I’m not really going to review this book. We all know Harry Potter. If you haven’t read the books, you’ve seen the movies, and if you haven’t seen the movies well you’re here in the English-speaking internet so YOU KNOW HARRY POTTER. Y’all don’t need me to review g-d Harry Potter.
Rereading Harry Potter – especially rereading Sorcerer’s Stone – is like walking back into your childhood home. Everything is familiar and oh so dear and yes you know every turn and beat by heart and that just makes you love it all the more. Heartwarming joy, starting to finish, top to bottom. And like I know we all give Rowling grief because her prose is maybe a little less than inspired, but I get to moments like this:
“Welcome,” Hagrid said, “to Diagon Alley.”
Where the beat is so perfectly framed. Where you can read it with your heart in your throat, and understand Harry’s anticipation and wonder because you feel it yourself and I guess what I’m saying is maybe we’re a little too hard on her.
I was thirteen when I first entered Hogwarts. Settle in for storytime, kids. I was coming back to school from summer break, eighth grade, and my first stop was to say hello to the librarian. She was and remains the most wonderful woman. Understanding me all too well, she said hello, asked how my summer was, and then handed me over the desk a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “The third book just came out. I really think you’ll like these, so I’ve saved the next two for you just in case.”
And that was that. Harry Potter is my safe place. There will never be a character to whom I relate more than Hermione Granger (look, Pottermore put me in Gryffindor and says my Patronus is an otter, so fight me). Professor Minvera McGonagall is a splendor, the occasional breaks that give lie to her sternness putting her over the top. Albus Dumbledore is a brilliant old coot (his exclamation of “You know about Nicholas! Oh, you did do the thing right.” when Harry asks about Flamel remains one of my favorite moments in the book).
There are children out there who didn’t get this experience because some grownup with their head up their hiney decided that the pure joy of childhood would be corrupted by … the pure joy of childhood. I want only bad things for those people.
Bingo Square: Fahrenheit 451