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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
With the release of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first in a series of tales about a young wizard in training, an international craze was born. Not since C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia has a children's tale of magic and mystery so enthralled the reading public. And it's easy to see why. Eleven-year-old Harry Potter, the plucky yet nerdy hero of this series, is the embodiment of every uncool kid's fantasy. Unpopular in school, picked on by bullies, and persecuted by his adoptive family, the disheveled and bespectacled Harry manages to not only survive but thrive by discovering friends, magical powers, and a great destiny he never knew he had.
Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen -- things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero -- as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.
Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.
It's easy to see why Harry Potter has caught the reading public's fancy. Not only are his adventures an entertaining mix of fright, fantasy, and fun, his triumphs over everyday adversities offer a heartening lesson to kids everywhere.