Let the Adventure Begin!

Article by marycatherine

This school year, our kids specialist Mary-Catherine will reread the entirety of the Harry Potter series and blog about it for our website! September's book is HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE.

So much to discuss in my first post. Where to begin? 

Let’s start with the books themselves. The editions I’ll be reading are the hardcover boxed set, a most prized possession of mine. My two best friends from high school, whose copies I had borrowed to read the series, chipped in to buy me the boxed set for my birthday/Christmas gift during our freshman year at college! I was so excited when I opened it, that we held an impromptu dance party in our small town movie theater parking lot. There is photo evidence, but you’ll never see it!

As I cracked open HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, I thought back to the last time I reread the entire series. It was winter break 2012, and I holed up in my drafty Brooklyn closet apartment and reread the whole series in a span of two weeks. I was drawn in, totally captivated. I WAS IN HOGWARTS! Or at least it felt that way for two weeks. So I’ll be interested to see how this experience differs, since I’ll be reading it over a longer period of time, with a ton of other books and worlds interspersed.  


Now, because I was on vacation with my dear granny this week, I’ve only read the first chapter of SORCERER’S STONE, but what a doozy it is! Not only do we set the scene for the secretive relationship between the muggle (non-wizard for the newbies) world and the wizarding world, but we’re also immediately thrust into the gravity of the series’ central antagonist and conflict--the terror of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Plus, PLUS we meet Hogwarts favorites Dumbledore, Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, and the Dursleys, Harry’s terrible family. 

Sure, Rowling’s writing is still developing in these first novels, but despite people’s criticism of her early style, this chapter is all the evidence I need that she’s been a masterful storyteller from the start. You immediately get that the Dursleys are the worst and somehow also the best, if for nothing but hilarity. We first experience the landscape of the series’ duel societies--muggle and wizard--through the eyes of Vernon Dursley, who knows about wizards but is suitably appalled by their very existence. Rowling’s free indirect discourse in this chapter is textbook and magnificent and I’m so excited to keep reading! 

Enough for now, but there’s so much more to come! 

Harry Potter Hard Cover Boxed Set: Books #1-7 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545044257
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 1st, 2007

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