Book Sixty-Eight of 2014: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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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 cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in ten 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.

Now before you start gasping and freaking out, I have read this book before. I’ve read the whole series. I’ve stood in line waiting for the next Harry movie. I forced my husband to watch Deathly Hallows part 2 at an IMAX theater. I have been to Deathly Hallows‘ book launch at a Borders (I was working, but I did pre-order and got my book that night, it was amazing). Hell, I’m even going to the Harry Potter Diagon Alley this October (YES!). I even know what house I’d be placed in (Hufflepuff and proud of it. Badger pride all the way!).

That said, my friends and I decided to go through the series all over again and see what we’ve forgotten and missed. I completely forgot how much Neville is a part of the group. I did forget one of the ending scenes, but it was in the movie. The one test that wasn’t in the movie I remembered. I was annoyed by that because Snape’s test wasn’t in the film and that made him look even more guilty. Yes, I’m a Snape fan.

I forgot how much this book was fun. Sorcerer’s Stone isn’t the first book in the Harry Potter series that I read, but it was the second one. I honestly didn’t care for this book back then. I found it too formulaic and blah. And though you do see a formula, it is a formula for children. You see the amount of work Rowling put into it. I’ve noticed some points in the book that don’t come again until much later.

It is moments like that that make me excited about literature. I love how extensive Rowling’s world is and how much care she puts into the books. The Wizarding world isn’t very detailed in the book (it actually isn’t!), but she gives enough to run our imaginations. By doing that, she makes the world as much as ours as hers.

In Sorcerer’s Stone, we meet The Boy Who Lived. We experience his life in a perfectly normal world, but in an abnormal situation. He is abused, but he doesn’t act like the abused child like you would think. It brings to question just how much and how long he lived that way. Was it until the magic happened?

From there we experience the world, learn a whole new set of words, and meet the people Harry would trust and risk everything for. You don’t see friendships like that. It is rare for someone to have a friendship like what Hermione, Ron and Harry have. I’m lucky to have one, but not many people are. In this book, we learn the power every person has. Our weaknesses are another’s strength and it is our love and respect for one another that makes things happen.

I, of course, will be reading the second book again. But for now, I’m going to relish on what I learned so long ago and was reminded today.

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