I’m so close to the end…and I’ve hit a snag. Blame it on summer getting busy, blame it on my exam which has finally started turning into a reality (as in, my dissertation director discussed the scheduling of it), and I’ve lost the reading mojo that has carried me through. I’m reading Invisible Man and just getting nowhere, so I had to put it down and turn to more comforting fare. Yes, I’ve read this series a few times (and I’m sure most of you Cannonballers have too!). But I always walk away with something new.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone kicks off the famed Harry Potter series. Harry Potter, our titular hero, is an eleven-year-old boy with a mysterious scar, living in suburban England with his nasty uncle, aunt, and cousin. He doesn’t know that his parents were magical, and so is he! It’s so British, really. If you’ve ever read an English children’s book, there’s always nasty relatives, secretly wealthy relatives, boarding schools, or magic (and until Harry Potter, the only book to my knowledge to have combined all those elements was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess). Harry is, of course, whisked away to boarding school with other magical children, where he is to learn how to become an adult and to control his special gifts. That is, if he can survive his first year. You see, there are rumors that the man who killed his parents, Lord Vold-I mean, You Know Who, is mysteriously at large and (obviously) still wants to kill Harry, having been unable to do so eleven years ago.
If you’ve ever read British literature, there will be many elements that come together for you, and J.K. Rowling’s classics degree does her proud. It’s an engaging read with lots of details about the world of gifted people living in a parallel universe of Muggles (us non-magic folk). For the moments when I’m stressed, sad, or in desperate need of a pick-me-up, I can think of no better solution than Harry Potter.