The Prisoner of Azkaban (#8/50)

Harry Potter books are like Lays potato chips. You can’t read just one. I’m going to continue with the strategy of reading two books at a time because I’ve found that alternating actually helps keep my attention and finish the books faster. Sometimes, it takes me a long time to finish a book because I’m just not in the mood for it, but if I have more than one option to choose from at any given time… Anyway, we’ll see how that strategy works for the remainder of the series (Just four more to go!).

Title – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Author – J.K. Rowling

Page count – 435

 

**Minor spoilers for the third HP book and background information from previous books**

The Prisoner of Azkaban follows Harry into his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. “The Prisoner” referred to in the title is Sirius Black, an alleged follower of Voldemort (the most powerful Dark Wizard in the last century, who killed Harry’s parents and lost his powers when  he tried to kill baby Harry, too) who has escaped the wizard prison of Azkaban. Everyone is worried that Sirius Black is going to find and kill Harry to avenge Voldemort’s downfall, and that Harry will find out about Black’s role in his parents’ death. In this book we get to see a lot more of the Dursleys (Harry’s aunt, uncle, and cousin, who he lives with as they are his only surviving relatives), and we meet one of the more under-rated characters of the series: Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He and Hagrid do not get enough credit for how much they cared for and protected Harry. One of the best things about this book is that we have gotten to a place where we get to learn more about the wizarding world – history, spells, etc. – because the foundational information has already been laid.

There are so many wonderfully sarcastic lines in the books that didn’t make it to the movies, especially from Harry and Professor McGonagall (the Transfiguration teacher). One of my favorites from this book is by Professor McGonagall after Harry has just told her about the Divination professor’s dramatic prediction of Harry’s imminent death:

“Divination is one of the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not conceal from you that I have very little patience with it…You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in.”

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