Author: J.K. Rowling
Hardcover, 309 pages
Publication date: September 1998
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I must admit I was just plain curious after all the hubbub I've read over the Harry Potter books. I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to have something to read while stuck at work for 12 hour Y2K shifts (and I'm thankful to have not had many calls, so I got to read it all in one night!). It was thoroughly entertaining. It took me back to all the light-hearted fantasy books I so enjoyed as a kid.
While there was a point that would make me anxious if I were a parent -- Harry, after all, keeps dangerous things secret instead of going straight to a teacher as a kid should, but it's necessary for the advancement of the plot. It would be a short and boring book if Harry and his friends just ran for help when the going got rough. And I have enough faith in myself as a potential parent (remember, I don't have any kids) to be able to discuss that point with a child; and enough faith that a child of an age to read the series having the ability to know that they shouldn't do that in real life.
I found myself grinning frequently, smiling often, and grumbling the one time the phone rang and I had to stop reading for awhile. Harry is a spunky, smart young man. And even though I'm a "grown-up," I believe I will pick up the other books in the series for my reading pleasure.
And for those parents out there who fear the book's "witchcraft," I have to say a loud "Get a grip." The magic in this book is nothing more than fairy tale magic, and if you let your kid get to an age where they read it and believe that witches really can fly on brooms and play Quidditch, blame yourself, not Rowling. There really isn't much of any of Pagan magick in the book, and definitely nothing of our religion.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is great fun, with a great hero, and if kids love it, more power to them!
Reviewed by Leigh