Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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I. Basic Information
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published by: Scholastics Inc.
Copyright: © 1997 by J.K. Rowling
No. of Pages; 309
II. Author’s Background
J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote the beginnings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on scraps of paper at a local café. But her efforts soon paid off, as she received an unprecedented award from the Scottish Arts Council enabling her to finish the book. Since then, the debut novel has become an international phenomenon, garnering rave reviews and major awards, including the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the year, and the smarties prize.

Ms. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her daughter.
III. Synopsis (Summary)
Before the start of the novel, Voldemort, considered the most evil and powerful dark wizard in history, kills Harry's parents but mysteriously vanishes after trying to kill the infant Harry. While the wizarding world celebrates Voldemort's downfall, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Rubeus Hagrid place the one year-old orphan in the care of his neglectful and abusive Muggle (non-wizard) uncle and aunt: Vernon and Petunia Dursley, who also have their own son, Dudley, a spoiled and selfish boy.

For ten years, Harry is repeatedly tormented by the Dursleys. Shortly before Harry's eleventh birthday, a series of letters addressed to Harry arrive, but Vernon destroys them before Harry can read them. To get away from the letters, Vernon takes the family to a small island. As they are settling in, Hagrid bursts through the door to tell Harry what the Dursleys have kept him from finding out: Harry is a wizard and has been accepted at Hogwarts.

Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley, a magically-concealed shopping precinct in London, where Harry is bewildered to discover how famous he is among wizards as "the boy who lived". He also finds that he is quite wealthy, since a bequest from his parents has remained on deposit at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Guided...
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