Birthday Books and Writing Gryffindor Hogwarts Magical Devices and Items Muggles Quidditch Shops and merchants Slytherin Wizarding Culture

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

- Book 1
Characters Locations Magic Canon Events Things Creatures Essays
The Harry Potter Canon

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first in the series of Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. It was published in the U.S. as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a year after being published in the UK.

first British printing: July 1, 1997, Bloomsbury Books

first American printing: September 1, 1999, Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine Books
U.S. illustrations by Mary GrandPré, 1998


Calendar and Dates

The story starts on 1 November 1981, then jumps to 1991, where we follow Harry through his first year at Hogwarts and to his journey back to London at the end of June, 1992.


For Jessica, who loves stories,
For Anne, who loved them too;
And for Di, who heard this one first.

Interesting facts and notes

facts & trivia:

      The title refers to a stone sought after by alchemists, a stone which was reputed to turn other metals into gold and to grant immortality.

title in the U.S.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

comments by Rowling about the book:

Q: Do you rewrite a lot?
A: A huge amount. Only once have I sat down, written something end to end, and let it stand. That was the chapter inPhilosopher's Stone when Harry learns to fly. I remember vividly - the old story we've heard a million times - my daughter fell asleep, it was a beautifully sunny day, I sat in a café, and wrote that chapter from beginning to end. And I think I changed two words. That's very unusual for me (Nr).

Q: Do you have a favorite passage from one of your books?
A: Hard to choose. I like chapter twelve of Sorcerer's Stone (The Mirror of Erised), and I am proud of the ending of Goblet of Fire (Sch2).

Why is the name different in the U.S.?

Q: Does it bother you that in America they changed the names of your books?
A: They changed the first title, but with my consent to be honest. I wish I hadn't agreed now but it was my first book, and I was so grateful that anyone was publishing me I wanted to keep them happy (CR).


Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 1997 Gold Medal 9-11 years, FCBG Children's Book Award 1997 Overall winner and Longer Novel Category winner, Birmingham Cable Children's Book Award 1997, Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year 1998, British Book Awards 1997 Children's Book of the Year, Sheffield Children's Book Award 1998, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001


Tags: beginnings friendship learning return surprises

The Harry Potter Canon