This is a great example of abook review that follows closely the How To Write a Book Review outline. Notice how Hannah devotes only one paragraph to the summary, but three to her analysis of the author’s choices. Notice also how she explained each choice and how it effected her reading experience, and also provided an excerpt so you could see for yourself. Check out Hannah’s page and leave a comment.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban
Sirius Black is said by the Ministry of Magic to be one of the most dangerous people ever, he has escaped from Azkaban and is rumored to be after Harry Potter. How could someone escape a prison guarded by dementors, non-beings and dark creatures that feed upon human happiness and cause depression and despair to anyone near it? Why is Black after Potter anyways? Is he really seeking revenge or is there a deeper truth to all of this? Read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling to find out.
J.K. Rowling, real name Joanne Rowling, is the brilliant author behind the 7 book series that is Harry Potter. The idea of Harry Potter came to her on a delayed train ride from Manchester to London in 1990. Over the next 7 years, she would face the death of her mother, divorce from her first husband and poverty before the first book in the series was published. The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected by 12 publishers,before a small one, called Bloomsbury said yes, seeing the potential, and you bet there was potential! The series would go on to become the best selling book series in history, and the 8 movies based on the books would become the highest-grossing film series in history (man, all those publishers that rejected her must feel really stupid now). Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire on July 31, 1965.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban takes place during Harry’s third year at Hogwarts. Just before the school year starts, Sirius black, the supposedly mass murder, has escaped from Azkaban and everyone thinks he is after Harry for revenge. Harry is not as worried as everyone else because he will be at Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore is there, so he will be safe, or so he thinks. One night Sirius breaks into the castle and gets into the Gryffindor dorms and instead of attacking Harry’s bed he got Ron’s. Did he actually mean to attack Ron or was it an accident? What could Ron have that Black would want? The only thing Ron owns is his pet rat Scabbers and why would Black want a dumb rat? Without giving too much away, you will find out that Scabbers is more than just a pet rat, but a key point to uncovering the truth of what happened the night Sirius was framed for the murder of many muggles.
Rowling does many things in her writing that make this whole series so enjoyable.The first thing she does is write the book in third person, while still allowing the readers to know what Harry is thinking. For example, “Harry tried to concentrate on his food, but his hands shook and his face was starting to burn with anger. Remember the form, he told himself. Think about hogsmeade. Don’t say anything. Don’t rise-.” In this scene Harry was trying to keep himself calm, while his Aunt Marge (who isn’t even his aunt) said bad things about his parents. This is because Harry needed his actual Uncle Vernon to sign his permission form to allow him to go into Hogsmeade when he got back to Hogwarts. I think this is an important element of the book because you are able to know what Harry is thinking even though the story is told by an undefined narrator. This allows Rowling to write chapters that do not include Harry in them but are necessary to the story.
Another thing Rowling does is include noticeable themes that are relatable to real life. One of the major themes for the 3rd Harry Potter book is loyalty. When Harry first meets Sirius, he is very angry at him because Harry thinks Sirius betrayed his father many years ago by giving up his parent’s hiding place to Voldemort. Sirius then explains to Harry that is wasn’t him but Peter Pettigrew and then lashes out at Peter saying, “YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED! Black yells at him, DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOU FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!”. There is another point earlier in the story when after Ron and Harry tell Hagrid how they have been fighting with Hermione. They said it was about Hermione’s cat Crookshanks allegedly eating Ron’s rat Scabbers, as well as Hermione getting Harry’s brand new broomstick taken away for testing to make sure it wasn’t jinxed after it was sent to him on Christmas by an anonymous person. Hagrid then says to Harry and Ron, “I thought you two’d value yer friend more’n broomsticks or rats.” This made Ron and Harry realize that Hagrid was right and they were able to make up with Hermione not too long after.
One final thing Rowling does well in her writing is descriptions. You are able to clearly imagine what is being described without actually having a picture. For example, “Once you got over the shock of seeing something that was half horse, half bird, you started to appreciate the hippogriffs’ gleaming coats, changing smoothly from feathers to hair, each of them a different color: stormy gray, bronze, pinkish roan, gleaming chestnut, and inky black.” – p. 114. Iwas able to picture what this hippogriff looked like. I also liked how Rowling described the colors, not just calling them gray and black, but stormy gray and inky black. I feel like these things just add another level to the book and really make you feel like you are at Hogwarts tagging along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
In conclusion, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a great continuation of the Harry Potter series! You, along with Harry learn new things about his parent’s past. I recommend this book to people who have read the first two Harry potter books and some how didn’t know there was more or people who are for some reason thinking about quitting the series (it only gets better). I would also recommend reading the first two books of the series before this one, if you haven’t already. DO NOT read the books out of order or you will not understand many of the things going on! There is a reason why 1 means first and 2 means second, because there are events that happen in one book that then cause something else to happen in the next and you won’t understand why if you don’t read them in order. One last thing is that this series is obviously under the genre fantasy because sadly magic is not real.