The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.
And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeby J. K. Rowling
Out of all the Harry Potter books, this one is by far the best. Why? Because of the fantastic amount of time you spend with Dumbledore. Dumbledore is only in brief scenes before now, but in this book, you finally get to know him and his true brilliance. Out of all the supporting characters in Harry Potter, Dumbledore is the most admirable, and so we feel we can't get enough of him.
My favorite Dumbledore quote from all of the books is in The Half-Blood Prince:
"'I am not worried, Harry,' said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. 'I am with you.'"
Isn't that just completely Dumbledore? Always the one to trust and love. Despite his advanced brain and his intense wiseness, he is always the one to put his trust in the little, the young, the seemingly broken or insignificant. He trusts them and thus makes them strong and beautiful. The seventh book illustrates this fact even further, but you'll just have to read that later. For now, revel in book six.
Profanity/Language: 3 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name.
Violence/Gore: A full chapter comprises mostly of discussion of violence and murder and frightening things, but it isn't gruesome; a teen punches another teen, but the exchange is mischievous and friendly; a teen is punched by a magical toy; an adult threatens another adult and then hurts his nose with magic; adults threaten another adult; a father nearly strangles his adult daughter twice; an adult and a student discuss violent happenings; a student grabs an adult roughly, nearly choking him; a student is cursed in a disturbing scene, and nearly dies; a child is discussed as having creepy tendencies towards harming other children; an adult grabs a student roughly; a teen causes another teen to accidentally cut himself with a knife, and that teen throws a knife in retaliation (no one is seriously hurt); an adult and student discuss murders of several people; a disturbing scene where a student is poisoned; a student accidentally injures another student in a sports competition; two magical creatures get into a fistfight; a teen and an adult discuss murders and disturbing magic; teens duel with magic, and one gets a nasty gory injury; an adult talks about being thrown out of a room; an adult injures himself for the sake of a magical ritual; a disturbing scene where a teen is forced to put an adult into emotional torture; a frightening scene where dead bodies attack a teen and an adult, and almost killing the teen; a teen threatens to kill an adult several times; discussion of violence and a possible death; an adult kills another adult, using magic; a long battle scene involving about twenty people (both teens and adults), some blood and torture involved; students and adults have a long discussion about violent happenings and a couple of adults who were killed; an adult is seen as having a face-altering injury.
Sex/Nudity: Two students are found making out in a corridor; two students kiss heavily in public; two students hold hands; various students have several conversations about kissing; a student considers the fact that he has been dreaming about a girl lately; two students kiss while squished in an armchair together; two students kiss in public.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of a friend; murder; underage drinking; a teen unwanted and treated badly by his guardians; disturbing magic.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults serve alcohol, including to teenagers on a couple of occasions.
Reviewed By Amber