It is the summer before Year 6 and Harry is back at his aunt and uncle's house and he is waiting for Professor Dumbledore to come and get him to take him to the Burrow. Everyone in the wizarding world is nervous and know that he is "The Chosen One" because that is what is being printed in the Wizarding Newspaper. When he returns to Hogwarts he is treated differently and he is suspicious of Professor Snape and Malfoy. He begins to try finding out what they are up to and still go to all his classes.
I borrowed the audio version to go with my Kindle version so I could listen to Jim Dale tell the story while I was driving (back and forth to KY and Columbus, OH). I would read the book version when I was able to sit quietly somewhere (like home after the kids were in bed). I do enjoy hearing Jim Dale tell the story he is a master at the art of storytelling and I do enjoy the Harry Potter books very much. They are kind of a mind candy.
I haven't read this book since I was 17, I'm 38 now so it's been a while. What's funny is that most of the events in the book I have entwined with the movie and I realized that I had misremembered some things. This book is perfect, the world building, the characters, the writing, flow, etc. Rowling does a great job of balancing everything though I will say the initial beginning is a bit weird til you figure out what is up with the mysterious cat.
The first book in the Harry Potter series begins with us becoming acquainted with Harry and characters we will follow through the series.
Harry Potter is an orphan bring treated like unwanted trash with his mother's family. Harry starts to realize weird things seem to be happening to him and when Harry starts to receive a ton of letters telling him he's been accepted to a place called Hogwarts, he finds out the truth about his parents, and the fact he's a wizard. When his aunt and uncle finally agree that Harry can go to Hogwarts, off starts his adventure of learning to be a wizard and finding out more about his mother and father.
Harry is loyal, brave, and above all else wants to make Gryffindor House proud. With his new friends (Ron and Hermione) by his side, Harry takes steps to protect the so called Sorcerer's Stone which ends up getting him and his friends into trouble as well as puts them in danger.
Speaking of characters I also forgot how annoying I found Hermione at first. Rowling does a great job with so many characters I can't keep pointing everyone out, but I have to say that I adored the Weasley family and maybe got a little choked up when Ron's mother knitted Harry a sweater just like the rest of the family. I almost forgot how much I adored Neville! Of all of the characters in the Potter universe, the changes in him will be fantastic to watch over the series. I almost forgot how much I adored Neville! Of all of the characters in the Potter universe, the changes in him will be fantastic to watch over the series.
I'm going to admit to something here, I still don't get Quidditch, no don't try to explain it to me, I also don't understand other sports like rugby or that other game that looks like American baseball, but is not.
The writing is I already said was great, Rowling weites for kids, but as an adult the story still holds my interest. The flow was too notch and I loved the illustrations at the top of each chapter heading.
"Nothing like this man had ever been seen on Privet Drive. He was tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man’s name was Albus Dumbledore."
"Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley turned the table over."
Dudley was the worst.
“— and you mustn’t go wandering around the school at night, think of the points you’ll lose Gryffindor if you’re caught, and you’re bound to be. It’s really very selfish of you.”
I remember now why I could not stand Hermione.
Everyone was eating the food that had been sent up. Hermione, however, stood alone by the door, waiting for them. There was a very embarrassed pause. Then, none of them looking at each other, they all said “Thanks,” and hurried off to get plates. But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
The setting and world building of Harry Potter was very well done. All the places we read about come alive and Rowling balances providing us information with moving the story along. I felt like I was on the Hogwarts train with Harry, learning about spells, going to Daigon Alley with him and Hagrid. It helps I watched the movie and it made every scene in the book stand out more to me since I had a frame of reference.
The ending leaves Harry heading back to the Dursley's for the summer and feeling proud that Gryffindor House won the most points for the school year.