Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Written by J.K. Rowling
Published by Scholastic Books (US) and Bloomsbury Publishing (UK)
Eleven-year-old Sujit Thomas, a Sixth Standard student at New Delhi’s Don Bosco School, is a voracious reader of books on adventure, mystery and magic. Here he gives his reasons for placing the Harry Potter series far ahead of “the Enid Blytons and the Roald Dahls”!
The Secret of Pottermania
Harry Potter is an orphan. His parents were killed in a car crash. At least that’s what his cruel Aunt and Uncle tell him until a giant of a man called Hagrid comes to their house and explains that Harry’s parents had been murdered by the most powerful wizard of all times — Lord Voldemort.
Somehow, Harry had survived the killing curse (‘Avada Kedavra’) when Voldemort put it on his parents and the one-year-old Harry.
Hagrid had come to take Harry to the world’s greatest school of witchcraft and wizardry — Hogwarts. The principal of the school, Albus Dumbledore, was the only wizard that Voldemort had ever feared.
And so, Harry goes to Hogwarts and makes friends.
The Harry Potter series is so different from the Enid Blytons or Roald Dahls — so much more uniquely real that one cannot stop wondering whether J.K. Rowling — Harry’s creator — hasn’t simply copied a real life story.
In the Enid Blytons, tragedies rarely exceed a cut finger. But Harry Potter’s tragedies are far greater and more in number, making them sound realistic.
The magical people’s Quidditch (game played on broomsticks) and Owl Post (postal service) add that extra icing to the cake, so it is no wonder that adults, too, are attracted to the adventures of Harry Potter.
In the first book, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, a teacher at Hogwarts is trying to steal the sorcerer’s stone, a substance that gives the owner immortal life and the power to change any metal into gold.
This teacher also has Voldemort on his side — a Voldemort who is pure shadow — to give orders and to help him. Read the book to find out who the teacher is and how Harry and his friends — Ron and Hermione — thwart Voldemort’s evil plan, if they do it at all.
In the second book, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ Voldemort attacks the Muggles children. These are children of non-wizard parents but who have been selected to study at Hogwarts.
Voldemort attacks the Muggles with the help of the sinister giant snake called the Basilisk – a monster hidden in the Chamber of Secrets made by one of Hogwarts founders, Salazar Slytherin.
This is a Voldemort preserved in an enchanted diary created by Voldemort himself many years ago to preserve the powers of his 16-year-old self.
Harry and his friends do not take much interest in these happenings until Harry’s friend Hermione is attacked. Then the entire school believes Harry to be behind these attacks because at the duelling club Harry reveals a secret power (a power he was not aware of till then) of speaking to snakes. This power is called parseltongue, for which Salazar was famous.
Many things happen. The headmaster of Hogwarts hires a conceited professor who adds a funny side to the story. Then, to make matters worse, Hagrid is arrested because he is believed to be the one who released the Basilisk 50 years ago. He had actually been framed by Voldemort when he was at school….
Find out how Harry stops these attacks by reading the book.
In the third book, ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, you can discover about Harry’s godfather Sirius Black and how Harry’s parents were apparently betrayed by him (though he is innocent). You can also learn how Sirius makes his escape after being caught by the guards of Azkaban.
In the fourth book, Harry is chosen for the tri-wizard tournament and, during the last task, is transported to Albania where he witnesses the rebirth of Voldemort, aided by Wormtail (one of Harry’s father’s friends, Peter Pettigrew).
Face as white as a skull, large livid scarlet eyes, nose as flat as a snake’s, with slits for nostrils and abnormally long fingers – in these words Rowling describes a Voldemort returned to power.
Then Harry duels with the Dark Lord. Whether Harry survives the deadly encounter and how the story ends is to be discovered by reading the book.
As J.K. Rowling has stopped the story here it is quite probable that it will end in the next book. It will be interesting to see how the next book – the fifth in the series — turns out, for the writer has indicated that there are likely to be seven volumes in this series.