Harry Potter is a scrawny eleven-year old orphan boy who lives with his aunt and uncle on respectable, ordinary Privet Drive. The only thing extraordinary about him is the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. But on his eleventh birthday a mysterious letter appears from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Harry Potter finds himself in a world he never knew existed—and a world in which everybody knows his name. For Harry Potter is famous throughout the wizarding world for being the baby that the evil Lord Voldemort tried—and failed—to murder. As Harry navigates the ups and downs of his first year at Hogwarts, strange things begin to happen, and Harry suspects that Voldemort may be rising again.
In this book Harry Potter starts out as a very lonely, unhappy boy who is mistreated by his aunt, uncle, and cousin. So when he is given not only a chance to escape his situation, but also a fortune in gold and a shiny new celebrity status, you would expect it to go straight to his head. But Harry maintains his humility throughout the book, and never considers himself superior to his fellow students.
However, the list of things he does consider himself superior to happen to be things like the occasional rule, and some of his authority figures. Though Harry does suffer the consequences of some of his actions (sneaking out of bed and breaking curfew leads to detention in the Forbidden Forest, and so on) his biggest transgression at the end of the book is ultimately rewarded because Harry "saved the day." Despite this flaw, the book upholds the virtues of selfless love, sacrifice, friendship, humility, and the courage to do what is right, even when it hurts.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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