Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Our kids were already a bit old for the Harry Potter books when they emerged in 1997. At that time we moved in rather narrow-minded circles and stories of witches and dark magic were frowned upon. So we never read them. Until now. As a would-be author, I can hardly ignore successful writers like J.K. Rowling.

Although the plot of the Philosopher’s Stone is quite preposterous in places and not altogether consistent (Why drop blindly into a black hole when you have the magical skill to generate light?), it does captivate the reader. Unexpected twists and high tension toward the end make it hard to put it down.

Underlying it all is a good-versus-evil conflict. But since even the ‘goodies’ resort to dishonest practices at times, the value of the book as a rôle model for children is questionable. I’m not sure I need to read the remaining titles of the series.

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