Published: November 1st 2003 by Scholastic Press
Rating: 4 stars
Age Recommendation: -
Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen - things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero - as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.
Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.
After many years of looking at this series in the shops I finally got around to getting the full series in a box set. This book I had to admit did let me down a little, I had really high expectations for it with the series being THE most popular children's book series and everyone young and old loving the series so much. This isn't to say that I didn't like this book, I found that I really enjoyed it but it just didn't live up to my expectations.
The plot. I didn't really have any surpises when reading this book just because I had watched all the movies, but I thought it was great how I got to see where the movie skipped a part of the book or changed it slightly. I thought that this book was filled with adventure and suspense and I found myself staying up late because I had to know what was going to happen next but I found the ending to be a little boring as I thought that it would have been written in a way to make it a little more suspenseful.
The charaters. I loved almost all of the characters in the book but the one character that I had the most promblems with was Harry. I found him to be unrelatable and really I found him to be quite anoying. It seemed like at times he was ording around Ron and Hermione rather than them being a group of friends and I felt that his character lacked the personality that I was expecting him to have. I fond myslef really likeing Hermione and Ron's characters and I also loved the Weasley twins I thought that they added a lot of humour to the story. But one character that did suprise me was Nevel, he seemed to be a lot more confident in the book so I am really excited to see what happens to his character.
The art. I think that the artwork that has been put into this particular box set is stunning, Mary Gandpré really has done an amazing job and is an amazing artist. The artwork on the box itself itself is amazing as it is also with the book covers. But the artwork that stood out to me the most was the pictures at the start of each chapter and how detailed they were and how they really showed the main point of the chapter.
Overall I thought that this book was a pretty good start to the series and I am looking foward to starting "Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets" next.