"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", also known as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in some countries, is the first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It's the story of Harry Potter, an eleven-year-old boy who discovers that he is a wizard and begins attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The novel opens with the murder of Harry's parents, Lily and James Potter, by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. Harry, who was only a baby at the time, miraculously survives with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, and Voldemort disappears. Harry is left with his abusive relatives, the Dursleys, who are Muggles (non-magical people).
On his eleventh birthday, Harry is visited by Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, who reveals to Harry that he is a wizard and has been accepted into Hogwarts. Harry also learns that he is famous in the wizarding world as the "Boy Who Lived," the only person known to have survived a killing curse.
Harry is then taken to Diagon Alley, a magical shopping district, where he buys his school supplies, including his wand which is made from holly with a phoenix feather core. He learns that the same phoenix donated another feather, which was used in Voldemort's wand. He also learns about Gringotts, the wizarding bank where he has inherited a fortune left by his parents. At the same time, Hagrid retrieves a mysterious package from one of the vaults.
When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he is sorted into Gryffindor house along with his new friends Hermione Granger, a muggle-born girl who excels in academics, and Ron Weasley, a boy from a poor, but loving, pure-blood wizard family. Harry also meets Draco Malfoy, a prejudiced and bullying student who becomes Harry's enemy, and Snape, the Potions professor who seems to particularly dislike Harry.
Throughout the year, Harry and his friends discover the mystery of the forbidden third-floor corridor, guarded by a three-headed dog which they later name "Fluffy". Harry also excels in the wizarding sport, Quidditch, as the Gryffindor team's Seeker. Harry, Ron, and Hermione eventually discover that the dog is guarding the Sorcerer's Stone, a magical object that grants immortality.
They learn that Voldemort, who didn't die but was weakened, is trying to steal the stone to regain full strength. Suspecting that Snape is working for Voldemort, they decide to retrieve the stone themselves. They navigate a series of magical obstacles, including a deadly plant (Devil's Snare), a room filled with flying keys, and a life-sized game of wizard's chess.
In the final room, Harry finds himself alone and comes across the Mirror of Erised, a magical mirror that shows the deepest desires of the one who looks at it. He finds the stone in his pocket, having been judged by the mirror as wanting to find the stone but not use it for himself.
To Harry's surprise, it isn't Snape but Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Quirrell who has been trying to steal the stone for Voldemort. Quirrell reveals that he let the troll in earlier in the year (which Harry, Ron, and Hermione defeated) and tried to kill Harry during a Quidditch match. Quirrell forces Harry to look in the Mirror of Erised, but the stone appears in Harry's pocket. In a climactic confrontation, Quirrell, possessed by Voldemort, tries to take the stone but is burned by contact with Harry, leading to his death and Voldemort's temporary defeat.
In the aftermath, Harry is praised for his bravery, and Gryffindor wins the House Cup. Dumbledore, the headmaster, explains to Harry that his mother's sacrificial love protected him from Voldemort. This protection is what made Quirrell, who was possessed by Voldemort, unable to touch Harry without suffering painful burns. Dumbledore also reveals that he had the Sorcerer's Stone destroyed to prevent its abuse.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron solidify their friendship, having gone through such a perilous adventure together. Despite the joy of victory and the relief of surviving the encounter with Voldemort, Harry is still saddened by the connection he has to Voldemort, highlighted by the fact that both shared wands made from feathers donated by the same phoenix.
In the final scenes of the novel, the school year ends and the students prepare to return home for the summer. Harry, though heading back to live with the Dursleys, is now more hopeful, looking forward to his future years at Hogwarts, his true home. He's no longer just a downtrodden orphan but Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and a wizard with friends who care about him.
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is not just the beginning of Harry's journey in the magical world, but also a story of friendship, bravery, and the power of love over evil. It sets the stage for the successive books in the series, where Harry has to face more complex challenges, confront the dark secrets of his past, and ultimately engage in a fight against Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters.