Monday, March 1, 2010

Review and Guest Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Summary: Poor, orphaned Harry Potter is stuck living with his miserable relatives until salvation arrives in the form of a letter: he's been invited to attend the prestigious Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. From that point on, your child will follow Harry into a world of mystery, magic, and intrigue she won't soon forget! -- Scholastic

This month, The Tweeny Bookworms (and their moms) read HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling. I hadn't read this book since it first came out quite a few years ago, so I was looking forward to the re-read. Booking Daughter had never read any of the Harry Potter books (despite her mother's gentle prodding.) She really wasn't looking forward to reading this book, but she did include reading the first Harry Potter book as one of her 5 reading challenges for the year. And since it was a book club pick, she had to read it.

I really don't think a review is necessary for this book because everyone in the universe has read it and loved it. What can I really add to the legacy that is Harry Potter? So, I just thought I'd toss out a few of my impressions from the second time around.

- I enjoyed re-reading HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, and that's unusual for me. Usually I only like to read a book one time because there are so many books out there that I could be reading; however, I did get caught up in the story all over again. Even knowing what was going to happen didn't affect my appreciation of the novel.

- I actually liked the beginning of the book even more because I had the context of the characters and the story. This time, I found myself catching all of the references to things that occur in the later books. In fact, I consider J.K. Rowling an absolute genius to plan out this entire series in the way she did!

- I was also very impressed with details of the story such as the descriptions of the entire Hogwarts world. I loved how I could clearly picture all of the decorations, rooms, creatures, and unique characters that fill Hogswarts. Ms. Rowling is creative beyond belief. It's not wonder she changed forever the future of middle grade books!

- Finally, I think I forgot how funny this book (and the entire series for that matter) is. I found myself laughing a lot at Harry and his friends and all of their adventures. I loved that the author wrote a book that could appeal to kids as well as grown-ups!

Booking Daughter says that she loved the book, but she wouldn't go so far as to say that it was her favorite book ever. She spent quite a few days on the first half, but she flew through the second. I'm not sure that she's big on fantasy books (they probably aren't girly enough for her), and I noticed that she didn't pick up book two right away. Having said that, she is on a kick with The Lightning Thief series (which goes to prove that I shouldn't ever make general statements about her taste in books.)

Olivia, one of the members of The Tweeny Bookworms actually wrote a review of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE for a school project. Here's are her thoughts:

I couldn’t wait to read the first Harry Potter book. Having read it, I really don’t know what took me so long to read it in the first place. I love adventure stories and fell in love with the Lighting Thief series after my book club (The Tweeny Bookworms) read the first book. Now, I am also a big Harry Potter fan!

My favorite part of this book is the chapter that deals with Harry’s Quidditch match. Harry’s house, Gryffindor, plays Slytherin. Hagrid, Hermione, Ron, and Neville all come to see Harry play. Malfoy and his two mean friends come too. Halfway through the game, Harry spots the snitch. Meanwhile, Neville and Ron get into a fight with Malfoy and his friends. All of a sudden, Harry’s broom starts to malfunction. Hermione gets scared for Harry -- she thinks that Professor Snape is using black magic on Harry’s broom. Then, Hermione uses magic to make Snape stop. Harry finally regains control of broom and catches the snitch. Harry wins the game for Gryffindor! I liked this part the best because Harry wins the game for his team in his first Quidditch match.

I really liked this book a lot. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite books. I think that the author used great details that grab the reader’s attention. For example, I loved all the details she uses in describing Hogwarts. She does this so well, you can actually picture Hogwarts in your mind. Even though Hogwarts sounds like a very magical place, I don’t think I would want to go to school there myself. Also, the characters all have very interesting personalities. I especially liked Ron Weasly and his family and thought that they were funny.

I think that Ms. Rowling must have a great imagination to have thought of a story like this. I loved all the different monsters and creatures that were in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading exciting adventure stories with very interesting characters. I look forward to reading more Harry Potter books in the future.

Thanks to Olivia for sharing her review!


Hannah Stoneham said...

In in way it is a shame that everyone has read this as it seems to make it somehow less possible to talk/blog about it. I am a huge HP fan, and your blog has reminded me just why and how. One thing that always struck me was the "tip of the iceberg" feeling - that Rowling had created a totally absorbing complex world and there was so much of it that didn't even make it into the books - that is why it feels so rich I guess. thanks for sharing, Hannah

bermudaonion said...

Great reviews! I'm not much of a fantasy fan and I loved all of the Harry Potter books - go figure.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree about the creativity. It's just great. In fact, I'm sort of looking forward to the opening of the Harry Potter land in Orlando (probably along with 8 zillion other people!)

Meghan said...

You just named one reason why I actually loved rereading these books - I appreciate them more now that I've read the whole series! It's fun to pick up the clues and see how Rowling laid the groundwork.

I'm glad Booking Daughter liked it, too!

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

Anonymous said...

What a nice blog post and I'm so glad that you shared your daughter's thoughts as well. I am a big Harry Potter lover and I periodically listen again to the series. Right now, I am re-listening to the last book. They are definitely comfort reads or listens for me.

Beth F said...

great guest review!

Glad Booking Daughter at least liked HP -- I'm such a fantasy fan that I couldn't wait for each book.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'm like BermudaOnion - I don't consider myself a fan of fantasty (I never got thru Lord of the Rings), but I loved each of the Harry Potter books; especially the earlier books.

Thanks to Olivia for sharing her thoughts with us!

Anonymous said...

I haven't gotten my daughter to read this yet, although I have them all sitting on a shelf in the rec room. She does love fantasy though, so maybe after she finishes the Percy Jackson series.