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I’m sure we’ve all heard about the renowned book series that basically started the young adult genre as we know it. No? Maybe the words “Harry Potter” ring a bell? If not, that’s surprising. These are the books that started it all. Due to the success of this exciting series about witchcraft and wizardry by JK Rowling, countless versions of the same books have been sold and distributed to readers of multiple generations across the world. It seems that no matter how many different versions of these very same books come out, they’re so popular that there are many readers becoming “collectors” of them, meaning they’re collecting every version of these books that ever comes out. I had the recent honor of acquiring the illustrated version of the first three books, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And needless to say, I LOVE them.
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated by Jim Kay) by JK Rowling
Harry Potter thought his eleventh birthday was going to be just like the ten muggle birthdays he’d had before it.
He expected to celebrate it with his dreadful Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, along with his dreadfully spoiled cousin Dudley. However, on his eleventh birthday, he receives a letter from the hand of a giant man named Hagrid. A letter detailing Harry’s acceptance into Hogwarts, a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
At first Harry does not believe he’s a wizard. After all, if he’d been a wizard all of his life, he’d have thought his Aunt and Uncle, horrible as they were, would have at least mentioned it to him.
They had not.
The next morning, Harry is whisked away from the muggle world he’s known all his life. He’s introduced to the wizarding world full of goblin-guarded banks, flying broomsticks, and some weird, far-fetched version of football known as Quidditch. Harry is astonished and overjoyed to learn that there’s a world just for him. A world where his name is known by all and he’s cherished more than he ever was in the muggle world.
However, the very events that gave him fame are connected to the same dangers that lurk in every corner at Hogwarts. Harry must overcome many dangers this year. But for the first time in his life, he’s not alone. Harry’s new friends at Hogwarts, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, are along for the ride.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone tests the boundaries of loyalty, friendship, and the fight of good vs. evil. And the illustrated version just makes it so much better! You don’t want to miss it!
It’s hard to believe that I had basically boycotted these books for years, vowing never to read them.
I had no reason except for the fact that they just seemed like something I’d never read. I finally took the plunge last year and read the first four in paperback. I’ve yet to finish the series, but having read four of them already, I’m undoubtedly happy I decided to give them a try.
However, I’ve wanted the illustrated versions of these books since they were first advertised. Since before I even decided I was going to read them, in fact. They just looked pretty. And now I finally have the first three, which happen to be the only three out so far! And I have been so excited to dive in and binge read all three!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a book that gets better with time.
The more you re-read it, the better it gets. You tend to pick up on clues, foreshadowing, and intricate details you didn’t even notice the previous times. It’s truly wonderful how that works!
This was only my third time reading this book, but the first time reading the illustrated version of it. And I don’t know if it is the illustrations themselves, or the actual story, but I enjoyed it more than I remember enjoying it the first time. And while I’m not the biggest fan of third-person, or of male narrators, I found myself not bothered by it in the slightest while I was reading Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.
My first time reading, I had complaints about how the story was told rather simply, neglecting to go into much detail. The writing style was very straightforward. However, now I appreciate how the writing style is in this first installment, and in the rest of the Harry Potter series. It seems as if the writing style grows with Harry. As Harry Potter gets older, the writing style becomes more detailed, mysterious, and mature. It’s a noticeable change, and one I appreciate reading!
The events at the end of the story, while true to the simplistic and straightforward writing style JK Rowling adopted to narrate eleven-year-old Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts, did unfold rather quickly.
Many difficult obstacles were overcome in less than twenty pages, and with little trouble from first year wizards. I believe there could have been more detail and distractions that could’ve been added to the story to make the end result, and the potential victory, much more satisfying.
In addition, there were many differences with the book and the movie, which was interesting to see. I typically read the book before I ever see the movie, but this was a rare case in which I was a huge fan of the movies and rewatched them several times before ever picking up a Harry Potter book. That said, I’ve noticed a few differences, such as the way the Dursley family treats Harry. I understand that they don’t treat him great at all, but they certainly seem to treat him worse in the movie.
There were other aspects about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that I really enjoyed reading about. Hagrid’s accent and Professor Quirrell’s stutter were hard for me to read easily but I did like how JK Rowling included different speech patterns in the book. It showed verbal variety that you don’t often see in young adult books of any genre. And while Professor McGonagall’s character is not a major character by any means, she’s one of my favorite characters. She’s tough and fair in a motherly way and it’s really sweet.
Now that I’ve discussed the actual story, I’d like to discuss the illustrations in the version I read.
Jim Kay produced all of the illustrations displayed in this edition. I really enjoyed his illustrations and it was interesting to see how he interpreted the looks of people, places, and objects described in the book without letting the movies affect his interpretations of such things. The illustrations weren’t just drawn copies of photos from the movies, they were unique illustrations based off of what original readers must’ve imagined as they read these books before the movies ever existed. These illustrations aren’t tainted with how movie producers decided to portray the books on screen. Instead, these illustrations show, as accurately as Jim Kay could, how JK Rowling first imagined the characters, settings, and overall world of Harry Potter as she was bringing her iconic series to life.
I really loved the illustrations, and they provided interesting and amazing breaks for my eyes while I read the entire book all in one sitting. This book is great for everyone. But I believe the illustrated versions will bring even more readers into the Harry Potter fandom. The beautiful illustrations in these illustrated versions may even entice the typical non-readers!
Overall, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone is worth all of the hype, and the illustrated version of this book is definitely worth the buy!
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Chat With Me – What did you think of the illustrations in this book? Did you watch the Harry Potter films before you read the books, or the other way around? What other YA books do you think should get their own illustrated editions? If you have questions, want to rant & fan(girl/boy/person) over this book, etc. don’t be afraid to comment below!
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