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Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone
by J.K Rowling

Author: J.K Rowling

The Philosopher’s Stone is the first in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of seven novels that have made her the most successful literary author of all time, selling in excess of 400 million copies world-wide. The books are read and enjoyed by children and adults alike and have also been made into hugely popular films.
Do the Harry Potter books live up to the hype? When I first began reading the Philosopher’s stone I was immediately struck by how good - and laugh-out-loud funny - the humor was. You usually need to read a Terry Pratchett novel to ensure constant laughter throughout but Rowling has managed to infuse this book with a lovely wit and charm that will both amuse and delight adults and children.

Here is an example, with the ending being particularly good:
"Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large, pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes and thick, blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel – Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig."
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Vanishing Glass
There are characters in this book that will remind us of all the people we have met. Everybody knows or knew a spoilt, overweight boy like Dudley or a bossy and interfering (yet kind-hearted) girl like Hermione. A large number of the younger readers will also be able to easily identify with Harry, especially with his initial feelings of isolation and not belonging, and then through to his excitement at finally leaving that life behind in favour of one where he belongs and will be happy.
When Harry begins his first term at Hogwarts (a wizarding school) he is not alone in being overawed:
‘Yeh’ll get yer firs’ sight of Hogwarts in a sec,’ Hagrid called over his shoulder, ‘jus’ round this bend here.’
There was a loud ‘Oooooh!”
The narrow path had opened suddenly on to the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
Hogwarts is a truly magical place, not only in the most obvious way but also in all the detail that the author has gone to describe it so vibrantly. It is the place that everybody wishes they could of gone to when they where eleven. And there many adventures befall the trio (Harry, Ron and Hermione) and the stone in the book's title is centren to all that happens. The story builds towards and exciting conclusion that has the ultimate feel-good factor.

J.K. Rowling should be commended for getting so many people reading and excited by books. The biggest surprise must be the effect that this novel had on the adult population, both male and female - at the time the books were published many a commuting train was spotted with Harry Potter books providing world-weary workers with a wonderful sense of escapism. This book is highly recommended to anybody between the ages of 8 and 80.

Is all the hype about the Harry Potter books justified? In a word, yes, the books are a joy to read and possibly the most rewarding young adult’s book since The Hobbit.

Isra Sulevani (11)