Book Review


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Some years ago, when I was much younger, I used to hate Harry Potter for no reason at all. I just had a mental block about reading a Harry Potter book. However, one day when I went to my grandmother's house, my uncle showed me some books and urged me to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I told him frankly that I didn't like Harry Potter, but he said that I should try it, and if I didn't like it, I could always return it. And then lo and behold it has become my favourite series and possibly my favourite book from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

JK Rowling is a British author, best known for writing the Harry Potter series which has sold more than 500 million copies and has become the best-selling book series. She also donated most of her earnings to charity. Some other books by her are 'The Casual Vacancy', 'Lethal White' and 'Troubled Blood'.

The main characters in this book are Harry, the protagonist, Ron and Hermione, his two best friends, Draco, his arch-nemesis, Fred, George, Neville, his house-mates, Dumbeldore, Quirrel, Snape, McGonagall, Hagrid, the school staff and Voldemort, the antagonist.

Harry thinks he's just a normal boy, with the worst aunt and uncle. He is made to live in a cupboard under the stairs of a house owned by Mr. and Mrs. Dursley with their overly spoiled son called Dudley. In the first quarter of the book it is shown how Harry begins to receive letters which are addressed to him. The letter have a crest that have the letters S,G,R AND H embellished with a snake, a griffin, an eagle and a badger. Even though this alone sounds mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Dursley don't allow him to read the letters and will go to any length to stop him. The Dursleys go away to a hut in the middle of the ocean to ensure no letters can arrive, but at midnight (before Harry's birthday) a giant of a man called Hagrid, bursts in and tells Harry he is actually a wizard! Hagrid also tells Harry how he came to live at Privet Drive as his parents were a powerful wizard and a witch who had been murdered by the Dark Lord, Lord Voldemort. He also gives Harry the letter to say that Harry will be attending Hogwarts school for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Hagrid also informs Harry that he will have to catch the Hogwarts express which is located at King's Cross at platform 9 and 3/4. When arriving at King's Cross Harry soon realises that there is no platform 9 and 3/4, or at least that is visible. Then Harry meets what is going to be his second family. The Weasleys with 7 children, the youngest boy being Ronald Weasley who will soon become Harry's best friend for life. Harry and Ron are both placed in Griffindor to the delight of the other Weasley children currently attending Hogwarts.

As the year goes on at Hogwarts; Harry and Ron attain a new best friend for life by the name of Hermione Granger. Besides having a lot of fun, Harry also learns many things about magic. This book is all about all sorts of adventures Harry and his friends have at Hogwarts and to the end of the year they have to face a battle against the dark Lord. I enjoyed reading this book thoroughly. It is my second favourite book in the series, after 'The Goblet of Fire'. I liked all the characters, especially Ron, because he is very kind and is a true friend to Harry. I also liked the plot twist in the end about the villain. But I didn't appreciate Dumbeldore giving free points to Gryffindor so that they win the House Cup.

Needless to say, I didn't return this book to my uncle because I liked it a lot. Very soon I read the next book in the series, which is 'Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets'. I will be reviewing it in a separate write- up.

I give this book 4.3 out of 5.

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