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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Paperback – September 11, 2001

10,661 customer reviews
Book 3 of 7 in the Harry Potter Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

For most children, summer vacation is something to look forward to. But not for our 13-year-old hero, who's forced to spend his summers with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who detest him. The third book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series catapults into action when the young wizard "accidentally" causes the Dursleys' dreadful visitor Aunt Marge to inflate like a monstrous balloon and drift up to the ceiling. Fearing punishment from Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon (and from officials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who strictly forbid students to cast spells in the nonmagic world of Muggles), Harry lunges out into the darkness with his heavy trunk and his owl Hedwig.

As it turns out, Harry isn't punished at all for his errant wizardry. Instead he is mysteriously rescued from his Muggle neighborhood and whisked off in a triple-decker, violently purple bus to spend the remaining weeks of summer in a friendly inn called the Leaky Cauldron. What Harry has to face as he begins his third year at Hogwarts explains why the officials let him off easily. It seems that Sirius Black--an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban--is on the loose. Not only that, but he's after Harry Potter. But why? And why do the Dementors, the guards hired to protect him, chill Harry's very heart when others are unaffected? Once again, Rowling has created a mystery that will have children and adults cheering, not to mention standing in line for her next book. Fortunately, there are four more in the works. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this third installment in the projected seven-volume series, Sirius Black, imprisoned for killing 13 people with one curse, escapes from Azkaban. As he heads for Hogwarts, the chilling Dementors who trail him quickly descend upon the school. "Each successive volume expands upon its predecessor with dizzyingly well-planned plots and inventive surprises," said PW in a Best Books of 2001 citation. Ages 8-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Series: Harry Potter (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439136369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439136365
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10,661 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

997 of 1,105 people found the following review helpful By J.A. VINE VOICE on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is arguably the most "hyped" book in history, and if J.K. Rowling had to sneak down to the kitchen for a glass of red wine to calm her nerves while writing The Goblet of Fire (as she said she did), one wonders what assuaged her while writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The collective breath of tens of millions of readers has been held for two years...and now...was it worth the wait? Did Ms. Rowling live up to the hype? (For that, amongst hundreds of questions, is really the only question that matters.)

The answer, most assuredly, is YES.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is told in a strikingly different style than the previous six books - even different from The Half Blood Prince, and, I daresay, it's a better written, better edited, tighter narrative. And while the action is lively and well paced throughout, Rowling found a way to answer most of our questions while introducing new and complex ideas. What fascinated me was this: Some people were right, with regard to who is good, who is bad, who will live, who will die - but almost nobody got the "why" part correct. I truthfully expected an exciting but rather predictable ending, but instead was thrown for a loop. We've known that Rowling is fiendishly clever for years - but I didn't think she was *this* clever.

Not since turning the final page of The Return of the King twenty-eight years ago have I felt such a keen sense of loss. My love affair (indeed, everyone's love affair, I imagine) with all things Harry began somewhere in the first three chapters of The Sorcerer's Stone, and has lasted, on this side of the Atlantic, three months shy of nine years. For all that time we have waited and wondered - was Dumbledore right to trust Snape? Will Ron and Hermione get together?
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125 of 137 people found the following review helpful By mgately on May 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Every Once in a while, a book comes along that spellbinds millions. Like The Hobbit, You certainly know Bilbo Baggins, and you know all about Tolkien. A new book has come, Harry Potter. I love this book. I enhale all of the information exhales. Please say my vote was helpful. I am 82 years old and nothing would please me more than to be a top reviewer.
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213 of 246 people found the following review helpful By yarden on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In anticipation of Harry Potter, Book 4, I had to read the first three books again. What I was struck with, again, is the sheer imaginative nature of J.K. Rowling's books. Simply put, these books are instant classics.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is the third in the series following Harry Potter at Hogwart's school of wizardry. Harry is now a 13-year old (his birthday occurring at the beginning of the book), and concerned mostly with classes, Quidditch (a wizard sport), and the fact that he's not allowed to visit the local wizard village of Hogsmeade with his friends on the weekends. One of the reasons for this is that Sirius Black, a convicted murderer, has broken out of Azkaban, the wizard prison, and word has it that he's out to get Harry.
In keeping with Harry Potter tradition, the reader can expect surprises, twists and turns, malicious rivals, uncommonly kind professors, terrible relatives, amazing magic candy, true friendships, and a whiz-bang ending.
It's delightful to see how Rowling can stay true to the feel of the previous books, and yet allow Harry and friends to mature. This book is a little longer than the previous books, but the imagination never lets up, and gradually Harry's world is widening.
I would recommend this book to ANYONE (any age) who enjoys the writings of Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, or J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a very fun, humourous, and enjoyable fantasy novel, and one that should be read more than once!
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132 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Chelsea on July 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
*SPOILERS: please don't read if you haven't finished the book*
After reading the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series, as well as many of these reviews, I simply cannot believe that anyone would rate this book with less than 5 stars. I have read reviews where people say that the ending is too "light and fluffy", or that "Harry should have died", and that the whole deathly hallows part of the plot is pointless because, in the end, Harry does not keep the hallows. Can no-one here see why JK Rowling ended the series as she did? I grew up with Harry Potter, the first book having been released when I was about 9 or 10. I cannot express how depressing it would have been had Harry died, for(forgive me for the cheeziness) if Harry had died surely there was no hope for the rest of us. Furthermore, the ending is not "light and fluffy". Harry overcomes Voldemort as his character develops, as he finally understands how to finish the Dark Lord once and for all- as he allows himself to be sacrificed for the benefit of "the greater good". The deathly hallows merely stand as the temptation for Harry to become all-powerful, to make the same mistake that Voldemort and Dumbledore(when he was young) made. His choice to turn down the opportunity to evade death not only speaks on his true character, but sets him apart from those who would try to harness this power. Even if Harry had chosen to keep the Hallows for good purposes, would he not eventually turn into the same type of tyrant as Grindelwald, as Voldemort, and as Dumbledore would have become? Yes, the hallows did appear and disappear in this one book, but because Harry chose NOT to keep them for himself, he chose the path of the pure-hearted. By this action, we truly see how much Harry has grown and matured.
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