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Star Ledger Harry Potter Special!

Wizardry right from the start


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is the first book -- and, this week, will be the first movie -- of a projected seven-part Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

"The Sorcerer's Stone" introduces us to Harry, a 10-year-old orphan who lives in a cupboard under the stairs of his aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. When Harry receives a letter telling him he's been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he comes to understand that he's the wizard child of famous wizard parents, that he has special powers and that it will be his fate one day to confront the dark wizard, Voldemort, who was responsible for his parents' deaths.

At Hogwarts, Harry makes friends with two other first-year students, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. He also realizes he's a natural at Quidditch, a game played above ground on flying broomsticks. Harry is named to the Griffyndor School's Quidditch team, even though he is a first-year student and first years aren't even allowed to try out for Quidditch.

One day, when he accidentally stumbles into a forbidden corridor at Hogwarts, Harry learns that there is a secret hidden deep inside the school of witchcraft and wizardry. The secret is the Sorcerer's Stone, the Elixir of Life, which, when drunk, will confer immortality.

Fearing that the suspicious Professor Snape is in cahoots with Voldemort to steal the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, Ron and Hermione must find a way to get to the stone first. To do so, they must use the invisibility cloak to sneak around the halls of Hogwarts after dark, and avoid Argus Filch and his cat Mrs. Norris, who patrol the halls looking for students breaking rules.

In the process of trying to get to the Stone before Snape and Voldemort do, Harry and his friends are forced to fight a giant troll, lure a three-headed dog to sleep, play a game of chess with humanlike chessmen, and pass through a veil of fire. With Professor Dumbledore's help, however, the three friends get to the stone first -- although, in the process, they learn that it wasn't the suspicious Professor Snape, but the innocent-seeming powder-puff, Professor Quirrell, who was trying to thwart them all along.

-- Amy Ellis Nutt


Copywritten by Star Ledger