Books: The Wizard of Hogwarts

A novice sorcerer's exploits are magical to kids--and adults

Aside, perhaps, from that lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, Harry Potter will seem familiar to anyone who has ever read a decent fairy tale. Harry, 11, is an orphan who lives with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, and their son Dudley. Is it worth pointing out that the Dursleys are as dreadful as one might expect of people named Dursley--they make that step-family of Cinderella's seem merely ill-tempered by comparison--and that young Dudley is a fat, spoiled bully who keeps breaking Harry's glasses?

Happily, a few chapters into J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which Scholastic...

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