Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.
Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.
The book is originally called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When it came over to America, the title was changed. Since I am American, I will be using the Americanized version in my review.
When the Potters were attacked, only baby Harry Potter survived. Albus Dumbledore decided that the best place to put baby Harry is with his Aunt Petunia Dursley and her husband and son, a family of non-magical “muggles”. In the lead up to Harry’s 11th birthday, letters begin to arrive from a mysterious sender, and ignoring them only seems to increase the amount sent. Finally, on his 11th birthday, Harry gets a surprise visit from Hagrid, a half-giant who informs Harry that he’s a wizard and invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.
After obtaining all of the materials and books he needs for his first year, Harry gets on the Hogwarts Express. He meets Ron Weasley, a fellow first year. They quickly become friends and once they are both sorted into Gryffindor, their friendship is cemented. They meet a fellow Gryffindor first year named Hermione, whom they joke about because she is incredibly smart and overly attentive in class. When Ron says something mean and Hermione overhears, she runs to a girl’s bathroom, one that just happens to be attacked by a troll. After Harry and Ron save her, the three become a unit.
When they are out of bed after hours, they accidentally run into a restricted part of the castle. There they find a 3 headed dog that is guarding a trapdoor. When talking to Hagrid about it, the name Nicholas Flamel comes up. During the winter holidays, Harry and Ron stay at Hogwarts. As a present, Harry gets an invisibility cloak. Planning on using it to investigate the Restricted Section of the Library for the name Nicholas Flamel, Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows you what you really want.
When they figure out who Nicholas Flamel is after a Chocolate Frog, they learn that the thing being guarded is the Sorcerer’s Stone. They also learn that two of their professors, Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell, have been arguing with each other in relation to the stone. When things begin to get dicey, Harry feels like he has to obtain the stone in order to prevent the stone from getting in the wrong hands.
We spend a lot of this book learning about what is going on within the wizarding world, so it has quite a bit of background. It is the shortest of all the books, so there are a lot of times where it feels like not much happened, especially compared to the later books. I think that it is a great first book and stand-alone, but it seems lackluster once you read the rest of the series. I think I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Compared to the Movie
The movie is relatively accurate when compared to the book. Once of the biggest changes is how the kids find the room with the trapdoor. In the book, Harry and Malfoy were supposed to duel, but the staircase changes in the movie and that’s how they find it. Also, in the book, the kids give Norbert to Bill, but in the movie, it is glossed over. All-in-all, the movie did a very good job of sticking to the book. The acting was a little stiff, but the special effects in the movie were honestly not that bad.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!