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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) Paperback – September 8, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Series: Harry Potter (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1st edition (September 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439708184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590353427
  • ASIN: 059035342X
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.8 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8,845 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Say you've spent the first 10 years of your life sleeping under the stairs of a family who loathes you. Then, in an absurd, magical twist of fate you find yourself surrounded by wizards, a caged snowy owl, a phoenix-feather wand, and jellybeans that come in every flavor, including strawberry, curry, grass, and sardine. Not only that, but you discover that you are a wizard yourself! This is exactly what happens to young Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's enchanting, funny debut novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In the nonmagic human world--the world of "Muggles"--Harry is a nobody, treated like dirt by the aunt and uncle who begrudgingly inherited him when his parents were killed by the evil Voldemort. But in the world of wizards, small, skinny Harry is famous as a survivor of the wizard who tried to kill him. He is left only with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, curiously refined sensibilities, and a host of mysterious powers to remind him that he's quite, yes, altogether different from his aunt, uncle, and spoiled, piglike cousin Dudley.

A mysterious letter, delivered by the friendly giant Hagrid, wrenches Harry from his dreary, Muggle-ridden existence: "We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Of course, Uncle Vernon yells most unpleasantly, "I AM NOT PAYING FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!" Soon enough, however, Harry finds himself at Hogwarts with his owl Hedwig... and that's where the real adventure--humorous, haunting, and suspenseful--begins. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, first published in England as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, continues to win major awards in England. So far it has won the National Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Children's Book Award, and is short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the U.K. version of the Newbery Medal. This magical, gripping, brilliant book--a future classic to be sure--will leave kids clamoring for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Ages 8 to 13) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
7,483
4 star
880
3 star
252
2 star
100
1 star
130
See all 8,845 customer reviews
Thanks J.K. Rowling for writing such a great story.
"judicita"
This one I like because you really get to know Harry and all of the other characters.
A 12-year old reader
Great plot, fun story, great characters, it was really just a well rounded book.
ShortyThgAddict

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Don Halpern on July 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
An adult friend (age 49)loaned me three Harry Potter books for the summer. Wednesday evening I began the first book and I finished the third today, Saturday morning. I am writing this review before I order the fourth Potter book. Will my friend be surprised to get 4 books back! The author's imagination is vividly presented in a cast of almost believable characters attending a school we all wish we could attend. Classes like "Defense Against Dark Arts", "Divination", "Transfiguration", "Arithmancy" and "Care of Magical Creatures" are written as if the author actually attended them and certainly enjoyed every minute of class. More than can be said for most of the classes I have attended. Each book in the series encompasses one year of Harry's fascinating life. The Potter books are written in a way that can charm any age reader. I am 64.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone is one of those rare children's books that seems to be utterly wasted on children. The plot is engaging, the characters are likeable, and it's a good quick read for those older than the specified ages. I'm 18, and I finished it in a few hours, then handed it to my mother, who is 39. After she finished it, she agreed that we needed to get the rest of the series. In a family that regularly reads Shakespeare, that's high praise! It's a refreshing and enjoyable way to get your mind off the overly serious Muggle world and bring back a bit of wonder and magic. If you're a parent considering getting this book for your child, please do... But get a copy for yourself as well, and enjoy revisiting your own childhood.
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427 of 486 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
With this introductory novel was published in 1997, few would have predicted the unprecedented success this series would produce. And everything that made Harry Potter so successful is all first shown, though hardly fully explained, in this book, HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSPHER'S STONE.

The novel opens with Harry living under the cupboard with his abusive aunt and uncle. He has had a mean, depressed life, and though an active boy, the sheer amount of trauma he must have endured would scar any child. But the door opens out of this lifestyle. I've read an interesting theory (obviously not true), that a much different writer than Rowling would have ended Book 7 with Harry having imagined all this fantasy world, where he was so prominent and famous, to help escape the neglect and abuse from the Dursleys.

He gets a letter (actually, hundreds) saying he is in fact a wizard. So he is enrolled the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Him, along with his new friend the giant Hagrid, go to Diagon Alley, a magical bazaar, and thus he is thrust into the magical universe so captured the imagination of millions. We soon learn Harry is world famous among wizards for conquering an evil Wizard named Vo - um - He Who Must Not Be Named. Sorry `bout that slip. =). Along the way, we learn that Voldemort is after a magical artifiact called the Philosopher's Stone (which was, unfortunately, changed from the UK original title to "Sorcerer's Stone" in all other regions). So much of the novel is driven by the three main characters defending this stone from Voldemort.
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297 of 341 people found the following review helpful By "purelyjoy" on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Harry Potter has lived a dismal life with his aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. He sleeps in a closet and has never had a birthday party or Christmas presents. Even worse, he has to endure life with his horrible spoiled cousin, Dudley. Then on Harry's eleventh birthday, things change when a letter arrives, (by owl), inviting him to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Suddenly Harry finds himself among friends, learning about potion-making and magic-wand waving and broomstick riding. There're chocolate frogs and Every Flavor Beans and a three-headed dog and Quidditch-a game better than soccer. Also, Hagrid, a lovable gamekeeper who befriends Harry; Hermione Granger, a witch who's read all the school books and knows all the rules; and there's Ron Weasly, Harry's best friend who has quite a legacy of his own to fill. Hogwarts treats him well, even with the abomidable Malfoy's mean tricks or Professor Snape's obvious hatred of Harry. The soon Harry finds himself in the middle of a mystery at Hogwarts, and together with his two new friends, embarks on adventures he never dreamed possible.
The book is engaging with its imagery, humor, plot twists and real-life child problems. The book doesn't only appeal to children but adults as well. She's a master on fantasy. She really can, with no difficulty at all, think herself back to 11 years old. You will love the whimsical descriptions, humorous quotes and the fun characters.
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84 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Taylor on January 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Granted, I lack the basic criterion for being an expert on children's book--I'm 26 years old. For old times' sake, I do try to stay current on what's new in children's book. Compared to almost everything else I've read, Ms. Rowling's Harry Potter series stands far ahead of the pack.
Ms. Rowling takes a classic scenario in British children's literature--adolescent children going to boarding school--and turns it on its head. Usually, all of the exciting stuff happens during school holidays (as in C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" or Enid Blyton's "Five" and "Seven" series). In Harry Potter's world, school holidays are spent among the "Muggles"--the non-magical world--while school is where the magic really happens.
And magic there is! From the wizardly sport of Quidditch to classes in potions to a three-headed dog named Fluffy, Ms. Rowling throws in enough magic to keep the interest of children (and adults) who don't usually like reading. A sparkling plot, realistic (if you can imagine a magical world, then these people belong in it) characters and a fully-realized world combine to create a true gem of children's literature. This one can easily share a shelf with "The Chronicles of Narnia", "Alice in Wonderland" and even "The Hobbit".
Don't miss Harry Potter and his adventures!
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