Harry lives with his uncle and is tormented by his cousin on a daily basis. He lives in a small room under the stairs before being whisked away to Hogwarts. There he meets Hermione and Ron whose friendship, while occasionally rocky, endures through the entire series.
I think this is the book where people fall in love with the world of Harry Potter. As the series went on, the books became darker and darker, but this seemed more like a magical version of Nancy Drew mysteries. The kids face danger at every turn, but all seems fun and light hearted. Even the confrontation with Voldemort in the end, while intense, lacks the ominousness of later books.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was a truly children's book in every sense of the word. We became engrossed in the world of giants and unicorns and couldn't wait to find out what would happen to the gang the following year. I found myself dreading the books as the years went on. It just kept getting darker and more depressing and even though they would triumph over evil in the end, there was always a price to pay.
I like rereading this book every now and then just to feel the hope for the future before it crashes down around them.