Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
By now there's not much that can be said about the Harry Potter phenomenon that hasn't been said already. Worshipped by kids, and enjoyed by adults, this modern myth has become an accepted classic worldwide. Pull any copy of the series off a shelf anywhere in the world and you're holding magic. It's not hard to see why. Right from the first page of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (or "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" for those reading in the UK) Rowling proves that she knows a thing or two about the kind of magic that brings stories to life. The book starts with Harry as an infant, the child of a wizard and witch. He is suddenly left orphaned after an attack by the evil and powerful wizard Lord Voldemort, a villain so evil that most wizards and witches refer to him as "You-Know-Who". Mysteriously, Harry survive the Killing curse which is a solid way to kill people and Voldemort, his power apparently broken in his attempt to kill the child, disappears leaving many to think he's gone for good. The news spreads fast and Harry is hailed as a hero. Even though he's just a baby his victory over Voldemort makes him an overnight celebrity among magic users all over the world. As a result, the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry step in to decide Harry's future. They decide to take the child out of the spotlight and allow him to live a normal life with his only remaining relations, a Muggle (people with no magic) family named Dursley, until he is of age to attend the Hogwarts school. They leave Harry on the doorstep of the Dursley's home, with no more than a letter of explanation. The story truly begins nearly ten years later, after Harry has endured a childhood of constant scorn and hatred at the hands of his new family. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia are embarrassed by the fact that Harry's mother considered herself a witch and married a man who claimed to be a wizard. The Dursley's simply don't hold with such nonsense. They consider themselves respectable. As Muggles go, the Dursley's may not be prime examples of the worst of their kind, but they rank pretty high. They force Harry to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs and to wear their spoiled son's damaged cast-offs. Harry is little more than a servant and a punching bag to his cousin Dudley. But worst of all, Mr. Dursley has not read Dumbledore's letter to Harry, leaving the boy unaware of such things as his heritage, the truth about his parents death and his emerging powers. Then everything changes with the delivery of a letter in a very unusual fashion. From that point on, Harry's life is never the same again. The letter is actually an acceptance letter, a notification to Harry that he has a place at Hogwart's school. Literally rescued from the Dursley's and taken under the wing of Hagrid, the school's lovable giant of a groundskeeper, Harry embarks on the adventure of a lifetime in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts where in addition to his studies he makes close friends and a lifelong enemy, discovers a talent for a very unusual sport called Quidditch and solves a mystery that threatens the world, not to mention his very existence. J.K Rowling introduces readers to an assortment of characters, ranging from extremes of good and bad, enlightened to dumb, and capable to confused, with most being somewhere on between. Like most of the greatest heroes in the world, Harry is both ordinary and extraordinary. He's an eleven-year-old skinny kid, with unruly black hair and a weird scar on his forehead. He's also an orphan who doesn't remember his parents. Harry’s character is appealing because of his an authentic human characteristics. Although he is often brave and bold, Harry also experiences self-doubt and is afraid, asking for help when he is terrified and feels powerless. He is often untidy and suffers queasiness and stomachaches when he experience emotional turmoil. Harry...
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