Friday, 9 August 2013

Kid's Korner Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #1)

Kid's Korner is a new weekly feature here at Once Upon a Series where we will be reviewing children's fiction. Whether you're looking for something to read with your little ones (especially with the school holidays now upon us) or just enjoy this type of fiction yourself, hopefully this feature will help to inspire your reading choices.

Admittedly, my choice for this week is one that most of you will have read already, with me being one of the very few people in the entire world not having read any of these books up until a couple of weeks ago. But if you have read it before... maybe it's time for a little re-read?

Publisher - Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date - June 30th 1997
Paperback - 223 pages
Genre - Children's Fantasy

Source - Purchased
Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

My Thoughts - So, as I said in my introduction, I am one of the very few people left in the world who hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books, or seen any of the movies for that matter! I have been wanting to read them for so long but, if I'm honest, all the hype surrounding the series has made me a little apprehensive. But I didn't need to worry about that at all as it happens.

I really enjoyed this first instalment of the Harry Potter series. I mean, what isn't to love? There's a brave boy who overcomes all obstacles to save the day, a great support network of friends for him, villains that everybody will love to hate, magic, intrigue, and even a baby dragon... that's got to be a winner, surely?

The friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione really added to the story for me. It was great watching the three of them grow, both as individuals and as a group. Although I know that, much like the other characters, I would have found Hermione rather annoying. But her heart is in the right place, and she pulls through for Harry when he needs her, so I can't fault her too much.

And I loved the mystery element of the plot, even though I did manage to work out for myself who was behind all the trouble being caused, but that didn't spoil the book too much for me. I found myself getting lost in the world that the author created and really felt as though I was there with the characters. And, just for the record, I'd love a pet owl!

Summary - A great start to what is supposed to be an amazing series. And I'm sure that things will continue to get even better as the series continues now that the scene has been so beautifully set in this first novel. I can't wait to see what else is in store for Harry and his friends.

Other books in this series:
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


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