Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Bingo / Book Club / Halloween: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

(American cover; picture taken from Goodreads)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling is the first in a series about an orphaned boy who has lived with his aunt, uncle, and cousin since he was one-year-old. On his eleventh birthday, Harry finds out he is a wizard and that his parents were killed by a very powerful, dark wizard who then tried to kill him and was somehow struck down. Harry receives an acceptance letter to a wizarding school called Hogwarts, and so begins one of the best and most well-known children's fantasy series of all time.

(British cover; picture taken from Goodreads)

Memory: I don't remember my exact first impression of this book, since it was 1998 or '99 when I first read So, I'll have to tell you what I do remember. I had heard the hype about the Harry Potter books and specifically avoided reading them because I didn't usually enjoy books that were really popular with other kids my age. The second or third book had recently come out. I was at a bookstore in Springfield, Missouri, and my cousin was visiting us from Minnesota. She kept trying to convince me to read the series and I would turn her down, until finally, she pushed me into a wooden chair and told me to read the first two chapters of the first book. She said she was going to watch me and keep pushing me back down until I at least gave it a chance, so I agreed to her two-chapter stipulation. After a few pages, I was intrigued but still convinced that I would put it down after two chapters. After two chapters, I was completely absorbed. After about twenty minutes, I was in love with Hogwarts, and my cousin ran off to a different part of the store to look at something else. After about an hour, my mom came to get me to leave, and I convinced her to buy me the book. And the rest is history!

Conclusion: As always, this book is amazing. Even if nostalgia was not a factor, I would still be captivated by Hogwarts and Rowling's magical Britain! There's not a lot to say except one must always experience Harry Potter for oneself. It's not important who your favorite character is or in which house you belong at Hogwarts--we are all united somehow by our individual and completely different experiences with this series. It was nice to read the first book again.

(newer cover; picture taken from Goodreads)

Recommendation: This is a great book for people who like fantasy and/or coming-of-age stories. There's some middle grade adventure in there, too--the never-ending battle of good versus evil!

I decided to count this toward my Book Bingo goal since I still have a spot where it would fit. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is my ninth Series pick for the 2014 Book Bingo Challenge. My favorite cover is the older American version, I think, although all of them are pretty neat. Which is your favorite? Do you have any good Harry Potter-related memories to share? I'd love to hear them! Comment below! And don't forget to subscribe and stay posted for more reviews! Happy Halloween!


  1. I first read this over Easter break in 2002, for a creative writing class I was helping teach as part of my college internship. The professor was using it as a textbook, showing things like character development, plot structure, how a book aimed at children can be for adults too, etc. I thought it was clever and fun, but didn't love it, wasn't hooked. It wasn't until the trailers for the movie version of Prisoner of Azkaban came out that I really got interested in the Harry Potter world. I wanted to to see it, but decided I should read the books first, so I reread the first one and still only liked it okay. But I tried the second, and found it so much more interesting than the first! And then I loved the third -- still my favorite.

    1. The third is my favorite, too, Hamlette! I've always loved Sirius, and it's just such a touching book. I'm glad you read them! It seems both of us just needed a little push.