Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Book Club: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Yes, this book is about to celebrate its 20th year anniversary (how old does that make you feel?). I think the fear of spoilers is pretty much out the window at this point. However, you are simply never too old to read Harry Potter.
I've reviewed some of J.K. Rowling's other masterpieces (Cormoran Strike series) on the blog before, but never have I paid tribute to the cult classic that made her a household name. It all begins with this fantastical book about an eleven-year-old boy wizard, his scrappy but lovable group of friends, elderly confidants, and his ultimate battle against the dark forces of the wizarding world.
This isn't anything I need to outline scene by scene; we've all read the book, and if we haven't read the book, we've definitely seen the movie, and even if we haven't done either, we still somehow have a general idea of the plot. (Voldemort, bad. Dumbledore, good. Hermione and Ron, Harry and Ginny, Draco is annoying). However, I feel the need to discuss the serious talent that went behind this series of novels. Especially in honor of her newest and perhaps most exciting installment: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, set twenty years in the future when Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny are all parents. Thank you, J.K. Rowling. We couldn't have asked for a better anniversary present.
In preparation for this new book, which is actually a two-act play to be performed in London, I have been reading through the series to refresh my memory. After all, it's been years since I first sat down and cracked one open. Although these books are written for young children, I find myself absolutely enraptured by Rowling's powerful storytelling abilities. These books are unputdownable, to this day.
Even as an adult, I am genuinely touched by the fatherly figure that is Dumbledore and his relationship with Harry. I find myself laughing at the antics Harry and his group of friends get into, and I beam when Harry decides to follow his gut and do what is right, regardless of what others are telling him. These books are treasures, and I'm delighted to be reading them again.
Is anyone else re-reading Potter in prep for the Cursed Child? What are your thoughts your second, third, twelfth time through the series? A fun fact about me is that I actually resisted Harry Potter when it was first a huge deal. I have always been turned off by the hype of things, so the craze that was Harry Potter really annoyed me. I assumed it was crap until one day in about the fifth grade, my friend forced me to read the series. I picked up the first book reluctantly, going into it with my mind practically made up already. However, as ashamed as I was to admit it, Rowling drew me in and I found myself starving for Potter. I tore through the books like a ravenous animal, finishing the entire series in something like 2 or 3 weeks.
If anyone has been so unfortunate to not have read these books yet, it's not too late. Yes, it's a children's book, but trust me: it is not too late. Rowling's voice speaks to an audience with no age--only imagination.