Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!
I read the first 2 books in the Harry Potter series around ten years ago, when we first moved to the UK. I hardly remember anything about them, but of course, I know all about Harry. He's become such an iconic character in children's fiction and is the darling of so many kids who grew up with him and who are now all young adults themselves.
I've always been a bit bemused by Harry Potter's success and I'll admit, it really put me off reading the rest of the books. When something gets that big and that scary with that many dedicated fans, it's both a good thing and a bad thing. I couldn't imagine loving it that much and it made me question my ability as a reader, not even a reviewer! What was I missing?
So, when I spied these gorgeous new covers, I threw caution to the wind and succumbed. I sat down with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and read it from cover to cover and was smitten by a small skinny untidy haired boy with glasses and the ability to get into all sorts of trouble.
And I'll admit that although JK Rowling's writing is good, it is not awe inspiring but it is incredibly engaging and she really hits those beats that makes you want to read more and faster in order to find out what's going on. She uses a lot of archetypes in Philosopher's Stone and there are big elements of the fairy tale about it, but honestly, you can say the same thing about Star Wars and that is a perennial classic that...