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Cannonball Read #16: Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

01/08/2010

I really hadn’t intended to do much re-reading during this Cannonball Read, but when my 10-year-old daughter, decided that she finally wanted to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I couldn’t resist reading it along with her. I’ve read the first in the Harry Potter series at least 4 times, but it was a lot of fun to read it with her and have our own little book club. It was very interesting to see her take on the novel. To begin with, she was sooooooooooooo excited to start this series. I had suggested she read it (and I along with her) a couple of other times, but she didn’t take me up on it until now. She’s also seen one or two of the movies, so she knew the basic gist of the story but not the full details.

Do I have to recount the story to you? Harry Potter finds out on his eleventh birthday that he is, in reality, a wizard. And his parents weren’t killed in a car accident, but they were really murdered by the evil sorceror, Lord Voldemort. He goes off to Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witches and has to learn to fit in as well as battle evil.

Molly’s first concern with the book was, “is it going to be scary – can i read it at bedtime, or will I have bad dreams?” I told her that she would be just fine. The first book in the series is the tamest of them all, so I knew she wouldn’t have nightmares with this one, and she didn’t.

The next question was, “do you find out how harry got the scar? I bet Voldemort cut him …with a knife!” That really cracked me up.

When Snape is introduced, they don’t name him at first. Molly asked if he was Voldemort because Harry’s scar hurt him when Snape looked at him. She still wants to know why that happened.

Of course, as a kid, Molly’s favorite parts were when Harry learns Quidditch and triumphs at the end of the book, but another moment she liked really rang true for me. It’s early on, before they even get to Hogwarts, when they are on the train. As Harry gets to try the various magical treats from the food cart, the reader really sees that this world is different than the real world, right down to Chocolate Frogs that jump and escape, trading cards with photos that move, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans that feature every flavor – even gross ones like “spinach and liver and tripe.”

And that is what makes J.K. Rowling’s world so inviting, the reality that is so close, but not quite, our own.

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