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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3) Hardcover – October 1, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 35,406 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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

From Publishers Weekly

Rowling proves that she has plenty of tricks left up her sleeve in this third Harry Potter adventure, set once again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Right before the start of term, a supremely dangerous criminal breaks out of a supposedly impregnable wizards' prison; it will come as no surprise to Potter fans that the villain, a henchman of Harry's old enemy Lord Voldemort, appears to have targeted Harry. In many ways this installment seems to serve a transitional role in the seven-volume series: while many of the adventures are breathlessly relayed, they appear to be laying groundwork for even more exciting adventures to come. The beauty here lies in the genius of Rowling's plotting. Seemingly minor details established in books one and two unfold to take on unforeseen significance, and the finale, while not airtight in its internal logic, is utterly thrilling. Rowling's wit never flags, whether constructing the workings of the wizard world (Just how would a magician be made to stay behind bars?) or tossing off quick jokes (a grandmother wears a hat decorated with a stuffed vulture; the divination classroom looks like a tawdry tea shop). The Potter spell is holding strong. All ages.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scholastic; 1st edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 435 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0439136350
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0439136358
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 880L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 4 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.38 x 1.41 x 9.24 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 35,406 ratings

About the author

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J.K. Rowling is best-known as the author of the seven Harry Potter books, which were published between 1997 and 2007. The enduringly popular adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione have gone on to sell over 500 million copies, be translated into over 80 languages and made into eight blockbuster films.

Alongside the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling also wrote three short companion volumes for charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in aid of Comic Relief, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, in aid of Lumos. The companion books and original series are all available as audiobooks.

In 2016, J.K. Rowling collaborated with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany to continue Harry’s story in a stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened in London, followed by the USA and Australia.

In the same year, she made her debut as a screenwriter with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Inspired by the original companion volume, it was the first in a series of new adventures featuring wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander. The second, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, was released in 2018 and the third, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is to be released in April 2022.

Both the screenplays, as well as the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, are also available as books.

Fans of Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter can find out more at www.wizardingworld.com.

J.K. Rowling also writes novels for adults. The Casual Vacancy was published in 2012 and adapted for television in 2015. Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, she is the author of the highly acclaimed ‘Strike’ crime series, featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott. The first of these, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published to critical acclaim in 2013, at first without its author’s true identity being known. The Silkworm followed in 2014, Career of Evil in 2015 and Lethal White in 2018. All four books have been adapted for television by the BBC and HBO. The fifth book, Troubled Blood, is now out and was also an instant bestseller.

J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, sold in aid of Lumos and university-wide financial aid at Harvard.

In 2020, J.K. Rowling released in free online instalments, The Ickabog, an original fairy tale, which she wrote over ten years ago as a bedtime story for her younger children. She decided to share the personal family favourite to help entertain children, parents and carers confined at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The story is now published as a book (hardback, ebook and audio) in the English language, and is translated into 26 languages, each edition with its own unique illustrations by children. J.K. Rowling is donating her royalties from The Ickabog to her charitable trust, The Volant Charitable Trust, to assist vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK and internationally.

J.K. Rowling’s latest children’s novel, The Christmas Pig, is out now. Illustrated by Jim Field, it’s the story of a little boy called Jack, and his beloved toy, Dur Pig, and the toy that replaces Dur Pig when he’s lost on Christmas Eve – the Christmas Pig. Together, Jack and the Christmas Pig embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known.

As well as receiving an OBE and Companion of Honour for services to children’s literature, J.K. Rowling has received many other awards and honours, including France’s Legion d’Honneur, Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award and Denmark’s Hans Christian Andersen Award.

www.jkrowling.com

Image: Photography Debra Hurford Brown © J.K. Rowling 2018

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
35,406 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Hitesh
5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion, whether you're twelve or twenty two, I highly recommend them!!
Reviewed in India on October 12, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion, whether you're twelve or twenty two, I highly recommend them!!
Reviewed in India on October 12, 2018
As always with Rowling's books, I loved Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! JK Rowling's words have a curious habit of coming to life, and her characters are funny, and realistic. One of the greatest things about Harry Potter, is that they improve with each book, and you can clearly glimpse the clever, intricate plot Rowling has wove, with cleverly placed foreshadowing and seemingly innocent hints.
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Djilly L.
5.0 out of 5 stars A much darker story but a fabulous read with a little something for everyone
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A much darker story but a fabulous read with a little something for everyone
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2019
In this book, as Harry approaches adolescence the tone changes. And we get a more interesting, but also more complex and darker story.

Unlike the static characters in other books or series, Harry is getting older, and getting less stable emotionally. The book still appeals to both children and adults but it involves some horror creatures, Dementors and there is lot of focus on Harry’s parents' deaths.

The great thing for children is that the familiar, relatable characters are being brought to life and come across as very realistic. Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione takes a different direction in this instalment. Hermione is being forced to make tough choices that impact Harry but Ron in particular. With who she is in constant disagreement. But the book also has an exceptionally strong set of secondary characters like Professor Lupin, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, a great new character that hides a big hairy secret. Then there is Professor Trelawney for Divination studies. While Hagrid displays his love of all magical creatures. Professor Snape remains enigmatic so that you continue to question his true motives. Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang, who play important roles in later books of the series are introduced as well

The book has are many fun, unexpected and exciting plot points. Many elements in this story are not what they appear at first sight, take for example Sirius Black a prison escapee, who is believed to have betrayed Harry’s parents. The mystery of Lord Voldemort murder of Harry's parents is increasingly central and new details are revealed. And the climax was exhilarating and intense.

Our daughter had to be forced to put the book down. And when pushed for favourites, Prisoner of Azkaban is her favourite Harry Potter book, if not among all the books she has read.
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AHick90
5.0 out of 5 stars Used hardback - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2020
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Lisa J
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget version of the amazing story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2019
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stephen m tivey
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic Moments
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2022
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