Book review

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

You've probably heard of this book already, and if you haven't read it yet I think you'll enjoy it.

This is a story about Harry and his two new friends settling down for their first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry only to discover that they have a part to play in the downfall of the evil Sssh! You-Know-Who. You will like Harry Potter. He's shy and self-doubting and puts up with a lot from his awful aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon and fat cousin Dudley. Poor Harry lost his parents, supposedly in a car crash, when he was a baby and that was when he received the strange lightning-shaped scar across his forehead. Ever since then he has slept in the cupboard under the stairs at the Dursleys' perfectly normal house in Privet Drive and the best thing he has to look forward to is starting at the local secondary school next term - well away from Dudley who will be going to his father's old, expensive school, Smeltings.

But, other people know a lot more about Harry than Harry does himself. That lightning-shaped scar is a matter of enormous interest and Harry is about to discover that he has a lot of friends, and enemies, in a rather different kind of world from the one he was brought up in.

This is a book about magic, but there's plenty of reality. Settling into a new school, making friends, learning who to trust and who not to trust and when to obey school rules and when to overlook them. There's a great deal of humour in the book. You might find the magic funny - visit Diagon Alley to purchase all your Hogwart's kit - but there is strong evil magic too and you won't doubt the courage that Harry has to show in the final chapter.

Written in a strong narrative style with straightforward but not over-simplified language there is enough in this plot to think about whether you are Harry's age or Sssh! You-Know-Who!

What can I read next?

If you like this book, there's more! Have a look at these:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

And if you would like something really extraordinary to follow Harry Potter, why don't you have a look at these books by Stephen Elboz:

Or you could look at this trilogy by William Nicholson:

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

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