Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published: 1997, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 owls
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery 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. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
It has been 15 years since I read this book for the first time. Now was definitely time to refresh my memory. And this time with the original version in English instead of the Swedish translation. But back then, when I was 11, I wasn’t too good at speaking or understanding any foreign languages.
First of all, it was great to read it in English. I have the whole series in hardback in Swedish and that’s what I read growing up. I got too tired to wait for the translation of the 6th, so I read it in English first, and then Swedish as soon as it came out. But that is the only one I have read in English until now. I guess it is good that the Swedish books translates the names on, especially, the animals and things, because it makes more sense to younger readers. But I loved that I finally got the real feeling of the things in this book. The names of the quidditch balls still makes no sense to me though, but I have 6 more books to get used to it.
Second, this book was only 230 pages long, and there were so many events in it! Going from reading a rather heavy book with long descriptions, it was a relief to read a very straightforward, but still very well-written story. It was noticeable that this is a children’s book, but 25-year olds can enjoy it as well, obviously. I wish I had more time to read so I can sit longer times at a time to read. It took me a week to read this. Too much else going on right now.
I grew up with this story, and I know it almost completely by heart, but I got minor surprises here and there (including the full first chapter, I remember the book starting right away with Harry in his cupboard, not following the Dursley’s before Harry joined them?), things I forgot or wasn’t included in the movies (which I saw more recently than I read the books).
This is truly a book everyone should read! And this is definitely something I will read to my kids when they are old enough to understand longer stories. Can’t wait!