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Summary: Harry Potter has been an orphan for as long as he can remember. After his parents were murdered, Harry came to live - literally - in the cupboard under the staircase in the home of his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley Dursley. Unlike Harry's parents, the Dursley's are fiercely against magic, and do everything to prevent it in their lives. Uncle Vernon is so desperate to keep magic away that he moves the family to an island in the middle of nowhere to keep Harry from getting invitations to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The breaking point was the occasion of Harry's 11th birthday, when Hagrid, representative of the Headmaster arrives on the island and bring Harry to Hogwarts. At Hogwarts, Harry finds himself in a much better place, and becomes friends with Ron Weasley, whose father works for the Ministry of Magic, and Hermione Granger, a Mudblood (a person with no close wizarding relatives). It doesn't take long for these first-years to discover that something is not right and that evil lurks at Hogwarts. Together, the three discover that Voldemort (aka He who shall not be named) is planning to steal the Philosopher’s Stone because it gives immortality to the beholder of the stone. Given he has no background in magic like his friends, how much can Harry possibly hope to help his friends? This is the story that introduces Harry Potter and launches the 7-book series of his career at Hogwarts.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, anytime reading
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up
Interest Level: 9 and Up
Reading Level: 6
Age of Child: Parents will find this book valuable for helping children in primary school through high school.
Young Reader Reaction: I became a true bookworm after reading the Harry Potter books! They are some of my most favorite books and will always continue to be. What I love about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is reading about the magical, astonishing, extraordinary, and incredible world J.K. Rowling created. The protagonists are endearing and the reader quickly becomes attached to the characters This is a book most appropriate for young readers ages 11 to 14.
Adult Reader Reaction: If ever there was a "kid's book" that had adult appeal, Harry Potter is it. The books offer depth that the movies don't, but that doesn't mean they are accessible to all readers. The stories are dense with detail, and for reluctant readers they could become a deterrent. I highly recommend checking out audiobook versions to read along with printed text.
Pros: Magic, adventure, and characters kids dream to be make Harry Potter an irresistible, must-read series.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This book should definitely be bought as a gift, along with the rest of the six books of the novel series. This series must be read because children and adults will find that they love to read after reading the Harry Potter series!