Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the U.S. title of a 1997 novel by J. K. Rowling that is known elsewhere as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It is a seminal work in contemporary fiction, laying the foundation for the immensely popular Harry Potter series. The novel follows the eponymous protagonist, a young orphan living with his cruel aunt and uncle, who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard. Harry is soon admitted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he begins to learn about his past, make lifelong friends, and face the mysteries surrounding the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The book not only introduces the protagonist, Harry Potter, but also establishes the magical world of witches and wizards in which Harry’s character develops. By introducing Harry, a reluctant hero and “nobody,” at the outset, Rowling is able to describe his journey of self-discovery, exploring how the notion of identity is shaped by one’s choices.
Set in a magical realm parallel to the non-magical world, the story encompasses themes of friendship, bravery, and the battle between good and evil. Rowling’s rich and imaginative narrative introduces readers to a host of memorable characters, including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and the enigmatic Professor Dumbledore. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone became a cultural phenomenon. Its success led to the creation of a globally beloved book series that Rowling continued with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 1998. The 2001 film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone launched an equally popular series of Harry Potter film adaptations.