Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic, 1997
Genre: Fantasy, AMAZING
Source + Date Read
: Own + Every Year since I received it in 2000 when I was 10 years old.
Recommend: Seriously, it’s Harry Potter folks. Duh.
Book Con’s: I blindly love this book. None.

Summary: Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in ten years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.
More Information: GoodReads x Pottermore


Favourite Line“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” Dumbledore

“You haven’t got a letter on yours,” George observed. “I suppose she thinks you don’t forget your name. But we’re not stupid-we know we’re called Gred and Forge.”

“So light a fire!” Harry choked. “Yes…of course…but there’s no wood!” …

“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed – or worse, expelled. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.”

Warning: This is going to be an incredibly biased review filled with unicorns, rainbows and magic. If you don’t like Harry Potter or want any spoilers, please, I beg you, click onto another post. I’m not good at censoring myself.

meme2OK, so I received the Philosopher’s Stone at the age of 10 (or was I 11? I believe 10, it was 2000, I remember that distinctly) from my father when he was visiting us in Barbados. He bought it because he heard from his coworkers that “it was really good” and that it could keep me company. I’ve discussed this in a previous post, and I can say that as a 10 year old that didn’t like to read, this book started me down the rabbit hole that was full on geekery. I mean, full, on, geekery. I also warn you, though I can’t stand meme related posts, I think since I am a huge, huge nerd for all things Potter, my including it here is totally applicable, allowed and acceptable.

I intend to publish my thoughts on this book, which will be more spoilery, later on this week. To be succinct, the Philosopher’s Stone is a well written tale filled with imagination and magic. Indeed, this is a strength I’ve noticed throughout the entire series and one that has made me enamoured with the entire Harry Potter universe. The world building is amazing, I don’t know how she came up with Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Hogwarts or even quidditch! The world building is absolutely amazing. Plus those names! Love how she does names for her characters.

meme1Rowling also writes with humor, so that the book is enjoyable and light without feeling too childish. Even though I was a child and in the process of rereading the series, it never felt like a children’s book to me which speaks to its success across age groups and genre lovers. The plot is also consistent though with time, I admit, I’ve seen some gaps in it here and there. I’ve also seen some serious foreshadowing, but that’s because I know what happens in the rest of the book and series. Plus the ending, though hilarious isn’t entirely plausible, but I love the book so, why not?


All in all, I’m in love with this series and would highly recommend this book. I’m writing this review as part of my Harry Potter ReRead initiative started by The Book Journey so everyone can expect a number of posts coming up!

Read other Harry Potter posts.

Did you like the Philosopher’s Stone?



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Harry Potter, SFF, YA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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  9. Feliciafelicis says:

    I remember the first time I read the book. I didn’t think I would like it, I was just wanting to see what the hub was all about. Needless to say, I was hooked. That was about 14ish years ago, since then I’ve read the series many times. It reminded me of my love for reading.

    I’m a bit jealous that you are getting to enjoy this for the first time.

  10. I am so late but here and LOVE your post! I am currently working on adding up House points for year one as year two is upon us! 🙂 Should have post up yet today.

  11. dogearedcopy says:

    I’ve only read the first four books, and there were a couple of moments when I paused and thought, “Is that *right*? I thought that…” I’m beginning to pick up on a couple of those “gaps” in consistency that you mentioned. For now, I’ve duly noted them and will come back to them as the series unfolds to see if it bears out; but overall I’m intrigued as to how Rowling has developed so many of those details in future books, and how it has overall built Harry’s England and Hogwart’s 🙂

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      I am so jealous that you get a chance to read them for the first time. I miss those moments! I

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Plus, I think, or I hope, you’ll enjoy the progression of characters and plot. I think for her first books, Rowling did a brilliant job.

    • writersideup says:

      Not kidding here, ladies, but after reading the series three times, having taken detailed notes of the whole thing and theorizing and studying the books for months on end, I never found actual “gaps” so I’m curious as to what you’re referring to as gaps. Maybe I can shed some light?

      • dogearedcopy says:

        Oh, I know I’m probably wrong! What I’m doing is noting the things that struck me as odd, and then as the series goes forward, seeing how they actually get reconciled. I also have to toss out some mistaken impressions that I got from watching the movies! They mostly have to do with the night that Harry survived; but I think we get more into that in Book 3, so that when I’ll probably do my “Isn’t Rowling Clever” post! 😉

        • writersideup says:

          Oh, so glad to hear this! See, that’s the thing about the movies, especially as they started distorting more and more as each one was made. Those visual/audio impressions really stick! There were things that, when I first saw the movies, immediately knew they changed and it was terrible for me. I ALways saw the movies twice, back to back. The first one was to get all the “that’s not right” and “that’s not what he said” and “he’d NEVER do that” kind of stuff out of the way, then I’d watch it again, knowing what they changed and then try to enjoy it for what it was. The movies don’t have the appeal they once did for me and in rereading the books now, I’m seeing how some of my own memories of certain scenes in the books got distorted (so many years removed and slow recall) and it REALLY angers me *sigh*

          You will be amazed at how this series unfolds 🙂

        • Claire (BWB) says:

          Anything from the movies, just toss out, they really really muddle things up 🙂 <3. I still understand what you're saying about gaps though. We shall discuss more!

      • Claire (BWB) says:

        I can’t think of any gaps now, at this moment, but there are a few times where i thought when reading the novels, that doesn’t make sense or how did this happen? How did everyone else let it happen? My thing is this… OK I thought of one. SPOILERS. Snape was trying to prevent Quirrell from getting to the stone, and doing it in a very James Bond covert spy way. Flitwick helped him once when his leg was ripped, and Snape was all how are we supposed to look at all 3 legs at once? If the teachers were suspicious of Quirrell.. why did they not help Snape out? Or if they did, how did they? If they weren’t in on the Snape-Dumbledore consipracy, how then can Flitwick justify helping a teacher that wasn’t supposed to even think about getting past the dogs?

        • dogearedcopy says:

          I would love to see the HP movies, especially the first two, re-done with the better CGI that’s available now; and screenwriters who will have had he advantage of knowing the overall arc of the series to bring more cohesion to each story!

        • writersideup says:

          Claire, I had to think for a few minutes to be sure I was understanding what you were saying and to try to remember how the scenes actually went down.


          None of the other teachers were aware of Snape’s suspicions and I don’t believe we ever find out if Dumbledore knew. I don’t think he did, or perhaps, if Snape told Dumbledore of his suspicions, Dumbledore probably just told Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell.

          I think what’s confusing you is that you’re thinking it was Flitwick, when it was actually Filch who was helping Snape with the bandages (pg. 174). Also, Snape wasn’t trying to get by Fluffy necessarily, though I took it that way, too. I think it was because Ron and Harry suspected Snape of wanting to steal the stone. We need to remember that Jo Rowling is such an expert at red herrings that we assume or suspect because of what our main characters assume or suspect. We are fed only enough information that seems like it could be the opposite of what is actual. Snape was simply with Fluffy. It would be natural for one of the professors responsible for keeping the stone safe to be checking on the situation. Filch would have no reason to question why Snape was with Fluffy.

          Really, there is no gap or contradiction of what makes sense. It is probably the red herrings that conflict with what is true. We are meant to suspect Snape, only to find out it was actually Quirrell.

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  13. Jenna @LittleBirdReads says:

    Major Harry Potter fan girl here too. It’s grown with age too. I love HP memes and have a rather gigantic Pinterest board of Harry Potter related stuff. Its obnoxious and awesome.

    This was my 13th reread of Sorcerer’s Stone, so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has reread it a million times!!

  14. I love Rowlings world building because most of the time you don’t even notice it’s happening. She builds an entire world within our world and makes it seem so easy to understand. Plus she is the queen of foreshadowing and bringing things full circle.
    The tiny things that might seem insignificant at one moment end up with a deeper meaning later. Like Dumbledore mentioning that he sees a pair of new socks in the mirror, and then after reading the last book…I can never look at that as a light moment anymore.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Wait. Wait. Wait. I’ve read those a million times and I’ve never understood that sock ref! I thought he was just lying! Does it *SPOILER PEOPLE, TURN AWAY ALL YE WHO HAVE NOT READ FAR* have to do with his sister? Some things, with rereading I get now that I’ve remembered what happens later on. Snape’s attitude towards Neville x Harry for instance, but, but the sock thing. PLEASE EXPLAIN! I must know T_T!

      • writersideup says:

        If I’m remembering correctly —SPOILER ALERT!!—it was revealed in the last book what he actually saw, or perhaps I’m confusing it with the hours upon hours of theorizing with my HP friends about it. I’m not going to trust my memory on any of it now though, having been removed from it for a while and my recall is more faulty at this point. If I look through my notes, I’m sure I could find it. OK, I checked—if you want, check Deathly Hallows, pgs. 21 and 719.

      • Yes, it has to do with his family and what happened to them. It was heavily implied that he saw them in the mirror later in the books but Rowling told everyone in a live chat that he saw his family. It just makes that little scene a tad heartbreaking knowing that.

  15. You picked out several of my favorite quotes as well. Sometimes I wish I could have read this when I was younger and really experienced the phenomena. Luckily it’s never too late to get in on the fun.

    You’re right about the world building. Incredible. It’s one of the things I feel people over look in fantasy writers. They usually create a whole world for their book. Settings, names, languages, and sometimes even religions. Takes a lot of talent to be able to do that.

  16. writersideup says:

    Claire, I don’t think SS could ever get old for me. I adore the introduction to all the things in J.K.’s world 🙂 And your summary is SO well-written!

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