• Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
      Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Book Cover.jpg
      Cover for one of the earliest UK editions
      Author J. K. Rowling
      Series Harry Potter
      Release number
      1st in series
      Genre Fantasy
      Publication date
      • 26 June 1997 (UK)
      • 1 September 1998 (US)
      • 223 (UK Edition)
      • 332 (2014 UK Edition)
      • 309 (US Edition)
      • 336 (2013 US Edition)
      • 256 (Illustrated Edition)
      Followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

      Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel, first published in 1997 by Bloomsbury. It was published in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Scholastic Corporation in 1998. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage as he makes close friends and a few enemies in his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the help of his friends, Harry faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just a year old.

      The novel won most of the British book awards that were judged by children and other awards in the US. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999 and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into at least sixty-seven other languages and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name, as have all six of its sequels.

      Most reviews were very favourable, commenting on Rowling's imagination, humour, simple, direct style and clever plot construction, although a few complained that the final chapters seemed rushed. The writing has been compared to that of Jane Austen, one of Rowling's favourite authors, or Roald Dahl, whose works dominated children's stories before the appearance of Harry Potter, and of the Ancient Greek story-teller Homer. While some commentators thought the book looked backwards to Victorian and Edwardian boarding school stories, others thought it placed the genre firmly in the modern world by featuring contemporary ethical and social issues.

      UK to American translation examples
      UK American
      mum, mam mom
      sherbet lemon lemon drop
      motorbike motorcycle
      chips fries
      crisp chip
      jelly Jell-O
      jacket potato baked potato
      jumper sweater
      Developer Release date Platform Genre GameRankings Metacritic Notes
      KnowWonder 15 November 2001 Microsoft Windows Adventure/puzzle 67.35% 65/100  
      Argonaut PlayStation Action-adventure 66.98% 64/100  
      Griptonite Game Boy Color Role-playing game 73% N/A  
      Game Boy Advance Action puzzle 68.37% 64/100  
      Aspyr 28 February 2002 Mac OS X Adventure/puzzle N/A N/A Port of Windows version
      Warthog 9 December 2003 GameCube Action-adventure 63.31% 62/100  
      PlayStation 2 57.90% 56/100  
      Xbox 61.82% 59/100  
      Country Release date Edition
      Publisher Pages
      Canada 1 December 1998 Hardback Children's Edition Raincoast 223
      Paperback Adult Edition (Original)
      1 November 1999 Hardback Signature Special Edition
      31 August 2000 Paperback Children's Edition
      16 October 2002 Paperback Magic Edition
      4 October 2004 Hardback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover) 336
      12 January 2011 Paperback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover) Bloomsbury 223
      Paperback Harry Potter Signature Edition
      27 August 2013 Paperback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover)
      United Kingdom 26 June 1997 Hardback Children's Edition
      Paperback Children's Edition
      11 September 1998 Paperback Adult Edition (Original)
      27 September 1999 Hardback Signature Special Edition
      8 October 2001 Paperback Special Edition
      10 July 2004 Hardback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover) 336
      4 October 2004 Paperback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover) 223
      1 November 2010 Paperback Harry Potter Signature Edition
      18 July 2013 Paperback Adult Edition (Re-issue with new cover)
      6 October 2015 Hardcover Illustrated Edition (Illustrated by Jim Kay) 256
      United States 1 September 1998 Hardback Arthur A. Levine/
      8 September 1999 Paperback
      1 November 2000 Hardback Collector's Edition
      1 November 2001 Mass Market Paperback 400
      September 2008 Paperback (Exclusive Scholastic School Market Edition) 309
      1 October 2008 Hardback 10th Anniversary Edition
      27 August 2013 Paperback (Re-issue with new cover) 336
      6 October 2015 Hardcover Illustrated Edition (Illustrated by Jim Kay) 256

      • 26 June 1997 (UK)
      • 1 September 1998 (US)
      • 223 (UK Edition)
      • 332 (2014 UK Edition)
      • 309 (US Edition)
      • 336 (2013 US Edition)
      • 256 (Illustrated Edition)
      • Harry Potter is an orphan whom Rowling imagined as a "scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard." She developed the series' story and characters to explain how Harry came to be in this situation and how his life unfolded from there. Apart from the first chapter, the events of this book take place just before and in the year following Harry's eleventh birthday. Voldemort's attack left a lightning bolt-shaped scar on Harry's forehead, which produces stabbing pains whenever Voldemort is present. Harry has a natural talent for Quidditch and became the first person to get on a team in their first year.
      • Ron Weasley is Harry's age and Rowling describes him as the ultimate best friend, "always there when you need him." He is freckled, red-haired and quite tall. He grew up in a fairly large pure-blood family as the sixth born of seven children. Although his family is quite poor, they still live comfortably and happily. His loyalty and bravery in the face of a game of Wizards Chess plays a vital part in finding the Philosopher's Stone.
      • Hermione Granger, the daughter of an all-Muggle family, is a bossy girl who has apparently memorised most of the textbooks before the start of term. Rowling described Hermione as a "very logical, upright and good" character with "a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure beneath her swottiness". Despite her nagging efforts to keep Harry and Ron out of trouble, she becomes a close friend of the two boys after they save her from a troll, and her magical and analytical skills play an important role in finding the Philosopher's Stone. She has bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth.
      • Neville Longbottom is a plump, diffident boy, so forgetful that his grandmother gives him a Remembrall, although he cannot remember why. Neville's magical abilities are weak and appeared just in time to save his life when he was eight. Despite his timidity, Neville will fight anyone after some encouragement or if he thinks it is right and important.
      • Rubeus Hagrid, a half-giant nearly 12 feet (3.7 m) tall, with tangled black hair and beard, was expelled from Hogwarts and his wand was broken, but Professor Dumbledore let him stay on as the school's gamekeeper, a job which enables him to lavish affection and pet names on even the most dangerous of magical creatures. Hagrid is fiercely loyal to Dumbledore and quickly becomes a close friend of Harry, Ron and, later, Hermione, but his carelessness makes him unreliable.
      • Professor Dumbledore, a tall, thin man who wears half-moon spectacles and has silver hair and a beard that tucks into his belt, is the headmaster of Hogwarts, and thought to be the only wizard Voldemort fears. Dumbledore, while renowned for his achievements in magic, he shrugs off praise, he is aware of his own brilliance. Rowling described him as the "epitome of goodness".
      • Professor McGonagall, a tall, severe-looking woman with black hair tied in a tight bun, teaches Transfiguration, and sometimes transforms herself into a cat. She is Deputy Headmistress, and Head of Gryffindor House and, according to the author, "under that gruff exterior" is "a bit of an old softy".
      • Petunia Dursley, the sister of Harry's mother Lily, is a thin woman with a long neck that she uses for spying on the neighbours. She regards her magical sister as a freak and tries to pretend that she never existed. Her husband Vernon is a heavily built man whose irascible bluster covers a narrow mind and a fear of anything unusual. Their son Dudley is an overweight, spoiled bully.
      • Draco Malfoy is a slim, pale boy who speaks in a bored drawl. He is arrogant about his skill in Quidditch, and despises anyone who is not a pure-blood wizard – and wizards who do not share his views. His parents had supported Voldemort, but changed sides after the dark wizard's disappearance, claiming they had been bewitched. Draco avoids direct confrontations, and tries to get Harry and his friends into trouble.
      • Oliver Wood is Harry's Quidditch captain for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He plays as keeper.
      • Professor Quirrell is a twitching, stammering man who teaches Defence Against the Dark Arts. Reputedly he was a brilliant scholar, but his nerve was shattered by an encounter with vampires. Quirrell wears a turban to conceal the fact that he is voluntarily possessed by Voldemort, whose face appears on the back of Quirrell's head.
      • Professor Snape, who has a hooked nose, sallow complexion and greasy black hair, teaches Potions, but would prefer to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. Snape praises pupils in Slytherin, his own House but seizes every opportunity to humiliate others, especially Harry. Several incidents, beginning with the shooting pain in Harry's scar during the start-of-term feast, lead Harry and his friends to think Snape is a follower of Voldemort.
      • Filch, the school caretaker who knows the school's secret passages better than anyone else except, possibly, the Weasley twins. His cat, Mrs. Norris, aids his constant hunt for misbehaving pupils.
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    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone