The Children’s Book Review | July 31, 2018
Written by J.K. Rowling
Age Range: 8 and up
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; Reissue edition (June 26, 2018)
What to Expect: Fantasy and Magic
It is July 31. That means that it is Harry Potter’s birthday and the the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Get your tickets ready. The grand, shiny red Hogwarts Express is ready to depart from platform 9 3/4, and you won’t want to miss the enchanting ride into the spellbinding wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Harry is an orphan who has been living with Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley Dursley since he was a baby. The Dursleys are plain despicable and make Harry sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. On Harry’s eleventh birthday, mysterious letters addressed to Harry Potter begin arriving at the house, and his aunt and uncle try everything they can to keep them from Harry. That’s when a very large looking man, Hagrid, shows up to deliver the letter in person, along with a very important message: “You’re a wizard, Harry!” Unknown to Harry, he isn’t just any wizard, he is a very famous wizard with a destiny waiting to be fulfilled; a destiny that explains the peculiar lightning bolt scar he has on his forehead. Harry’s whole world will be turned upside down as he embarks on a new and exciting journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
J.K Rowling’s writing is as magical as the story itself. The settings and locations provide rich backdrops for the page-turning drama that unfolds—Hogwarts is located in a remote location in a majestic castle nestled against the Forbidden Forest. Feel-good moments soften, and also propel, the ever-growing tension—amidst the flurry of new magical activities (flying broomsticks and playing the wizarding sport of choice, Quidditch) and lessons (‘Care of Magical Creatures’ and ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’), it becomes apparent that a dark power is growing stronger … the kind of power that could only come from the most feared wizard … He Who Shall Not Be Named. Could Harry and his lightning bolt scar be somehow connected to this dark wizard? This question and more make it near impossible to stop at just one or two chapters a night!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is not to be missed by any reader, young or old. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this story, Scholastic has released new covers for the series, illustrated by Caldecott Medal-winning artist Brian Selznick. The covers are a kind of magic in their own right: when placed side by side, the seven covers make one spectacular picture that highlights the arc of the seven book series. Selznick’s artwork is fantastical and the cover design concept is genius!
Of course, there’s only one thing to do: Grab your invisibility cloak, and jump headfirst into this adventurous, mysterious, perilous, and highly entertaining book about muggles (non-magical) and magical folk.
About the Author
J.K. Rowling is the author of the record-breaking, multi-award-winning Harry Potter novels. Loved by fans around the world, the series has sold over 450 million copies, been translated into 80 languages, and made into eight blockbuster films. She has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in aid of Comic Relief and Lumos), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (in aid of Lumos), as well as a screenplay inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which marked the start of a five-film series to be written by the author. She has also collaborated on a stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which opened in London’s West End in the summer of 2016. In 2012 J.K. Rowling’s digital company Pottermore was launched, where fans can enjoy news, features, and articles, as well as original content from J.K. Rowling. J.K. Rowling is also the author of The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adult readers, and the Strike crime series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. She has received many awards and honors, including an OBE and Companion of Honour, France’s Légion d’honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
About the Illustrator
Brian Selznick’s books have garnered countless accolades worldwide, and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie Hugo; and Wonderstruck, adapted by celebrated filmmaker Todd Haynes, with a screenplay by Selznick; as well as The Marvels and Baby Monkey, Private Eye (co-written with Dr. David Serlin). Selznick divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, was reviewed by Bianca Schulze. Discover more books like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Books About Witches, Brian Selznick, Fantasy, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Magic, and Wizard Books.