is why Universal has the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in its theme park and we have all gone out and tried Botts Every Flavor Beans, even if it *was* earwax flavored.

I still think Artemis Fowl needs a huge franchise like this.

Anyway, back to Harry Potter. The gist is this. Orphan Harry Potter spent most of his first 11 years living at 4 Privet Drive, with a crazy Aunt and Uncle who treat him like crap (hello, he lives under the stairs) while his cousin Pugsly (Okay, his name is really Dudley) gets everything he’s ever wanted. (If this isn’t a call for Children’s Protective Services… anyway). On his 11th birthday, he gets invited to Hogwarts, where he gets to study wizardry, meets a couple new friends (including Ron, the youngest boy in a family of gingers – ooooh, redheads *swoon* – and Hermione, who he wasn’t friends with until his (and his friends’) taunting sent her crying to a bathroom where she was then locked in with a troll and he had to save her [troll bogies included]), turns out to be awesome at everything and the best known wizard ever, even though he knew nothing about his past.
The book is well enough written, although JK is a bit slow in spots. Really, for RL5 (that’s 5th grade reading level here in the states), I thought the book would be a little faster to read.

And I still don’t get the mania that is this book. When HP mania picked up a decade ago, my high school somehow managed to get this book in as senior high school English curriculum. “Mrs. Wickstrom had to speed up her lesson plans because none of us could put it down!” my best friend gushed. Jee, really? I mean, you were reading a book geared towards people half your age; I can’t imagine why you all went through it so fast. </sarcasm>
Anyway. Now that the hype has died down a bit, I can say this. If you like witches and wizards (and don’t care that this is a totally commercial and uneducated view of what a witch could really do), then go ahead and read it. If you’re one of the psycho Christians that try to ban this because it’s supposedly promoting witchcraft and the dark arts, get over yourself. Real witches are nothing like this.

If you’ve made it this far and haven’t read any of the series, I’d say to go ahead and read the first one. This one I’ll give four out of five pages to, but I won’t be as nice later on.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeyna Grace
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 03:28:10

    I actually attempted to real Artemis Fowl but after the first book, I didn’t quite like it. I’m not a fan of fairies.


  2. Mandi M. Lynch, author
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 15:41:56

    Awww. That’s too bad. There are several good books that involve faeries. The good news is, there are several million books, and I’m sure they’ve popped out a hundred good (and fae free) ones in the time it’s taken me to type this response. 🙂


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