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Cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

author: J.K. Rowling (1997)
series: Harry Potter #1
date read: 2001-09-01
pages: 309
lists: fantasy , german , kids
rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜†

Harry Potter – look, I can’t be objective. I grew up on these books. My friends and I could act out entire scenes by heart. I went through the cycle a generation experienced: Love, obsession, disappointment (to varying degrees, mine was fairly light), detachment (in many cases by growing up, in my case by discovering fanfics).

I still really like the first book though. It has a strong vibe of a good book for kids, strong worldbuilding, an atmosphere you can nearly touch. I don’t mind its inconsistencies, the lack of logic in many places. It mirrors how a child sees the world: when I read the books as a kid, there was nothing weird about Harry being abandoned on a doorstep by supposedly-responsible adults and then tortured for much of his life. I mean, relatable content, right?

In some ways, the series as a whole is a mess, and that’s not talking about the aggressive retconning business the author has tacked on on Twitter in the years after publishing it. But I still enjoy revisiting the feeling I got when I read the books, and that’s really all that matters.

Further Reading

If you like the angle of young disadvantaged kids getting to do magic in a realistic world, I will not stop recommending the Young Wizards series. It does so many things so much better than Harry Potter – it comes at it from a more grounded, more realistic view, and carries it off extremely well. It helps that Diane Duane is also a better writer if you just compare their prose.

A very similar book to Harry Potter (read: knockoff) is Knightley Academy, so if you just want more of the same, that’s where you should go.

And then, of course, there is fanfiction. I have not added all the Harry Potter fanfiction I’ve read to this site, but I’ve added notable ones, and over time I’ll list them here.

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