Returning to Hogwarts was the best idea I’ve had in months! (By the way, I initially typed Hogwarts with a lower-case h and Microsoft Word automatically changed it to upper-case; therefore Hogwarts is a real place. I shall visit it one day)
I’ve been busy these past months, what with the new job I started at the beginning of the year that popped up right on time to help me with my student loan bills (pesky, pesky things they are; my Evanesco spell simply doesn’t work on them; I need more practice. Pottermore, here I come). I decided to take a mini-vacation from work and read my all-time favorite novel in the entire world, in my 24 years, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K.) by J.K. Rowling. I think this is the best book in the series because it is the first.
It’s this book that got me so hooked that I couldn’t manage to tear my eyes from the pages when I first picked up the novel in the library of my middle school. What made me decide to read Harry Potter? I haven’t the slightest clue. All I know is that I became transfixed on that first paragraph and was held captive my Rowling’s string of characters and twisting storyline until the end of the series and after.
Gosh it’s easy to get caught up in that book. The world of magic just seems to come alive when you open the cover. As a kid, I was caught up in the story: a boy who lost his parents and had to live with his mean aunt and uncle and then was saved from a dreary, and abusive, existence by an envelope, and later Hagrid, telling him that he’s special and belongs to another world.
I could relate to Harry a bit. My parents immigrated to another country and left me to live with my aunts and uncles (they’re not meanies). I was about the same age as Harry when I went to live with my parents and learned of a different world (living in a different country is like living in a different world – same language maybe but different pronunciations and usage, different customs, different money, different modes of transportation, the school is different, and the teachers are weird, I mean different).
That I could relate to Harry made me treasure Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone even more. Since then, I’ve read the story (the entire series, really) once or twice per year. It’s the only story that I can almost quote the passages from memory (I suck at remembering things word for word; I tend more to remember emotions and reactions).
Over the years, I evolved from focusing solely on the story to admiring Rowling’s talent. The lady has a crazy imagination. The world of Harry Potter is simple but it’s this simplicity that makes it seem so complex. The spells too are simple and the words used for them tell what the spell is. Evanesco, mentioned above, is Latin for “to disappear.” Of course, if you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan, scholar, or just someone who likes to know random things, then you already knew that. “Simplicity is genius,” as someone once quoted (can’t remember, I’m bad with names too).
My favorite part of this novel is the first chapter. This chapter gives the reader everything she needs to know. From that first chapter you can tell that Harry Potter is special, the Dursleys are horrible and Harry will have a hard time living with them, evil lurks, and there are two worlds – the normal and the magical. In an essay, that would be the introduction, the thesis being, I believe, “To Harry Potter – the boy who lived.” After all, that is what Rowling proves in each of the seven books: Harry survives every obstacle that Rowling throws at him.
Along with Rowling’s imagination, I appreciate that the complexity of the story increases with each novel. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the easiest read out of the bunch. As stated by many sources, children are able to grow with books. I’m glad to be of the Harry Potter era.
Well, continuing with my annual routine, I shall next read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And, since the Chamber of Secrets chapter just opened on Pottermore, I shall play the game as I read along. Woohoo!
- xoxoxoe’s #CBR4 Review #38: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone [audiobook], by J.K. Rowling (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- J.K. Rowling Hogwarts And All (time.com)
- Review: Pottermore – the Harry Potter website (ibnlive.in.com)
- Review – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (eoghann.com)