The Big Read

Books from Childhood – No.22 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

I don’t know if you had noticed but I had started at the bottom of the list and made my way up. I am now going to break from form as we have reached the Harry Potters. The next on the list should be The Prisoner of Azkaban but I don’t like starting in the middle so I’m going to start with the first one and work through in chronological order.

*Do I still need to put a spoilers warning on Harry Potter? I you haven’t read it come out from under your rock and read it.*

How on earth do you review Harry Potter? What can possibly be said that hasn’t already been said a million times before? I can only talk about my experience with them I guess so time to get personal. I was born in 1994 so I was 3 when The Philosopher’s Stone was realised. I am by no means claiming that I read or even knew about Harry Potter aged 3, actually I can’t remember when I first read it. I know for certain I was at least 7 due to other mile stones in my life and I think I my older brother who was 10 at the time wanted to go and see the film but he made me read the book before we went. I hadn’t finished the book when I saw the film though as I was completely shocked that it was Quirrell and not Snape.

I left the book unfinished for several years. I started on the second one but got bored (for shame!) and left the series altogether until 2004 when the film of Prisoner of Azkaban came outNow aged 10 and with renewed interest in the series I finally read The Philosopher’s Stone in it’s entirety quickly followed by all the others until I was conquered by the enormous Order of the Phoenix.

So back to The Philosopher’s Stone. I fell in love with Hogwarts. I waited for my letter, I wanted to buy a wand I fell hook, line and sinker into what would now be called ‘the fandom’. I had a Harry Potter sticker book and you could buy the stickers for 20p in newsagents, I had a cuddly Hedwig (side note I was nearly called Hedwig after my great-Grandmother kinda glad I wasn’t), I joined the ‘hype’ if you like just in time to grow up with Harry, to feel the buzz of the new book being published although I never went to a midnight book release and these are my most treasured memories of childhood.

Harry Potter makes me feel the same way that Charlie Bucket does, this poor neglected little boy finally manages to escape the world of torment and heartache he lives in and find happiness. Of course later on in the series it gets all dark and sad and I cursed J.K. for ruining Harry’s happiness but in The Philosopher’s Stone Harry gets to escape and be happy and I am pretty sure that is why all of us still read Harry Potter and I know I will continue to my whole life.

I have to go now because I have a bad case of ‘the feels’.

Rating: 5/5 unashamedly

Would recommend to: ages 10-100

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