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© Bella Stander

book reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J. K. Rowling

Publishers Weekly
July 1998

Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from England that dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl. The story opens with mysterious goings-on ruffling the self-satisfied suburban world of the Dursleys, which culminate in Dumbledore the sorceror leaving their infant nephew Harry in a basket on their doorstep. Harry endures 11 years of abuse and neglect at the hands of the Dursleys and their swinish son Dudley, when suddenly he receives a letter and another and another, until a giant named Hagrid shows up. Then Harry learns that his parents were a wizard and a witch, and that he is to start Hogwarts witchcraft school. Most surprising of all, he is a legend in the witch world for having survived the attack by evil sorceror Voldemort that killed his parents and left him with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. And so the fun begins, with Harry going off to boarding school like a typical English kid, only his supplies include a message-carrying owl and a magic wand. There is enchantment, suspense and danger galore (as well as enough goblins and other creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogey-loving readers) as Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione plumb the secrets of the forbidden corridor at Hogwarts and unravel the mystery behind Harry's scar. Rowling leaves the door wide open for a sequel; bedazzled readers will surely clamor for one. All ages.

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