Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J K Rowling
J K Rowling
NOTE: Raincoast Books, the Canadian publisher of the Harry Potter franchise, is the sole publisher of these books to use Old Growth-free, recycled paper. Please support responsible companies like this whenever possible -- order the Raincoast edition of Harry Potter!
First Published: June 1997
First Read: 2000
Last Read: June 2005
Capsule: Is there anyone who doesn't know? Well, okay, for consistency's sake: Harry Potter is maltreated and abused by his step-parents. His life seems dreadful and sad, until his eleventh birthday, when he finds out: he's a wizard! He subsequently goes to Hogwart's, the finest school of magic and witchcraft in England. This, the first book of seven (six as of this blog post), literally woke up the bookreading world and started an empire for J K Rowling, who is now richer than the Queen of England.
Trade Paperback: 256 pages
My review is hardly necessary -- there's so much cyberspace devoted to Harry Potter and the six books we've been treated to so far that I won't add my two cents. Suffice to say, as a storyteller I admire how she's created such an intriguing, complex world with essentially simple characters. As a writer, I love that Rowling has brought people -- especially children -- back to reading for the love of books. As a reader, I'm excited to see how she winds it all up. I go back and read all the books prior to publication of each new one; here's hoping the ending lives up to the stupendous material to come before it.