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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


*****Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Reviewed August 2001.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2001
Available at Sembach Library (JF ROW).

Time for something more cheering!  I have to put in a word for the Harry Potter series, though I imagine that almost everyone reading this has already read them or has decided not to.  I reread all four books when we got back from Ireland.  With each reading, I’m more impressed with her craft.  I picked up a book interviewing Joanne Rowling while I was in Ireland, and I learned that she spent years plotting out all seven books.  By the fourth book, it really shows.

After the first book, I thought the story was excellent, but I probably wouldn’t have called it “Truly Great.”  The second had me amazed at her excellent plotting and (what I still believe is her greatest strength) imaginative details.  But after the third and fourth, I’m now impressed with the complexity of the overall story.  I think it’s only going to get better.  At first, I thought she had some stereotypical characters, but I love the depth she’s giving them as she goes on.  By the end of the fourth book, we’ve learned that a person Harry can’t stand is fighting on the good side.  I think that gives great depth to that character.  And of course her use of humor is masterful.  Isn’t one of the tests of great books how well they stand the test of time?  These get better with each reading, and, to judge by the people checking them out again and again at the library, I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Now, without hesitation, I describe all four books as Truly Great indeed.

Hogwarts Year Two:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Hogwarts Year Three:  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hogwarts Year Four:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hogwarts Year Five:  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hogwarts Year Six:  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Hogwarts Year Seven:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Tales of Beedle the Bard

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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