This was my first time reading this book. I have never even watched the movies, and somehow I was lucky enough to avoid any spoilers. I got to enjoy the story like it was meant to be enjoyed so I know more than a few of you Potter fans wish you were me right now and got to fall in love with this series for the first time.
What can I say?
While reading this, I felt simultaneously transported back in time and into another world.The world was filled with magic and mythical creatures and the time was when I was eleven years old and filled with imagination and wonder. I’ve read my fair share of children’s books, but I’ve never read one that so perfectly captured the feeling of how wonderful and freeing it is to be a child.
I loved the moments when Harry, Ron, and Hermoine got to play, eat sweets, and find mischief like normal kids just as much as I liked the moments when they were learning magic and fighting monsters. Even the most mundane activities were written in such a wistful and intriguing way that I was afraid to miss a single word. Usually if I my eyes glaze over I just keep reading until I get caught up but that was impossible to do with this book. I was scared that if I looked away for even a moment I might miss something.
When the story began, I hated the Dursleys with such a passion. A group of more miserable and hateful people has never been found. After a while, I had to remind myself to chill out because things were going to get better for Harry eventually. And that’s the only way I made it though those first chapters without throwing my book across the room.
But something happened when Harry met Ron’s mom for the first time. I was so relieved when she was sweet and motherly towards him that I realized why the Dursleys had to be so terrible. There are plenty of mean and horrible people Harry has to deal with, but those bad people make the friends Harry meets seem all the more wonderful.
After I realized how necessary the villains were to the story, I started to enjoy them more. When Harry and the gang got in trouble, instead of just feeling dread and worrying about them, I also looked forward to seeing how they were going to get out of their current scrape.
There was a chemistry between all the characters in this book that was such a pleasure. Harry is an innocent and heroic little boy who is lucky to have a loyal and brave friend like Ron, and Hermione is the smart, mother hen. She worries about them both, tells them when their ideas are stupid, and then goes along to keep them out of trouble. And Dumbledore is insanely funny it only took two scenes for me to fall in love with him and wish he was my crazy great-uncle.
I honestly can’t think of a thing I didn’t love about this book. I even loved the names! (Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington is the best name in the history of names, and I will never refer to him as “Headless Nick”.)
Everything was so well thought out and planned, and there were more than a few surprising moments that I never saw coming.
I am so glad that I waited as long as I did to read this. I have always liked to read, but when I was a kid, I didn’t love it the way I do now. I finally know why everyone loves this book so much. It’s not because it is the greatest piece of literature that has ever been written, It’s because this book shows how joyful and fun reading can be. Reading doesn’t have to be intimidated and hard to be good. The best books–the books that stick with you and make you smile when you think about them–are the ones that challenge you, teach you something useful, and entertain the heck out of you.
This book did all that and more.
This is the first book I have every read that I can honestly recommend everyone read.
I’m not even sure how to do the parental guidance on this one. I recommend the parent read it first and then decide if their child can handle it. At the very least, the parent will have some fun.