While thinking about starting this blog, I wondered how to begin. Should I define myself, point out the reasons I write this text or review some bestseller? Then, I realised there is no better way to start than write about the first book that stole my heart— Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.
If, for some reason, magical or not, you haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet, skip this entry. I don’t want to spoil for you the pleasure of reading. You can also go and read the book. Trust me. You won’t regret it. It doesn’t matter how old you are.
For those of us who read the book one or twenty-eight times, there is no need to recall the plot. We know it all too well. Let us wonder instead about its phenomena. Why is it so popular? Why do we come back to it? Why the next generation of children enjoy it the way we did? Why does it make us envious of missing our Hogwart’s letter?
I must have been twelve when I first read it and, after making my way through the first hundred pages, I fell in love with the world it describes. It’s not only the magic of Hogwarts, but it’s also the sense of adventure and friendship forged in challenging conditions, it’s the world where you can eat whatever you want, and the plates are always full, you can stay up until midnight if you choose too, the world without the parents looking over your shoulder. The world of freedom.
What makes the narrative exceptional and the characters lovable is the fact that when that freedom is threatened by the horrors of the past, our heroes step up. It does not matter that they are weak and inexperienced; they are children, but they do not hesitate. When Hogwart and all of Wizarding World are in danger, Harry, Ron and Hermione know that they have to do something. Like model students, they inform an adult first, and when that does not work, they take matters into their own hands. They could say that they’ve done enough as so many actual adults would. They could ignore the situation and trust that those responsible, the adults, the teachers, will handle it. They do not. Our characters are exceptional because they are courageous, noble and loyal. With a slight taste of mischievous— after all, they break nearly all the school rules.
J. K. Rowling created a magical place— a world where everything is possible, where the evil is defeated, and the good is rewarded, where people are brave and loyal and stand up for what they believe in, where a neglected orphan, a boy living in the shadow of his siblings and a bossy know-it-all found each other and a place they truly belong. It is a perfect escapism destination we would love to visit.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars. ****
Just because it get’s better later on.