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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) (original 1997; edition 1999)

by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)

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81,53011842 (4.26)7 / 862
Title:Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
Authors:J.K. Rowling
Other authors:Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (1999), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Fantasy

Work details

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1997)

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Showing 1-5 of 1126 (next | show all)
What can you say about Harry Potter that has not already been said. I have seen all the movies so the book was probably not as good as if I had read it first. I really enjoyed it and the fact that there were not too many differences from the movie was a real change. I had forgotten many parts of the story so it was nice. I am now going to read all the rest of them. Thanks to the Windsor Library Group for this monthly read, finally getting me to crack open the cover of books that have been on my shelf for several years. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Aug 18, 2015 |
This is a re-read. I now own all the Harry Potter series and plan to read all of them again. I had forgotten how much I love these books. I am sure that I knew at one time that the "Mirror of Erised" was "desire" spelled backwards, but it was such a delight to discover it again! And Dumbledore's wisdom: "It does not do [Harry:] to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." Even though I know that there are six more books, I did not want this one to end. Of course I am already well into Book Two! ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Well, I finally permitted myself to read this after about 7 years of snobbery, but by that time, my then 7-year-old had become a snob of his own and wouldn't allow me to read it to him and wouldn't touch it despite all of his friends being Potter fans. How we actually ended up reading this 4 years later I don't know, but I think I just forced him to listen to chapter 1 as a bedtime story with the option of quitting, and when he sneaked the book to school and guiltily told me that he'd accidentally read the next 3 chapters, I knew we were fast becoming Harry Potter people (VERY BELATEDLY).

I LOVED it. I laughed and actually cried, which annoyed my 11-year-old to no end. Excited for the next one! I borrowed two copies from the library so that we can both read at once. I'm thankful that I have bypassed all of the waiting for sequels and movies; I can watch them all at once if I want to! ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I'm the only person in the world with mixed feelings about the Harry Potter books. Most readers love them. There are non-readers who are indifferent to them as they are to all other books; others who go solely by the fact that they're "children's" books and therefore believe it's ridiculous for adults to read and enjoy them; and of course a legion of similarly anti-literacy folk who have decided the Harry Potter books are immoral. These people, who read and enjoy Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and stories about Merlin and King Arthur, have concluded that the Potter universe is an evil place because it has magic and witches. All righty, then.

I suppose there are readers who genuinely dislike the Harry Potter books. I haven't come across them, but they must be out there somewhere. And of course there must be readers who say they dislike them when what they mean is, they're wildly jealous that they didn't write them.

I don't belong in any of those categories. I admire the fine writing, characterization, dialogue, and world-building Rowling has done. And exactly because her writing is so good, the one flaw I've found pains me to the point that I can't read these with the pure pleasure they give so many others.

The only person I've talked to about this who's been willing to listen long enough to understand what I'm saying is the one person I know who hasn't read the books and has no plans to. He thinks I make a valid point. Everyone else I've attempted to engage on this topic has responded, "You're saying something bad about Harry Potter. You must be bad. I hate you. Please leave my home." Or words to that effect.

I'll grant you that accepting flaws in things we love is a little-taught skill in this world. It's almost as rare as seeing good qualities in those we hate. This is as true with books as it is with people, and it's tragic. I have yet to meet someone who can acknowledge the admirable qualities of books they can't stand. I don't mean genuinely bad books, the kind that will be pulped a year after they were printed (if they last that long) or that will never make it to paper in the first place not because technology is awesome but because *nobody* wants to waste the paper on these works. No, I mean books that have stood the test of time but who have as many haters as lovers.

Perfect example: Little Women. People adore this book, or they despise it.

Listen up: "Little Women" is corny, mawkish, and sentimental. It's also wise, funny, and strong. Whether you like the book or you hate it, if you can't admit that all of this is true and this can all be true at the same time about the same book, you have a serious ego problem.

You can't admit that the book you love could have anything wrong with it. ("Krinkle, krinkle, 'ittle 'tar"? Really? That's not cringe-inducing? Calling a grown woman "Marmee" isn't cringe-inducing? Having the one black child at Jo's school for boys be the best singer isn't seriously cringe-inducing?). Or else you refuse to entertain the idea that anything you hate could have anything right about it. (Marmee's advice to Meg about the difference between the flashing tempers of the March girls and the temperament of the man Meg married stands the test of time very well, as do plenty of the other observations of humanity -- when Jo laughingly admits that she's well enough to go on a carriage ride with Laurie, but not well enough to do disagreeable chores, and then karma kicks her in the arse. Which it tends to do a lot in this book.)

Put your ego aside when thinking about and discussing literature. Good books are not saints. They should be admired, enjoyed, learned from, and reread; but they should also be critically examined. And if I've done all that with the Harry Potter books and I've found something I think is a serious flaw, it would be nice to be able to discuss that, rather than be glared and yelled at (yes, both have happened, and yes, I'm still angry) because I have the unmitigated gall to find something wrong with Saint Jo.

For anyone who's still reading: I'm very uncomfortable with one aspect of the world Rowling has created. Specifically, I don't think her justification for hiding the existence of magic from the world of ordinary humans stands up well in a court of ethics.

This is a review of the first book, so I'll only go into what she says here. When Harry Potter first learns who is parents really are, Hagrid is furious at the Dursleys for not having told him anything about what he calls Harry's world. "Our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer parents' world."

It's terribly wrong not to have told Harry who and what he is, and who and what his parents were. Agreed.

How, then, is it all right to hide what is, after all, the real world from the majority of its inhabitants?

How is it all right to scorn them for not having magic while at the same time doing everything to keep them from knowing magic exists?

Don't say there's no scorn. "Muggle" is hardly a term of endearment. (Yes, I'm jumping ahead of myself and I promised I wouldn't, but "mud-blood" is nothing but an extension of the condescension contained in "Muggle.") And as for the attitude towards the mundane world, look at Hagrid -- one of the good guys, certainly, and a very appealing character:

"Although Hagrid seemed to know where he was going, he was obviously not used to getting there in an ordinary way. He got stuck in the ticket barrier on the Underground and complained loudly that the seats were too small and the trains too slow.

'I don't know how the Muggles manage without magic,' he said, as they climbed a broken-down escalator."

We manage because you won't let us do otherwise. And then you sneer at the job we do.

Let me ask you something: Do you really believe that "separate but equal" can be both? That's not how it works in the real world, and it's not how it works in Potter's world. The magical beings there are an elite minority, and they like it that way. They have the power. They're hanging on to it by force (more about that in later books), even when that puts the inhabitants of the mundane world at risk (WAY more about that in later books).

Let me ask you something else: If you read and enjoy Austen's novels in the way that many people do -- taking pleasure in imagining yourself a member of that world -- you imagine yourself as one of the genteel, right? Not one of the servants. We see very little of them, and they have miserable lives. The power situation in Austen's time was horribly imbalanced and unfair. Austen wasn't in much of a position to do anything about it; but at least she didn't have her characters brag all the time about how awesome it was to be of the land-owning class, and how pathetic those stupid servants are.

In fact, the one character I can think of who does complain about servants is Aunt Norris, and she's an out-and-out villain. Her observations on the serving class are meant to reinforce just what a nasty piece of work she is.

One person I know claimed that in the Potter universe, the magic-users keep their existence and powers a secret in order to protect themselves. That's contradicted later -- I think in book #3, in which Harry reads a textbook about how much real witches enjoy being burned at the stake because it tickles and doesn't do them any harm -- but for now I'll just point out what Hagrid says when Harry asks why the Ministry of Magic "keeps it from the Muggles that there's still witches an' wizards up an' down the country."

"Blimey, Harry, everyone'd be wantin' magic solutions to their problems. Nah, we're best left alone."

If Rowling wanted to make a universe in which a failed attempt had been made in the past to live on equal terms with the non-magic world, and that attempt had led to great suffering and many lives lost on both sides, that would be perfectly tenable. (And fascinating. Somebody, write that book. Okay, I will.) If she wanted to claim that magic-users would be persecuted by the ordinary humans, and the magicians might have the magic but the mundane world had the sheer numbers and a lot of nasty technology on their side, that would certainly work. And then I could read these books without a qualm.

Instead, she's created a world in which a ruling class cheerfully admits that they like having all the really cool stuff and they're jolly well not going to share with those foolish mortals who are so stupid, they have to struggle up broken escalators.

What troubles me even more than her making this decision (which, as I've pointed out, is not the only way to go if you want to have a world of hidden magic) is how enthusiastically her readers have embraced it. There are "No Muggles Allowed" posters and Facebook pages. Created and enjoyed by people who don't seem to realize that, just as they'd more likely be a servant than gentility in Austen's world, odds are good they'd be Muggles in Rowling's.

People who have felt odd and left out all their lives naturally embrace the idea that secretly, they're special and strong -- magical, even. I only question the idea that having wonderful abilities has to go hand in hand with lording it over those who don't. How is the Potter universe's attitude toward non-magic users any different from Malfoy's gloating over his entirely inherited monetary wealth, and sneering at Ron's poverty?

I'm very uncomfortable with the Potter universe because I don't have the ego to believe I'd be one of the special ones. I'm rereading these with my son because he doesn't remember them very well and his grandmother kindly lent us an entire hardcover library of the British editions. This journey has its pleasures, but it's the last I'll take to the Potter world. It's no place for Muggles.

UPDATE: I'm now about a hundred pages into the British edition of the last Harry Potter book, and I'm already seriously considering rereading the whole series just to have the entire, incredibly complex plot fresh in my head for once. Yes, the things that bug me philosophically about this series still bother me; but the writing is just too good for even cranky old me to resist. ( )
1 vote Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
I decided not to bother rating these books during my re-read because everyone has either read or heard of Harry Potter and I don't think a review will make any difference. Instead, I decided to compare each book to the movie, because I feel like that'll be helpful to people who haven't read the books in a long time, or ever, and also helpful to me when watching the movies in the future.

-The Dursley's are blonde? Not that this makes any difference because the movies are SO well cast, but I did not remember this.
-I really liked reading about WHY Harry is going to the Zoo in the beginning. It's something in the movie that doesn't really make sense. Why would they invite the kid they hate to the zoo?
-Why does his cupboard lock in the movie? It doesn't lock in the book and locking it makes them seem barbaric. Another weird thing that isn't really necessary.
-In the movie there's a scene near the end where Harry says "Hagrid's always wanted a dragon. Told me so the first time I ever met him." I like that in the book Hagrid actually says that since in the movie it sounds like Harry's just making up stuff.
-I do like the changes they made near the end where they took out Ron's dragon bite and let Ron be in the detention scenes and stuff instead of Neville.
-I wish we got more of the centaur stuff in the movie though I liked their scenes in the forbidden forest.
-I liked that every time they lost track of the cloak we saw how they got it back. In the movie it just happens to randomly be where they need it.
-JK just does great world buiding.
-Why did they build up the Fluffy scene so much in the movie? It was really easy to get past Fluffy in the book.
-I wish they included Snape's poison test in the book. It showed how useful Hermione is. Like she was good with the Devil's Snare but Ron got an entire chess game to show how useful he was. Hermione needed that little extra step.
-I like that in the book it explains why Quirrel couldn't have Harry touch him in better detail.
-And they tell us that Dumbledore gave Harry the cloak, another thing I wish was in the movie.
-And another is that I wish we found out in the movies that James Potter saved Snape's life. I would have thought that important since it shows how pety Snape is in his reasoning for hating James.
-I wish we had scene Ron and Hermione meeting the Dursley's at the end of the movie.

Hopefully this little review reminds me in the future of the differences between the books and the movies. Now on to the next one! ( )
1 vote thatgirlbookworm | Aug 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 1126 (next | show all)
On the whole, ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' is as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind its writing. J. K. Rowling, a teacher by training, was a 30-year-old single mother living on welfare in a cold one-bedroom flat in Edinburgh when she began writing it in longhand during her baby daughter's nap times. But like Harry Potter, she had wizardry inside, and has soared beyond her modest Muggle surroundings to achieve something quite special.
The light-hearted caper travels through the territory owned by the late Roald Dahl, especially in the treatment of the bad guys — they are uniformly as unshadedly awful as possible —but the tone is a great deal more affectionate. A charming and readable romp with a most sympathetic hero and filled with delightful magic details.
Harry Potter se ha quedado huérfano y vive en casa de sus abominables tíos y del insoportable primo Dudley. Harry se siente muy triste y solo, hasta que un buen día recibe una carta que cambiará su vida para siempre. En ella le comunican que ha sido aceptado como alumno en el colegio interno Hogwarts de magia y hechicería. A partir de ese momento, la suerte de Harry da un vuelco espectacular. En esa escuela tan especial aprenderá encantamientos, trucos fabulosos y tácticas de defensa contra las malas artes. Se convertirá en el campeón escolar de quidditch, especie de fútbol aéreo que se juega montado sobre escobas, y se hará un puñado de buenos amigos... aunque también algunos temibles enemigos. Pero sobre todo, conocerá los secretos que le permitirán cumplir con su destino. Pues, aunque no lo parezca a primera vista, Harry no es un chico común y corriente. ¡Es un verdadero mago!
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. K. Rowlingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Astrologo, MarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bar-Hilel, GiliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, RufusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', WiebeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fries-Gedin, LenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GrandPré, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huws, EmilyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kibuishi, KazuCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riglietti, SerenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vierikko, VesaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
for Jessica, who loves stories,
for Anne, who loved them too,
and for Di, who heard this one first.
First words
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
The wand chooses the wizard, remember…I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter…After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things - terrible, yes, but great.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Initially published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
The change to 'Sorcerer' is in the US title.

Please don't put either title in the canonical title field.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin Dudley. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. From an author who has been compared to C. S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, this enchanting, funny debut novel won England's National Book Award and the prestigious Smarties Prize. 

(Charles Duff Review below)

What else can you say about Harry Potter....phenomena...landmark...revolutionary...historic.  Whether its read to young children or children read it themselves.  Harry Potter is removed from the torment of his Aunt and Uncle and attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  It's almost an automatic choice for independent reading.  English teachers could use this, since so many read it, to offer up blogging opportunities for sharing thoughts and opinions on the text.  Here is a link for teachers on some teaching resources for the Harry Potter series: http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/teac...
Haiku summary
Harry's a wizard
studies magic at Hogwarts
fights possessed teacher (asbunny)

A wizard child
saves his school from a Dark Lord
and makes some new friends. (marcusbrutus)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 25 descriptions

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