Even though I was the prime age when Harry Potter was first released, I had never actually read the books. I’ve even see the first four movies, but I never read them. So for my banned book challenge, I decided I would actually read one (and I got it for 50 cents at Goodwill…). I was actually quite surprised by it. It was boring, it kept moving, and since I had seen the movie, I could picture the characters easily. The movie is actually quite close to being spot on. There wasn’t much deviation from the book to the movie.
The story follows Harry Potter, a young lad who doesn’t know he is a wizard. His parents are killed trying to defeat the evil lord Voldomort when he was a baby. Harry was Voldomort’s only victim to live, leaving him with a scar on his head and no parents. He is taken to live with his aunt and uncle, who are Muggles, or non-magical people and hidden away from the magical world. On his eleventh birthday he receives an invitation to attend the private Hogswarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He makes friends and learns about his magical lineage. He has numerous adventures with his new friends, often getting them into trouble, especially when they are fighting with their nemesis Draco Malfoy. However, they learn of a hidden article that Lord Voldomort is after in the school and attempt to stop him. The book covers all these events as they occur through the first school year.
The story line was solid, there weren’t any gaping holes or anything. Some of the occurrences you would think “No, he wouldn’t actually be that lucky” but you let that go and continue with the story. It keeps you engaged and it moves along well, not going too fast or too slow. I would have liked to have seen more depth to the characters and get to know them better, but it is a young adult book and as it is a series I’m sure that will come in time. I identified most with Hermione and Professor McGonagle. I don’t actually have a whole lot to say bad about the book. I would like my children to read it when they are old enough. There is a lot of good lessons on loyalty, trust, friendship, and doing the right thing. There are also lessons on meanness and revenge. I have a feeling the more the series continues the more the characters and life lessons will develop. I do not think I will read them all, however. They seem to get very dark and depressing from what I hear. I guess we shall have to see.