Orphaned as a young child and sent to live with his only know living relatives, the Dursley’s, Harry knows no other life than that of living in their under-stairs closet 4 Privet Drive in London. Caring so little for Harry, this family never even celebrates his birthday. One day Harry receives a mysterious letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Uncle Vernon freaks out and burns the letter, only to find more letters appearing by curious means each time he destroys one. After blocking the mail slot and boarding up the house doesn’t stop the letters, Uncle Vernon takes drastic measures—he takes Aunt Petunia, their son Dudley, and Harry to an old, rundown house on an island in the middle of nowhere. Much to Uncle Vernon’s dismay, the letters still find them, thanks to Hagrid, half giant and gatekeeper of Hogwarts, who ensures that Harry gets his letter from the school by delivering it to the rundown house. Here, Harry is shocked to learn from Hagrid that not only were his parents wizards, rather than humans, but also they were killed by a wizard known as You-Know-Who, not in a car crash as he had always been told; thus, he is famously known in the wizarding world as “the boy who lived.” Hagrid takes Harry away from the Dursley’s with him to the wizard bank, Gringotts Wizaring Bank, where he can collect some money his parents left him from a vault. After purchasing all the necessary equipment to attend Hogwarts, Harry rides the train to school. On the train he meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who become his best friends. At school Harry must learn who is friend and who is foe as he and his friends go on an adventure that is part of Harry’s destiny, if he can survive, to find the Sorcerer’s stone.
When the Harry Potter series first came out in 1997, I remember, due to its popularity, especially during my middle school years, I was determined to “hate it.” Now that I am several years removed from middle school, I decided I wanted to give the series a go again. I was not disappointed. J.K. Rowling has created a mystical world of magic, wizards, and adventure. The first novel in the series is well written, captivating readers to want to read more. Luckily there are still 6 more books from this magical world.
Series: Harry Potter
Genre: fantasy; fiction; magic; science fiction
Literary Awards: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature (2008), British Book Award for Children's Book of the Year (1998), Smarties Prize (1997), Prijs van de Nederlandse Kinderjury for 6-9 jaar en 10-12 jaar (2002), American Booksellers Book Of The Year Award for Children (1999), West Australian Young Readers' Book Award (WAYRBA) for Younger Readers (2000), Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award (2001), South Carolina Book Award for Junior Book Award (2001), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (2000),Charlotte Award (2000), Nene Award (2000), Massachusetts Children's Book Award (2000), Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (2001), Blue Hen Book Award for Chapter Book 2001), Nevada Young Readers' Award for Young Reader Category (2000),Golden Archer Award for Middle/Junior High (2000), Indian Paintbrush Book Award (2000), Hotze de Roosprijs (2002), New York Public Library Best Book of the Year (1998), Carnegie Medal in Literature Nominee (1997), Kinderboekwinkelprijs (1999), Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998), National Book Award (UK) (1997), Parenting Book of the Year Award 1998), Washington State Sasquatch Award (2000), Literaturpreis der Jury der jungen Leser for Kinderbuch (1999)
Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK), Arthur A. Levine Books (US)
Publication date: June 26, 1997
Number of pages: 310
Grade Level: 4-7
Other books in the Harry Potter Series:
2-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
7-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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