Thursday, June 6, 2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground.  He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a clock of invisibility.  All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley---a great big swollen spoiled bully.  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 an incredible place that Harry---and anyone who reads about him---will find unforgettable.  For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter. 

Our Review: For our first book reviews we decided to start with the series that introduced us to the true meaning of OBSESSION.  The award winning novel that brought J.K. Rowling and her spectacular writing to the spotlight, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is where the adventure begins.  J.K. Rowling does an excellent job of creating an amazingly, complex, magical world that is explained to us quite simply through the use of the protagonist Harry Potter.  The reader is very much like Harry in the sense that we are thrown into a new world, and as everything is discovered it's as wonderous for us as it is for Harry.  The strongest aspect of the novel is the characters.  Each person who reads this will find a character that remind them of themself, friends, or family.   
The weakest aspect of the story is most young readers wouldn't pick up on the underlying parts that hint at child abuse.  Harry is described as skinny.  Read between the lines, it seems like it's from malnourishment.  Harry's often forced to skip meals by his aunt and uncle as punishment.  Another boy admits to being dropped out a window by his uncle, because he wasn't displaying any magical abilities.  Though this book is written for younger ages, it's a novel that can really be enjoyed by all ages.  Older readers who feel more critical towards it should keep in mind however that it is a young adult novel. 

Pipers thoughts:  J. K Rowling's vivid descriptions and excellent writing really brought the whole world of Harry Potter to life for me in the first book.  The best thing about it is how J. K. Rowling created a world that seems so real and almost possible.  I think all the characters in the book are relatable and are what really make the story.  I was very reluctant and had no desire to read the books at all!  It was actually Crimson who introduced me to the books and practically forcced me to read it!  But I was so glad she did!!!  Being so young when I read it I was so sure Snape was the bad guy.  He seemed so obvious, but of course he was SO obvious it could not possibly have been him.  A very smart move I thought on J. K. Rowlings part.  Lots of people are so reluctant (like I myself was) to read it becuase they think it's a book all about wizardry! when really it's about Harry making a life in a world he knows nothing about and has no friends in.  Something we can all relate to.  Harry Potter really opened my eyes and made me realize to always expect the unexpected (that is not the only thing of course, but one of my favorite things).  It is the book I always turn to if I'm in need of a smile. 

Crimsons Here's Something to Think About:  When a student first arrives at Hogwarts they are sorted into one of four houses, each with its own defining characteristics.  Gryffindor for the brave, Ravenclaw for the smart, Hufflepuff for the loyal (they're good at finding things), and Slytherin for the cunning.  The sorting hat is responsible for placing the students in the house that is best suited to them.  the houses serve as a way to help students makes friends, create a competitive atmosphere (students compete for the house cup) and it gives them a sense of unity and belonging.  But is the sorting really a good thing to put students through?  Sure I would love to go to Hogwarts and see what house I'd be sorted into, who wouldn't?  However it can be just as negative an experience as it could be a positive one.  What if there was a student who desperately wanted to be put in Ravenclaw and wound up in Slytherin instead?  Or say the student came from a long line of Gryffindors and was the first in the family to not be sorted into it.  I think this could create a resentment towards the house they wind up in.  The houses do create a division amongst the students that can lead to animosity between them.  There is a Montague/Capulet, Hatfield/McCoy style rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin.  Also, because of the traits each house possesses, it feeds into the stereotypes that plague that of a normal highschool where you have the jocks and nerds, at Hogwarts you have the "Lions" and "Claws".  Being sorted can have its strong points, and while it does seem like a fun thing to do, does it create a healthy atmosphere for the students? 

 P.S. Whatever happened to that chick Sally-Anne Perks?

1=hated it  2=bad  3=needswork  4=Ok  5=average  6=good  7=prettygood  8=great  9=amazing 10=Flawless/Legendary

Piper gives Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a rating of 8/10 though she thinks it is also legendary.

Crimson gives Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a rating of 7/10.

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