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On the train, he quickly befriends fellow first-year Ronald Weasley and the two boys meet Hermione Granger , whose snobbiness and affinity for spells initially causes the two boys to dislike her.


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There, Harry also makes an enemy of yet another first-year, Draco Malfoy , who shows prejudice against Ron for his family's financial difficulties. Arriving at Hogwarts, the first-years are assigned by the magical Sorting Hat to Houses that best suit their personalities, the four Houses being Gryffindor , Slytherin , Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Harry hears from Ron about Slytherin's dark reputation which is known to house potential dark witches and wizards, and thus objects to being sorted into Slytherin despite the Hat claiming that Harry has potential to develop under that House.

He winds up in Gryffindor with Ron and Hermione, while Draco is sorted into Slytherin like his family before him. As classes begin at Hogwarts, Harry discovers his innate talent for flying on broomsticks despite no prior experience, and is recruited into his House's team for Quidditch a competitive wizards' sport sharing similarities to football , but played on flying broomsticks as a Seeker.

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He also comes to dislike the school's Potions master, Severus Snape , who is also the Head of Slytherin House who acts with bias in favour of members of his House while perpetually looking for opportunities to fail Harry and his friends. Malfoy tricks Harry and Ron into a duel in the trophy room to get them out of their rooms at night and secretly tells Filch, the school's caretaker, where they will be.

Hermione unintentionally is forced to come along after her failed attempts to stop them, and they find Gryffindor student Neville asleep outside the common area because he had forgotten the password to get in. After realizing the duel was a set-up to get them in trouble, they run away.

They then discover a huge three-headed dog standing guard over a trapdoor in a forbidden corridor. The school's Halloween celebrations are interrupted by the entrance of a troll into the school, which enters the girls' bathroom where Hermione was. However, she is saved by Harry and Ron and, as a result, Hermione is grateful and the three become best friends. Coupled with Snape's recent leg injury as well as behaviour, the recent events prompt Harry, Hermione and Ron to suspect him to be looking for a way to enter the trapdoor.

Hermione forbids the boys from investigating for fear of expulsion, and instead makes Harry direct his attention to his first ever Quidditch game, where his broomstick begins to lose control and threatens to throw him off. This leads Hermione to suspect that Snape is jinxing Harry's broom due to his strange behaviour during the match.

After the excitement of winning the match has died down, Christmas approaches and Harry receives an invisibility cloak from an anonymous source claiming that the cloak belonged to Harry's father. Using the cloak to explore the school at night to investigate what is under the trapdoor, he discovers the Mirror of Erised, in which the viewer sees his or her deepest desires come true. A visit to Hagrid's hut at the foot of the school leads the trio to find a newspaper report stating there had been an attempted robbery of a Gringotts vault—the same vault that Hagrid and Harry had visited when the latter was getting his school supplies.

A further indiscretion from Hagrid allows them to work out that the object kept under that trapdoor is a Philosopher's Stone , which grants its user immortality as well as the ability to turn any metal into pure gold.

Harry is also informed by a centaur named Firenze in the forest that a plot to steal the Stone is being orchestrated by none other than Voldemort himself, who schemes to use it to be restored back to his body and return to power. When the school's headmaster Albus Dumbledore is lured from Hogwarts under false pretences, Harry, Hermione and Ron fear that the theft is imminent and descend through the trapdoor themselves. They encounter a series of obstacles, each of which requires unique skills possessed by one of the three, one of which requires Ron to sacrifice himself in a life-sized game of wizard's chess.

In the final room, Harry, now alone, finds Quirinus Quirrell, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, who reveals he had been the one working behind the scenes to kill Harry by first jinxing his broom and then letting a troll into the school, while Snape had been trying to protect Harry instead. Quirrell is helping Voldemort, whose face has sprouted on the back of Quirrell's head but is constantly concealed by his oversized turban, to attain the Philosopher's Stone so as to restore his body.

Quirrell uses Harry to get past the final obstacle, the Mirror of Erised, by forcing him to stand before the Mirror. It recognises Harry's lack of greed for the Stone and surreptitiously deposits it into his pocket. As Quirrell attempts to seize the stone and kill Harry, his flesh burns on contact with the boy's skin and breaks into blisters. Harry's scar suddenly burns with pain and he passes out. Three days later, he awakens in the school's infirmary, where Dumbledore explains his survival against Voldemort is due to his mother's sacrificing her life in order for him to live. This left a powerful protective charm on Harry that lives in his blood, which caused Quirrell's hands to burn on contact with Harry due to him being possessed by hatred and greed.

He also reveals himself as the one who sent Harry his father's invisibility cloak, while Quirrell has been left to die by Voldemort, who still lives, and the Stone has now been destroyed. The eventful school year ends at the final feast, during which Gryffindor wins the House Cup.

Harry returns to Privet Drive for the summer, neglecting to tell the Dursleys that the use of spells is forbidden by under-aged wizards and witches and thus anticipating some fun and peace over the holidays. Other members of staff include the dumpy Herbology teacher and Head of Hufflepuff House Professor Sprout , Professor Flitwick , the tiny and excitable Charms teacher, and Head of Ravenclaw House, the soporific History of Magic teacher, Professor Binns , a ghost who does not seem to have noticed his own death; and Madam Hooch , the Quidditch coach, who is strict, but a considerate and methodical teacher.

The poltergeist Peeves wanders around the castle causing trouble wherever he can.

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In the book, Rowling introduces an eclectic cast of characters. The first character to be introduced is Vernon Dursley, Harry's uncle. Most of the actions centre on the eponymous hero Harry Potter , an orphan who escapes his miserable childhood with the Dursley family. Rowling imagined him as a "scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard", [2] and says she transferred part of her pain about losing her mother to him. Ron is described by Rowling as the ultimate best friend, "always there when you need him".

Rowling also imagined a supporting cast of adults. The headmaster of Hogwarts is the powerful, but kind wizard Albus Dumbledore , who becomes Harry's confidant. Rowling described him as "epitome of goodness". The main antagonists are Draco Malfoy , an elitist, bullying classmate [10] and Lord Voldemort , the most powerful evil wizard who becomes disembodied when he tries to kill baby Harry.

According to a interview with Rowling, the character of Voldemort was created as a literary foil for Harry, and his backstory was intentionally not fleshed-out at first:. The basic idea Harry, I saw Harry very very very clearly. Very vividly. And I knew he didn't know he was a wizard.

He killed Harry's parents, and then he tried to kill Harry—he tried to curse him. So he's left with this lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead and the curse rebounded upon the evil wizard, who has been in hiding ever since.

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The book, which was Rowling's debut novel, was written between approximately June and some time in In Jo Rowling, as she preferred to be known, [a] wanted to move with her boyfriend to a flat in Manchester and in her words, "One weekend after flat hunting, I took the train back to London on my own and the idea for Harry Potter fell into my head A scrawny, little, black-haired, bespectacled boy became more and more of a wizard to me I began to write Philosopher's Stone that very evening.

Although, the first couple of pages look nothing like the finished product. Barry Cunningham , who was building a portfolio of distinctive fantasies by new authors for Bloomsbury Children's Books , recommended accepting the book, [15] and the eight-year-old daughter of Bloomsbury's chief executive said it was "so much better than anything else".

Rowling therefore adopted the nom de plume J. Rowling just before publication. The first American edition would remove reference to "Joanne" completely. Lindsey Fraser, who had previously supplied one of the blurb comments, [15] wrote what is thought to be the first published review, in The Scotsman on 28 June She described Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as "a hugely entertaining thriller" and Rowling as "a first-rate writer for children".

Andy Partridge -Summer's Cauldron

Scholastic Corporation bought the U. While Rowling accepted the change from both the British English "mum" and Seamus Finnigan's Irish variant "mam" to "mom" in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone , she vetoed this change in the later books, which was then reversed in later editions of Philosopher's Stone.

However, Nel considered that Scholastic's translations were considerably more sensitive than most of those imposed on British English books of the time, and that some other changes could be regarded as useful copyedits. At first the most prestigious reviewers ignored the book, leaving it to book trade and library publications such as Kirkus Reviews and Booklist , which examined it only by the entertainment-oriented criteria of children's fiction. However, more penetrating specialist reviews such as one by Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices , which pointed out the complexity, depth and consistency of the world that Rowling had built attracted the attention of reviewers in major newspapers.

The Horn Book | Reviews of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series

In August , Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone topped the New York Times list of best-selling fiction, [38] and stayed near the top of the list for much of and , until the New York Times split its list into children's and adult sections under pressure from other publishers who were eager to see their books given higher placings. In May , Scholastic announced the creation of a 10th Anniversary Edition of the book [40] that was released on 1 October [41] to mark the tenth anniversary of the original American release.

By mid, official translations of the book had been published in 67 languages. Philip Nel highlighted the influence of Jane Austen , whom Rowling has greatly admired since the age of twelve. Like Austen's heroines, Harry often has to re-examine his ideas near the ends of books. Some social behaviour in the Harry Potter books is remininiscent of Austen, for example the excited communal reading of letters. Both authors satirise social behaviour and give characters names that express their personalities. However in Nel's opinion Rowling's humour is more based on caricature and the names she invents are more like those found in Charles Dickens's stories, [21] : 13—15 and Amanda Cockrell noted that many of these express their owners' traits through allusions that run from ancient Roman mythology to eighteenth-century German literature.

Lewis , thinks there is no rigid distinction between stories for children and for adults. Some reviewers compared Philosopher's Stone to the stories of Roald Dahl , who died in Many writers since the s had been hailed as his successor, but none had attained anything near his popularity with children and, in a poll conducted shortly after the launch of Philosopher's Stone , seven of the ten most popular children's books were by Dahl, including the one in top place.

The only other really popular children's author of the late s was an American, R. Some of the story elements in Philosopher's Stone resembled parts of Dahl's stories. Dursley, who treated Harry as a servant. However Harry Potter was a distinctive creation, able to take on the responsibilities of an adult while remaining a child inside.