Published by Bloomsbury UK on January 12, 2011
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him.
His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord''s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived.
Escaping from his unbearable Muggle guardians to Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles into a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor.
Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both.
This is the second time of reading this book. I first read this when I think the final book was coming out as I refused to be drawn into Harry Potter and his world. To me, back then, it was Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, not both. My friend pestered and pestered me to read the first one, so I did and I quickly found I was hooked in this world. Fast forward 13 years and now I am enjoying the books all over again with my mini-me. She loves the films and the lego games and now she loves the books.
Reading these reignited my passion for the series and once we got into a routine we blitz the last half of the book. Each night trying to read at least a chapter. One thing that amazed me, and shouldn’t be surprising, is how much is different between the book and the film. Small things you don’t realise! I have lost count how many times I’ve seen the film, so I remember it well, reading the book you do compare.
The changes in the mannerisms with the characters. Although Harry, Ron and Hermoine are the best of friends, they weren’t always. I would even say Ron and Harry were borderline bullying Hermoine. They were hurtful and that upset me. But with midnight adventures around the castle, they came to an understanding. That’s the thing with books you get so much more. Yes, I know I am stating the obvious, but I felt I had to say it. I loved everything in the book and its a shame that things were cut. Neville had more screen time, we have more adventures with the invisibility cloak and more dragons!!
That first meeting of Hagrid and Harry is a belter and our first introduction of Diagon Alley well, it was immense. We could hear the hustle and bustle of the streets, the excitement of buying your first wand and meeting unexpected future students when getting measured for our robes. Ones who want to be our friends but end up being our enemy.
I loved that even though we know the story, we know what is coming, you still feel that trepidation when reading. Will the outcome be the same? Will Harry make it through unscathed? What would I see in the Mirror of erised?
There is so much to say about this first instalment. The battles lines are being drawn, the evil is out there. It was also a bit dark in the book in places, something I didn’t remember from my first reading. Something sinister truly is coming, we know not everyone will make it alive.
In the end, again even though I knew what was coming, I got choked up, like Harry, during his conversation with Dumbledore about his parents, not good when you are trying to read it to the mini one. Despite all the dark times to come, there is hope and there is love.
There is nothing I can write that hasn’t been written before. I love this series, its a winner to me. You have something for everyone, sporting competitiveness with Quidditch, adventures in the night around the castle. Such vivid descriptions to help you perfectly imagine how it should be. I love being in the castle, I love being with the characters especially as we have more Neville in the books.
I could sit and tell you all the differences between the book and the film but why would I. I think some of the magic is that you experience it for yourself (see what I did there). I think you can easily love both the books and the films.
It is a true testament of a book if I can get mini-me excited to go to bed so we can catch up on Harry and his friends. When we finished this book, even half asleep she was begging me to start the next one. I was a bit mean and wouldn’t. That’s for another night.
Everyone knows the story about the boy who lived. I can’t add any new words to it. I will just say it, what an imagination Ms Rowling has. She transports you into a world where wizards and muggles live side by side. Where we have mysteries, unexplained, just enough to have me wonder a little bit whether it could be true 😉
I know that we cant wait to get cracking on book 2 and see what else Harry gets up to.
Until next time xxx
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: