Saturday, May 28, 2011

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)

Book Jacket

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black.  Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed:  Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well.  And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends.  Because of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.


Thus begins my epic reread of the Harry Potter series before the final movie comes out on July 15!  (What will we do when there is no longer a new Harry Potter creation to look forward to?)

If you haven't read the Harry Potter series yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?  Go out and read them immediately.  Thank you.  For the rest of us, spoilers are ahead, because I will talk about each book with the revelations of the whole series in mind.

THIS.  This is what a perfect story looks like.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my absolute favorite of the series, and possibly of all stories everwhere.  It's definitely in the top ten, anyway.  The mystery this time around is brilliant, mostly because it's so close to Harry's heart.  I remember the first time I read that scene where Harry overhears Fudge telling the other professors the true identity of Sirius Black--that he was, in fact, James' best friend.  It was heartbreaking.  And so so right.

Let's be honest.  Sirius Black is one of the awesomest characters ever.  As is Lupin.  And the Marauder's Map?  I WANT ONE.  In fact, if I could choose Rowling's next writing venture, I would totally beg her to write the seven years in which the Marauders went to Hogwarts.  It would be legendary, and you know it. 

Also, the dementors are all kinds of creepy.  They are really maybe the greatest evil creatures ever created.  Slow moving, rotting hands.  Suck away all your happy thoughts until inevitably they take away your soul.  And boggarts aren't half bad either.  And Patronuses?  Fantastic.

Hm, so far this is entirely flail.  I can't help it! 

I have to admit that I really hate how juvenile Ron (and Harry by extension) acts toward Hermione.  So her cat "killed" his rat?  I understand some anger, but a complete freeze-out for months?  Geez.  That is why I just don't ship Ron/Hermione.  They are frequently awful to each other, and that it just not the kind of romance I support.  *ducks tomatoes thrown by Hr/R shippers*

But Harry and Hermione rocking the final few chapters?  Never has time travel been so easy to understand.  Oh, which reminds me of Buckbeak!  I want him along with my Marauder's Map.  Oh man, and with Buckbeak comes snotty little Draco.  Hermione giving him the smack down has now permanently been mixed with the Very Potter Musical.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, PLEASE go watch it.  It's utterly brilliant.  A full-length musical created by massively talented college students for free on youtube!

Five out of five Time Turners.

Release Date:  September 1999
Reading Level:  Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL ROW

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

Bookbag: Friendswood YA Blog
Coincidental Reality

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