Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Monday, March 21, 2011

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone- J.K. Rowling (#1- Harry Potter series)

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Published:  1997
Pages:  223
ISBN:  155192398X
Genre:  Fantasy/Children's

Start Date:  Mar. 18, 2011
Finished Date:  Mar. 20, 2011 (3 days)

Where Found:  Birthday present from several years ago (part of a 3-book set)
Why Read:  Re-read for a challenge; I'm also planning on reading the entire series as I've only read the first 3 books before (I need to refresh my memory by starting from the beginning).

Read For:  Back to the Classics challenge (3/8), 1st in a Series challenge (4/6)
Previously Read:  Around 2000-2001, I read the first 3 books of the series, and started Goblet of Fire (#4) but never finished it.

Summary:  A young boy is recruited by a magical wizard school called Hogwarts, already a legend in their community for surviving an attack that killed his wizard parents, and must protect a mystical stone from being usurped by an evil presence at the school.


What is not to love about this book?  It brings back fun childhood times of imagining far-off places and fantastical things.  J.K. Rowling reinvigorates the spirit of children's authors before her, such as C.S. Lewis, E.B. White, and L. Frank Baum (and isn't it fortuitous that they all use first and sometimes second initials?)  Like Lewis Carroll before her, Rowling uses inventive terms, such as "muggles," that are playful and allow children to experiment with language.  She encourages children to read, explore, play, make new friends, not give in to bullies, and be brave.  As a child, you relate to its themes, and as an adult, you admire them for being truthful and inspiring.  The characters are multidimensional and each have their own importance to the story with roles dating back to classic literature:  Harry is the hero discovering himself; Ron is not only a sidekick but a loyal friend; Hermione is sharply intelligent, stubborn yet caring; Dumbledore is their sage guardian; McGonegal is the firm mother figure; Snape is the conflicted challenger; and Voldemort is the bane of all evil, a classic "bad guy."

Even adults can enjoy Rowling's sense of adventure through the rip-roaring plot that soon goes off in incredible directions from a rather simple beginning about a disadvantaged boy, but intrigues us with his miraculous survival and magical destiny.  The story simply sweeps you away from the beginning and doesn't let go.  So many subplots are introduced in this book that sequels were inevitable, and I can't wait to continue re-reading Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban, and continuing right to the last (*sniffle*) book.  I've heard many wonderful things about the final books (and yes, I'm aware of its sad elements, too).

Rank:  (A+)- Spellbinding, A Must-Read!


  1. I can't wait for you to read the rest of the series. All the books are wonderful, but the plot gains a lot of depth in the later books.

  2. I love this series so much, it was a part of my childhood/teenage years. I have read all of them at least twice (and more for the later books) but plan to do a big reread in the summer. Glad you're enjoying them :)

  3. The glory of reading Harry Potter! Somehow reading reviews of it somehow brings back that excitement for me. Thanks.

  4. I love the series. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on all the books as your read them. I'm hoping to re-read the final book before the movie comes out.

  5. I have to read this, but now it's the whole series I have to read and it's such a time commitment. We're thinking about making it into a family read-along. My son has already read them and he's trying to get us on board.