General Information About the Book and Author

J. K. Rowling:      

       J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series was born in 1965 in England and since then, has become the world’s first writer to become a billionaire from the sale of her books.  Rowling’s name was changed from Joanne to J. K. because of the publisher’s suggestion that boys were more likely to buy and read a book that was written by a male author, hence the shift from Joanne to just “J” and the add-on of the “K”.

       Much like that of her title character, Rowling overcame personal struggles to succeed greatly in life.  Rowling is a graduate of Exeter University and a former teacher but was an unemployed, single parent when she began working on the Harry Potter series. She sold her transcript to Bloomsbury and Scholastic Books and the series was a commercial and critical success.

       Since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, Rowling has become the most successful author of all time, winning numerous awards for her work, selling over 400 million books in over 100 countries and is a household name.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:

       The first book in the seven book Harry Potter series tells the story of an eleven year old boy who, when he finds out he is a wizard, is whisked away from his cruel aunt and uncle to Hogwarts where he attends school to learn how to use magic. While there, he finds out about his past, parents, and an evil wizard named Voldemort whose one goal is to regain his strength and kill Harry who evaded him as an infant. Harry hones his skills as a wizard and, with the help of his friends, has adventures at school which ultimately leads to a deadly face-off with Voldemort himself.

       First published in 1997 in the UK and the following year in the US, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone won multiple awards and topped the New York Times best seller list. The book has been turned into a feature length movie which earned over US$300 million. The cultural phenomenon of Harry Potter has developed into a popular line of toys, video games, and clothing; and Harry’s face and name can now be seen all over TV, magazines, and posters. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the book that started it all by snaring the imagination of millions of children and adults alike.



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