Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Review by Adele S. P. 1
The third entry in the book lacks Harry’s horrid enemy, the darkest wizard of all time named Voldemort. Instead, what it is all about is Harry finding the next worst thing-despair and the controlling of his emotions. A mass murderer named Sirius Black, escapes from the horrid wizard prison that is Azkaban and may be after Harry. Definitely not a good way to start a new year at the brilliant school that is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After one particularly dreadful evening at Harry’s living residence with his aunt and uncle, the Dursley’s, Harry decides to run away, not knowing where he is going and what he will do (don’t we all want to do this at one point?). During that evening, Harry gets his first taste of Sirius Black, and that thrill continues throughout the book.
The characters are as interesting as ever. Of course there’s the brave and curious Harry, and along for the ride are his best friends Ron Weasley, the funny sidekick, and Hermione Granger, the smart bookworm. But easily the best new character is Remus Lupin, Harry’s new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher. Lupin teaches the students that the only weapon to fight against despair is hope. Using boggarts, or creatures that live in closets or under cupboards and take the form of whatever scares you the most, a lesson learned is a way to fight this terror is through laughter and happiness. See, the boggart turns into something funny once you think about something funny and confront it.
The setting of Hogwarts is still as beautiful as ever. 3rd years, the year Harry is entering, start new classes, which include the boring Divination (or looking into the future) and the quite dangerous Care of Magical Creatures, taught by the all-animal-loving Hagrid. Both these new additions are entertaining to read about, if not scary at some points. Plus, 3rd years get to attend Hogsmeade, or a wizard-ring village near Hogwarts that includes a joke shop, candy shop, and resturant famous for it’s butter beer (that many fans love to make in the real world).
So, setting and review of characters aside, how about the story? The third year at Hogwarts is clever, witty, and absolutely shocking, and no dark wizard was required. The main idea of this book is all about emotions and how to control them. Fear and anger only lead to despair and hurt, while laughter and happiness bring about hope, as Harry learns from his first year of being a teenager. Emotions aside, The book even experiences time travel, which is an interesting if not complicated process. It also introduces the soul-sucking Dementors which Harry cannot overcome. Each new addition comes together in the end for a thrilling finish.
Overall, the third book in the wonderful series that is Harry Potter is something you can’t miss. These tricks are not only for kids, there is plenty for adults to ponder too, such as the controversy of the death penalty, shown through Sirius Black and a creature of Hagrids. If you’re in for an adventure, a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy or just a fun read, this book is definitely worth a read.