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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Paperback – September 11, 2001
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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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Top Customer Reviews
I've been reading these books with my 5 year old daughter and she absolutely loves them. She has no problem following along. And the subject matter is understandable and appropriate. I've heard that the next book may be a bit darker, but so far, we are having a great time reading them together.
Back when the movies were out I read books 1 & 7. I loved book 7 and was "meh" about book 1. But picking them up again to finish reading the whole series I am enjoying them so much more than I did initially.
Rowling makes such lovable characters! There are so many books I wanted to read this month and instead I find myself spending all my reading time on Harry Potter books.
A great addicting read. Better than the first two books I'd say. I loved Lupin and Crookshanks the most. And I especially loved the last chapter of this book.
There is much in the book that is not in the movie, so it's worth a read even if you've seen all the films.
I have another caveat. I agree with the insight offered by Sander Gilman and Rachel DuPlesis, among others, that "stereotypes can be (and regularly have been) freely associated, even when their association demands a suspension of common sense" (Preface to "Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race, and Madness" (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985, page 12).
In this final Harry Potter volume, the classic stereotypical (but falsely attributed) characteristics of black slaves are attributed to Dobby and the other elves, who all (except Dobby) are depicted as cherishing their slave status.
Another example: the goblins are depicted with the negative stereotype of greed which Europeans and Englishmen have long falsely projected onto Jews. To make this worse, Harry Potter actually proclaims that he dislikes the main goblin in the story. This proclamation, combined with the "explanation" of the nature of "goblin" characteristics, comes across as an implicit acknowledgement of these stereotypical characteristics. (In fact, statistics show that Jews donate to charity, for example, more generously than the national average.) In an apparent attempt to escape criticism for this negative depiction, the author includes among Harry's followers one student with a Jewish name--which means nothing, as the boy is not a leader, while many other minorities ARE included among the leaders of the book's "good guys". (It would have been best if the book had omitted both kinds of "Jewish" references altogether, just as it abstains from references to believing Christians.) But anyone who has read the series must read this volume too. You will want to know what has happened to Dumbledore, and why Dumbledore trusted Snape, and why "He Who Must Not Be Named" has never found a wand that works against Harry Potter, and.... You will also want to know the application of the legend of the three brothers who encountered Death. So I cannot advise against reading the book. I can only suggest, inadequately, that, in reading the book, the reader be consciously aware of the stereotypes and make a conscious effort to disregard them.
I loved it then, I love it now. As always amazing character descriptions that pull you in, as she guides you through twists and turns I had forgotten about so I could be emerged in the magic once more.
I can't wait to read the series to my daughter when she is a little bit older
I re-read the series to compare the books to the movies. I think I like the books better than the movies, especially this one. She did an excellent job of tying up the loose ends. The movie had a lot of questionable subjects: like when Harry is using the Resurrection Stone, why weren't Tonks and Fred present, since Lupin was (answer: they weren't germain to telling the tale.)
The only problem I have with the series is that the first book needs to have a stronger binding. Each time a new book came out, I went back and re-read all the books. So I've read Sorcerer's Stone over 10 times now, and the binding has split. The other books are still intact. I tend to treat my books very gently, so it isn't a matter of abuse, it's a matter of overuse. But they are very enjoyable.