My oldest daughter has been wanting me to read the HP series for some time now. I was never interested in them before.
Actually, when these books first were published, we were in a little church where many people were chatting about how evil they were. I just went along with this without fully researching the books and only told my daughters they were NOT reading them.
Fast forward to a new church where there is no legalism and a whole lot of grace and teaching on convictions and preferences, and many people who were reading the books and sharing about how similar they are to the Chronicles of Narnia. So I began to allow the girls to read them and I looked into the themes and guess what??
Good vs. Evil....hm...just like the Bible! Of course the "magic" and "wizardry" is what makes some Christian hesitate in reading these books, but yet they don't have a problem with Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia. So.....you as a parent need to decide what is best for your child. In our home, we treat these stories like fun analogies for the triumph of good over evil......and good wins every time. Magic is fantasy and fantasy is good for children to imagine. Of course my daughters are older now and read them as young teens so they already had a firm grip on their faith and walk with Christ and only thought of these books as fun stories. They know only God Almighty has power, not some little boy learning how to be a wizard. :)
Harry is a little boy, about to turn 11 years old, who is being raised by his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. They have a son named Dudley. Harry's parents were killed in a car accident. Or so he's been told.
Harry has a miserable life....his aunt and uncle don't truly love him and his cousin Dudley is a spoiled bully.
On Harry's 11th birthday, he gets a mysterious letter that is delivered by an owl! The letter is actually an invitation for Harry to attend the special Hogwarts school....a truly magical place!
It is at Hogwarts, that Harry finally meets good friends, important classes, and a destiny that has been all planned out for him.....will Harry survive in this environment? Will he find the sorcerer's stone and will his house, the Gryfinddor house win the coveted cup??
What an excellent book for children, teens, young adults and yes...even us older folk. I enjoyed this very easy read.
My daughter explained to me that the author first wrote the title to say Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but that Americans would have trouble with that so it was changed to Sorcerer's. Sad. I prefer the original title!!Apparently, when the American company Scholastic first bought the rights to publish the book over here, they didn't think American children/parents would buy a book with the word Philosopher in it. (They were probably correct.....sad....everywhere else in the world the book goes by the original title). The author did give her consent for the title change but did say in an interview that she regretted that decision.
At any rate, no matter which title you own, the story itself is fun.
It teaches about true friendships, touches on bullying, teaches about what love really is and the forces of good vs. evil.
I found it a fast-paced book with long chapters and fun drawings. The art work is actually quite good.
There are a lot of beloved characters that my daughters say will continue on in the rest of the series. You will find that you will love some characters and despise other ones. The characters and setting are very well developed and extremely imaginative.
I loved this quote towards the end of the book:
"You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all----the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them." pg 297 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, c. 1997 ~J.K.Rowling~
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 8 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.