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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

4.6 5812
by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre (Illustrator)

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In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter—the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry's history to


In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter—the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry's history to him: When he was a baby, the Dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, attacked and killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry; but the only mark on Harry was a mysterious lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Now he has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the headmaster is the great wizard Albus Dumbledore. Harry visits Diagon Alley to get his school supplies, especially his very own wand. To get to school, he takes the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station. On the train, he meets two fellow students who will become his closest friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Harry is assigned to Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, and soon becomes the youngest-ever Seeker on the House Quidditch team. He also studies Potions with Professor Severus Snape, who displays a deep and abiding dislike for Harry, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell; he and his friends defeat a mountain troll, help Hagrid raise a dragon, and explore the wonderful, fascinating world of Hogwarts.

But all events lead irrevocably toward a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who seeks an object of legend known as the Sorcerer's Stone...

Editorial Reviews

The 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.

--Beth Amos

Sunday Times
Lectura recomendada del año...la comparación con Roald Dahl por una vez está justificada.
Italia Oggi
Una lectora recomendable para todas las edades.
Aubrey King
Hary Potter is one of the best books of the year. Magical writing, wonderful descriptions, and very intriguing characters make an amazing book. I personally like Harry Potter, both the book and the character, and now I'm enjoying Harry Potter with my class. I loved the book so much, that I read #2 (Chamber of Secrets), #3 (Prisoner of Azkaban), and when #4 comes out, I'll definitely read that one!

If you haven't read the book here's a little something about Harry Potter. Harry Potter was left on the doorstep of his evil Aunt and Uncle, The Dursleys. When Harry turned 10 years old, he was sent to a wizarding school, called Hogswarts. There he met his friends Ron and Hermione.

If you haven't read Harry Potter, you should.
Calhoun Globe

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The breakaway bestseller is now in paperback. In a starred review, PW said, "Readers are in for a delightful romp with this debut from a British author who dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Winner of the British National Book Award for Children's Book of the Year, this wonderful first novel introduces us to the magical world of Harry Potter. Orphaned as a baby, Potter spends his first eleven years with his horrible Aunt and Uncle and cousin Dudley who relegate him to a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs. Everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting Harry to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, a fascinating world opens up to Harry including new games, new lessons on how to cast spells and more, new friends, and new problems. An evil force, the force which killed Harry's parents, tries to capture the all powerful sorcerer's stone which is being safeguarded at Harry's school; Harry and his friends are the only ones capable of possibly stopping the evil force. With its imaginative setting, characters, and plot, young readers will want to read more about Harry Potter.
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
An instant classic, this author has been compared to C. S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. I was skeptical, but now a believer; I can't wait to read the sequel. Harry Potter is orphaned as an infant and goes to live with relatives who treat him miserably. At ten, he receives word (via carrier owl) that he has been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Only then he learns that his parents were famous witches, killed by a fellow witch who was drawn to the black arts. The fact that Harry survived the attack on his parents made him a celebrity among witches. At Hogwarts, in an environment where he is accepted and appreciated, Harry thrives. He is even a star player on the quidditch team, scoring points while riding his broom. But all is not well at Hogwarts, and Harry soon discovers a terrible secret about a hidden treasure. The characters and flow of events are beautifully crafted to entice both young and old.
Children's Literature - Sue Reichard
This exciting book has dazzled British readers and is the winner of the British National Book Award and Children's Book of the Year award. Readers will love the crazy fantasy about Harry Potter. Harry has been treated very badly by his aunt and uncle with whom he lives. His cousin Dudley is very spoiled and teases and taunts Harry constantly. Harry is used to it, it's a way of life for him since his parents died. Things begin to change for Harry when a mysterious letter arrives via an owl messenger. Harry has been invited to an incredible place. Harry's fantastic adventures are about to begin.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
When Harry's parents die, he has no idea of his real heritage or his destiny. He is treated dastardly by his neglectful aunt and uncle but from the moment of his eleventh birthday, he is summoned to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where his training begins. The reader embarks on an adventure that continues through the very last page. 309 pages of entertainment filled with magic, sorcery, good vs. evil and a courageous protagonist, eleven-year-old Harry Potter.
The ALAN Review - Bill Mollineaux
When one-year-old Harry Potter's parents-a witch and a wizard-were killed by the evil Voldemort, Harry was sent to live with his "normal" aunt, uncle, and spoiled cousin. After spending eleven miserable years with this family, in which Harry was forced to sleep in a closet and was the brunt of his cousin's bullying, he learns that he is a wizard when he is unexpectedly accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts, Harry makes many fine friends as well as a few dreaded enemies. While at school, Harry discovers that the Sorcerer's Stone is hidden there, the stone that will enable Voldemort to create a body of his own and gain immortality. Rowling has created a fast-moving, magical tale replete with humor, adventure, suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters that will enchant middle schoolers.
VOYA - Libby Bergstrom
Harry Potter, who believes that his parents were killed in a car accident when he was a baby, lives with his dreadful relatives, the Dursleys. Imagine his surprise when, on his eleventh birthday, he is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry learns that he is a wizard, just as his parents had been, and that he survived the attack in which they were killed battling the evil Voldemort. At Hogwarts, Harry discovers his natural skill at Quidditch, a type of three-dimensional rugby played on flying brooms; he tastes new treats such as "Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans," which truly do come in every flavor from strawberry and coffee to sardine and ear wax; and he learns that there is evil afoot at the school. Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermoine, discover that someone at the school is trying to steal a priceless stone with the power to make a person immortal. In a breathtaking final showdown, Harry faces Voldemort and saves the stone, but not before he nearly loses his life. Rowling's style is a cross between Roald Dahl and Patricia Wrede. First published in Britain, where it won the British National Book Award for Children's Book of the Year as well as the Smarties Prize, this hilarious and suspenseful book will delight American audiences as well. And since Voldemort lives on, we can hope that a sequel will be available soon. VOYA Codes: 5Q 5P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Fantasy & Science Fiction
It's classic British boarding school fiction with the delicious twist of magic and a decidedly different cirriculum.
Chicago Tribune
The story delights.
Eden Ross Lipson
Sally Lodge of Wellesley, Mass., said: "I've been a mother for almost 18 years, and never in my parenting career have all three of my children read and even fought over the same book. But then my husband started the first book at the same time the 11-year-old was reading it, and he wanted it reserved for him. So he hid it under his pillow. But she found it."
The New York Times
Michael Winerip
A wonderful first novel....Harry is destined for greatness...and one day he mysteriously receives a notice in the mail announcing that he has been chosen to attend Hogwarts, the nation's elite school for training wizards and witches, the Harvard of sorcery. Before he is done, Harry Potter will meet a dragon, make friends with a melancholy centaur and do battle with a three-headed dog....Through all this hocus-pocus is delightful, the magic in the book is not the real magic of the book. Much like Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling has a gift for keeping the emotions, fears and triumphs of her characters on a human scale, even while the supernatural is popping out all over.
The New York Times Book Review
USA Today
You don't have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter.
The true hero of this summer's reading season is likely to be Harry Potter.
Kirkus Reviews
A rousing first novel, an award-winner in England. Harry is just a baby when his magical parents are done in by Voldemort, a wizard so dastardly other wizards are scared to mention his name. So Harry is brought up by his mean Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, and picked on by his horrid cousin Dudley. He knows nothing about his magical birthright until 10 years later, when he learns he's to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts is a lot like English boarding school, except that instead of classes in math and grammar, the curriculum features courses in Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry becomes the star player of Quidditch, a sort of mid-air ball game. With the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, Harry solves a mystery involving a sorcerer's stone that ultimately takes him to the evil Voldemort. This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons' eggs hatched on the hearth. It's slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school.

From the Publisher
"A charming, imaginative, magical confection of a novel." -- Boston Globe
"Harry is destined for greatness." -- The New York Times

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Harry Potter
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.11(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Two
The Vanishing Glass

Yet Harry Potter was still there, asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her shrill voice that made the first noise of the day.

"Up! Get up! Now!"

Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.

"Up!" she screeched. Harry heard her walking toward the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the stove. He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorcycle in it. He had a funny feeling he'd had the same dream before.

His aunt was back outside the door.

"Are you up yet?" she demanded.

"Nearly," said Harry.

"Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday."

Harry groaned.

"What did you say?" his aunt snapped through the door.

"Nothing, nothing . . ."

Dudley's birthday - how could he have forgotten? Harry got slowly out of bed and started looking for socks. He found a pair under his bed and, after pulling a spider off one of them, put them on. Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept.

When he was dressed he went down the hall into the kitchen. The table was almost hidden beneath all Dudley's birthday presents. It looked as though Dudley had gotten the new computer he wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike. Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harry, as Dudley was very fat and hated exercise - unless of course it involved punching somebody. Dudley's favorite punching bag was Harry, but he couldn't often catch him. Harry didn't look it, but he was very fast.

Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley's, and Dudley was about four times bigger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember, and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had gotten it.

"In the car crash when your parents died," she had said. "And don't ask questions."

Don't ask questions - that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys.

Uncle Vernon entered the kitchen as Harry was turning over the bacon.

"Comb your hair!" he barked, by way of a morning greeting.

About once a week, Uncle Vernon looked over the top of his newspaper and shouted that Harry needed a haircut. Harry must have had more haircuts than the rest of the boys in his class put together, but it made no difference, his hair simply grew that way - all over the place.

Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes, and thick blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel - Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.

Harry put the plates of egg and bacon on the table, which was difficult as there wasn't much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was counting his presents. His face fell.

"Thirty-six," he said, looking up at his mother and father. "That's two less than last year."

"Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, it's here under this big one from Mommy and Daddy."

"All right, thirty-seven then," said Dudley, going red in the face. Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley turned the table over.

Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too, because she said quickly, "And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that, popkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?"

Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work. Finally he said slowly, "So I'll have thirty . . . thirty . . ."

"Thirty-nine, sweetums," said Aunt Petunia.

"Oh." Dudley sat down heavily and grabbed the nearest parcel. "All right then."

Uncle Vernon chuckled.

"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. 'Atta boy, Dudley!" He ruffled Dudley's hair.

At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a video camera, a remote control airplane, sixteen new computer games, and a VCR. He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone looking both angry and worried.

"Bad news, Vernon," she said. "Mrs. Figg's broken her leg. She can't take him." She jerked her head in Harry's direction.

Dudley's mouth fell open in horror, but Harry's heart gave a leap. Every year on Dudley's birthday, his parents took him and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks, hamburger restaurants, or the movies. Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs. Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away. Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and Mrs. Figg made him look at photographs of all the cats she'd ever owned.

"Now what?" said Aunt Petunia, looking furiously at Harry as though he'd planned this. Harry knew he ought to feel sorry that Mrs. Figg had broken her leg, but it wasn't easy when he reminded himself it would be a whole year before he had to look at Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty again.

"We could phone Marge," Uncle Vernon suggested.

"Don't be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy."

The Dursleys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he wasn't there - or rather, as though he was something very nasty that couldn't understand them, like a slug.

"What about what's-her-name, your friend - Yvonne?"

"On vacation in Majorca," snapped Aunt Petunia.

"You could just leave me here," Harry put in hopefully (he'd be able to watch what he wanted on television for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley's computer).

Aunt Petunia looked as though she'd just swallowed a lemon.

"And come back and find the house in ruins?" she snarled.

"I won't blow up the house," said Harry, but they weren't listening.

"I suppose we could take him to the zoo," said Aunt Petunia slowly, ". . . and leave him in the car. . . ."

"That car's new, he's not sitting in it alone. . . ."

Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn't really crying - it had been years since he'd really cried - but he knew that if he screwed up his face and wailed, his mother would give him anything he wanted.

"Dinky Duddydums, don't cry, Mummy won't let him spoil your special day!" she cried, flinging her arms around him.

"I . . . don't . . . want . . . him . . . t-t-to come!" Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. "He always sp-spoils everything!" He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap in his mother's arms.

Just then, the doorbell rang - "Oh, good Lord, they're here!" said Aunt Petunia frantically - and a moment later, Dudley's best friend, Piers Polkiss, walked in with his mother. Piers was a scrawny boy with a face like a rat. He was usually the one who held people's arms behind their backs while Dudley hit them. Dudley stopped pretending to cry at once.

Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn't believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Dursleys' car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His aunt and uncle hadn't been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they'd left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.

"I'm warning you," he had said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harry's, "I'm warning you now, boy - any funny business, anything at all - and you'll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas."

"I'm not going to do anything," said Harry, "honestly . . ."

But Uncle Vernon didn't believe him. No one ever did.

The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry and it was just no good telling the Dursleys he didn't make them happen.

Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barbers looking as though he hadn't been at all, had taken a pair of kitchen scissors and cut his hair so short he was almost bald except for his bangs, which she left "to hide that horrible scar." Dudley had laughed himself silly at Harry, who spent a sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already laughed at for his baggy clothes and taped glasses. Next morning, however, he had gotten up to find his hair exactly as it had been before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off. He had been given a week in his cupboard for this, even though he had tried to explain that he couldn't explain how it had grown back so quickly.

Another time, Aunt Petunia had been trying to force him into a revolting old sweater of Dudley's (brown with orange puff balls). The harder she tried to pull it over his head, the smaller it seemed to become, until finally it might have fitted a hand puppet, but certainly wouldn't fit Harry. Aunt Petunia had decided it must have shrunk in the wash and, to his great relief, Harry wasn't punished.

On the other hand, he'd gotten into terrible trouble for being found on the roof of the school kitchens. Dudley's gang had been chasing him as usual when, as much to Harry's surprise as anyone else's, there he was sitting on the chimney. The Dursleys had received a very angry letter from Harry's headmistress telling them Harry had been climbing school buildings. But all he'd tried to do (as he shouted at Uncle Vernon through the locked door of his cupboard) was jump behind the big trash cans outside the kitchen doors. Harry supposed that the wind must have caught him in mid-jump.

But today, nothing was going to go wrong. It was even worth being with Dudley and Piers to be spending the day somewhere that wasn't school, his cupboard, or Mrs. Figg's cabbage-smelling living room.

While he drove, Uncle Vernon complained to Aunt Petunia. He liked to complain about things: people at work, Harry, the council, Harry, the bank, and Harry were just a few of his favorite subjects. This morning, it was motorcycles.

". . . roaring along like maniacs, the young hoodlums," he said, as a motorcycle overtook them.

"I had a dream about a motorcycle," said Harry, remembering suddenly. "It was flying."

Uncle Vernon nearly crashed into the car in front. He turned right around in his seat and yelled at Harry, his face like a gigantic beet with a mustache: "MOTORCYCLES DON'T FLY!"

Dudley and Piers sniggered.

"I know they don't," said Harry. "It was only a dream."

But he wished he hadn't said anything. If there was one thing the Dursleys hated even more than his asking questions, it was his talking about anything acting in a way it shouldn't, no matter if it was in a dream or even a cartoon - they seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas.

It was a very sunny Saturday and the zoo was crowded with families. The Dursleys bought Dudley and Piers large chocolate ice creams at the entrance and then, because the smiling lady in the van had asked Harry what he wanted before they could hurry him away, they bought him a cheap lemon ice pop. It wasn't bad, either, Harry thought, licking it as they watched a gorilla scratching its head who looked remarkably like Dudley, except that it wasn't blond.

Harry had the best morning he'd had in a long time. He was careful to walk a little way apart from the Dursleys so that Dudley and Piers, who were starting to get bored with the animals by lunchtime, wouldn't fall back on their favorite hobby of hitting him. They ate in the zoo restaurant, and when Dudley had a tantrum because his knickerbocker glory didn't have enough ice cream on top, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was allowed to finish the first.

Harry felt, afterward, that he should have known it was all too good to last.

After lunch they went to the reptile house. It was cool and dark in there, with lit windows all along the walls. Behind the glass, all sorts of lizards and snakes were crawling and slithering over bits of wood and stone. Dudley and Piers wanted to see huge, poisonous cobras and thick, man-crushing pythons. Dudley quickly found the largest snake in the place. It could have wrapped its body twice around Uncle Vernon's car and crushed it into a trash can - but at the moment it didn't look in the mood. In fact, it was fast asleep.

Dudley stood with his nose pressed against the glass, staring at the glistening brown coils.

"Make it move," he whined at his father. Uncle Vernon tapped on the glass, but the snake didn't budge.

"Do it again," Dudley ordered. Uncle Vernon rapped the glass smartly with his knuckles, but the snake just snoozed on.

"This is boring," Dudley moaned. He shuffled away.

Harry moved in front of the tank and looked intently at the snake. He wouldn't have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself - no company except stupid people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It was worse than having a cupboard as a bedroom, where the only visitor was Aunt Petunia hammering on the door to wake you up; at least he got to visit the rest of the house.

The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's.

It winked.

Harry stared. Then he looked quickly around to see if anyone was watching. They weren't. He looked back at the snake and winked, too.

The snake jerked its head toward Uncle Vernon and Dudley, then raised its eyes to the ceiling. It gave Harry a look that said quite plainly:

"I get that all the time."

"I know," Harry murmured through the glass, though he wasn't sure the snake could hear him. "It must be really annoying."

The snake nodded vigorously.

"Where do you come from, anyway?" Harry asked.

The snake jabbed its tail at a little sign next to the glass. Harry peered at it.

Boa Constrictor, Brazil.

"Was it nice there?"

The boa constrictor jabbed its tail at the sign again and Harry read on: This specimen was bred in the zoo. "Oh, I see - so you've never been to Brazil?"

As the snake shook its head, a deafening shout behind Harry made both of them jump. "DUDLEY! MR. DURSLEY! COME AND LOOK AT THIS SNAKE! YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT IT'S DOING!"

Dudley came waddling toward them as fast as he could.

"Out of the way, you," he said, punching Harry in the ribs. Caught by surprise, Harry fell hard on the concrete floor. What came next happened so fast no one saw how it happened - one second, Piers and Dudley were leaning right up close to the glass, the next, they had leapt back with howls of horror.

Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa constrictor's tank had vanished. The great snake was uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out onto the floor. People throughout the reptile house screamed and started running for the exits.

As the snake slid swiftly past him, Harry could have sworn a low, hissing voice said, "Brazil, here I come. . . . Thanksss, amigo."

The keeper of the reptile house was in shock.

"But the glass," he kept saying, "where did the glass go?"

The zoo director himself made Aunt Petunia a cup of strong, sweet tea while he apologized over and over again. Piers and Dudley could only gibber. As far as Harry had seen, the snake hadn't done anything except snap playfully at their heels as it passed, but by the time they were all back in Uncle Vernon's car, Dudley was telling them how it had nearly bitten off his leg, while Piers was swearing it had tried to squeeze him to death. But worst of all, for Harry at least, was Piers calming down enough to say, "Harry was talking to it, weren't you, Harry?"

Uncle Vernon waited until Piers was safely out of the house before starting on Harry. He was so angry he could hardly speak. He managed to say, "Go - cupboard - stay - no meals," before he collapsed into a chair, and Aunt Petunia had to run and get him a large brandy. Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing he had a watch. He didn't know what time it was and he couldn't be sure the Dursleys were asleep yet. Until they were, he couldn't risk sneaking to the kitchen for some food.

He'd lived with the Dursleys almost ten years, ten miserable years, as long as he could remember, ever since he'd been a baby and his parents had died in that car crash. He couldn't remember being in the car when his parents had died. Sometimes, when he strained his memory during long hours in his cupboard, he came up with a strange vision: a blinding flash of green light and a burning pain on his forehead. This, he supposed, was the crash, though he couldn't imagine where all the green light came from. He couldn't remember his parents at all. His aunt and uncle never spoke about them, and of course he was forbidden to ask questions. There were no photographs of them in the house.

When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Dursleys were his only family. Yet sometimes he thought (or maybe hoped) that strangers in the street seemed to know him. Very strange strangers they were, too. A tiny man in a violet top hat had bowed to him once while out shopping with Aunt Petunia and Dudley. After asking Harry furiously if he knew the man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying anything. A wild-looking old woman dressed all in green had waved merrily at him once on a bus. A bald man in a very long purple coat had actually shaken his hand in the street the other day and then walked away without a word. The weirdest thing about all these people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to get a closer look.

At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley's gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's gang.

©1998; J. K. Rowling; reprinted with permission of Scholastic, Inc.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A charming, imaginative, magical confection of a novel." — Boston Globe
"Harry is destined for greatness." — The New York Times

Meet the Author

J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, on scraps of paper at a local cafe. But her efforts soon paid off, as she received an unprecedented award from the Scottish Arts Council enabling her to finish the book. Since then, the debut novel has become an international phenomenon, garnering rave reviews and major awards, including the British Book Awards Chidren's Book of the Year and the Smarties Prize. Ms. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her daughter.

Brief Biography

Perthshire, Scotland
Date of Birth:
July 31, 1965
Place of Birth:
Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England
Exeter University

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5813 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So I refused to read Harry Potter for years. I saw the first two movies, and lost my interest. I could never understand the hype surrounding this children's book. Then the book Seven came out, and all my seemingly mature, professional friends stormed the bookstores, locking themselves in their apartments for four days, emerging with a glow unparalleled to any I have seen. A sheep that I am, I decided to not stand out and bought the first Harry Potter book. A day later I emerged from my dwelling, smile on my face and a need to read more about Harry. Whoever said that Harry was for kids only? For shame! J.K. Rowling is one of those rare novelists who write flawlessly, capturing imagination, hopes and dreams, addressing children and adults alike. Great story line, clear messages and a whole new world to explore are just some of the attributes of the first Harry Potter. Harry, a wizard by birth and unaware of it, is 11 and living with his mother's sister and her family. An orphan, Harry is treated as such in a very Dickensonian way by his adopted family, who detests Harry for being different. That all changes when Harry starts attending Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witches, where a whole new world unfolds before him. The new school is not without dangers, and Harry learns the truth about his parents' deaths, as well as about the lightning shaped scar on his own forehead that made Harry a celebrity in the world of witchcraft. A fantastic novel that kept me yearning for more. And thankfully, there IS more. Highly recommeded.
Balina More than 1 year ago
The book is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading all the H.P. books from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book pulled me in from the beginning, when Harry was placed on the doorstep. I barely put it down. J.K. Rowling creates a magical world and you feel like you are Harry because you are experiencing Hogwarts for the first time, like him. Even though they are not normal experiences, you feel kind of like him, just thrust in. Thoroughly well written and very enjoyable.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
I am a 20-something reader. I have seen all the Harry Potter movies many, many times and I love them. So naturally I had to read the books before the 6th movie comes out. I'm so happy I did! This book is fun. It is different than the movie and definitly more solid. You get to know the characters and it makes situations that take place more meaningful. I think this is a great book for all ages, like most readers say. Their is nothing I can tell you about this book that the previous reviews haven't already said. 5 stars! It's a brilliant book.
Colette8 More than 1 year ago
Where to start? J.K. Rowling is an AMAZING author. These books are funny, engaging, entertaining, and way better than the movies. Her books are incredibly rich with detail...so much so, that I know for a fact, you can read them 15 TIMES and still want to read them again and again when new books are scarce. More than that, you take new stuff from them with every read. It's a great book series for any person, of any age. Everyone in my family has read them, and loved every minute of it, my parents included. So don't assume they're just for kids. On the opposite side of that coin, even if you know a kid too young to read it, odds are they'd love to listen to the story if someone read it to them. This series has turned my brothers into readers, when they wouldn't go within 10 feet of a book before. Try it out! You'll love it...all I can say is... get a hardcover...cause a paperback certainly won't last long. lol.
tob2007 More than 1 year ago
Quite a few years ago, I was a kid who spent all my time in front of th TV. Always thought books were for nerds. That is why I was so surprised when I got a copy of "Harry Potter" for Christmas. I thought I would never read it. One day I was home sick and the cable boxwas broken. I decided to read "Harry Potter". I finished it that day. I became a reader after that. These books are the best books ever, written by an exelent author. I cannot reccomend them enough! This book marks the begining of the greatest book series ever!
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
When I first heard about the Harry Potter series I was uninterested. I like vampire books, horror books, and of course chick lit books. However, I had to read it for a children's literature class, and I LOVED IT! What a good book- you do not need to be a child to read this series. I am excited to pick up the next book to see how the series progresses. A+++ for Harry Potter!
MishMan11 More than 1 year ago
Harry Potter is one of the very best books I've ever read. This book is about a young boy named Harry who found out he was a very famous wizard! It is filled with danger and excitement on each page. J.K.Rowling is a great author and releases new thoughts by the minute.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own the original and I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I couldn't pass up getting the 10th anniversary edition. It's worth reading over and over again. You find out things you didn't notice the first time or two. J.K. Rowling is brilliant. The cover art is beautiful as always. I highly recommend getting this copy. You can never have too many Harry Potter books!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Harry Potter so much. I have all the books, movies, shirts, legobsets, everything! J.K. Rowling i such a role model to me. I have reade each book multiple times and they keep getting better! Some if the people who write the reviews are idiots who havent read the books. Harry Potter is about love, friendahip, good overpowering evil, and doing whats right in the face of adversity. Twilight, in th eother hand, is about how important it is to have a boyfriend. The Hunger Games is a great book, but the second two bored me half to death. All the HP books are amazing :) Any HG fan will live Harry Potter. Uf you are looking for a romance, a fantasy, an action, or a book that has all of the above, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is the book for you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not think that any book will ever compare to the Harry Potter series. They have a magic that no other book has.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am obsessed with the Harry Potter series! I can't believe that it has been that long since they have been out! I love that they redid the artwork. It looks wonderful! I love that they have Harry looking in the mirror.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lov e the series, the movies, EVERYTHING about Harry Potter. Anyone can love this series! I would rate this infinity stars if I could!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably my third or fourth time reading this book. Just as good as the firsr time I read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I am happy to have the entire collection in ebook format.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone get excited when the harry potter weekend comes on?
booksatruestory More than 1 year ago
This is the third time I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I really enjoyed reading this along with Pottermore. Pottermore incorporates a lot of the details mentioned in the story. It was fun to pay attention to the little details this time since I know the story so well. I also liked reading the bonus material she wrote on Pottermore – it adds a lot to the story. I don’t know if I realized this before, but J.K. Rowling is excellent at showing and not telling. For example: “[Mr. Dursley] hummed “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and as he worked, jumped at small noises.” She doesn’t have to say that he’s starting to lose it because I’ve decided that for myself. The books have so many fun characters that aren’t in the movies. I love how optimistic and humble Harry is. I also like how light-hearted and quirky the books are. The movies tend to focus on the darker aspects of the story. I never get tired of reading these books.
tremmons More than 1 year ago
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling is a thrilling and compelling book. Harry Potter, the main character, is a wizard but doesn't know it. Shielded by his aunt and uncle, he lives underneath the staircase in their house. one day, his life is forever changed. Receiving a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he learns that his parents were powerful witches. Because of this, Harry inherently will grow up to be a powerful wizard too! Adventures and challenges are faced by Harry and his new friends. Multiple aspects of daily life in Hogwarts kept me interested and excited. Quidditch is one of the many unique features Hogwarts has to offer. Harry, hardly knowing how to even fly his broom, is put in the lead position, the seeker. The seeker in quidditch is the player who primarily chases the golden snitch, and if he is successful in obtaining it, it is an automatic and instant win for his team. Harry encounters bullies, a troll, and even the evil sorcerer who killed his parents and left him with a scar on his forehead. It is a very unpredictable book full of surprises. Read the whole series to watch how harry grows, going through personality, physical, and emotional changes. Slowly growing from a timid, shy boy into a courageous, confident young man. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a book of friendship, action, rivalries, and surprises that I recommend to all ages.
MrsTK More than 1 year ago
The Harry Potter series are for adults and children and everybody in-between!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was 7, I was told to read the Harry Potter books. I despised Harry Potter. It seemed stupid and pointless. Then my friends started saying "Oh Harry Potter is the best" so I gave it a shot. I read the first book and instantly fell in love with them. I bought all the books and movies and decided that after reading each book, I would watch the movie for it. HARRY POTTER- THE BEST BOOK AND MOVIE SERIES EVER!!!!!!!! .J.K. Rowling is my favorite author ever.
Mztea More than 1 year ago
So happy these books are finally in e-format... but buying books from other countries and other languages would be also awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because it takes you different places in your imagination. The magic and wizardry was spectacular.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't you dare call Harry lame! I have no idea who you are, but that is so mean! Imagine if JKR heard you say that. Would she like it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These boks have really changed my life. I sit and cry sometimes because im so sad thats its all gone. But its not really, gone. Itll always be here in our hearts. Without Harry Potter i would b enothing. I mean nothing. It has shaped who i am, and who i want to be. I am nothing without it. All the characters matured throughout the series. Snape went the whole series of being the bad guy, when he finally died he counteracts that whole theory. Draco Malfoy is a bully, but complety misunderstood. Weasley is our king, hermione is the brightest witch of her age, and harry is the chosen one. I get all my quotes,, from harry potter. I get all my jokes from harry potter. My room is covered with harry potter. Harry Potter is who i am. Its me. These characters, the settings, and all the wonderful things about this series will all be in my heart. And i hope they stay in yours too. Sincerly, - A proud PotterHead.