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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice.…

Overall Book Review:

I have discussed this particular book of the series with a few different people, and it seems to be the least favorite Harry Potter book for some readers. The reasoning: Harry’s attitude in Order of the Phoenix is obnoxious.

However, I have found that Harry’s attitude, while often negative in this book, needs to be that way. And, it makes him all the more understandable as a character. After what he goes through at the end of the fourth book, and then to be lacking support from his surroundings–it would be a wonder if he was not in a bad mood most of the time. (And of course there is the occlumency connection to Voldemort, which dramatically adds a different dimension of difficulty.) Not only does Harry’s attitude make him a more understandable character, but it helps people commiserate and empathize with him. Harry has finally reached boiling point, after everything he has gone through. He has hit the mark where he has to learn to work through the pain and find happiness because his life is not about to get easier anytime soon. Just like anyone else who has been beaten by life too many times (because that part of life is overly real, with or without a Voldemort), it takes Harry a while to figure out how to bounce back to his normal self. 

It couldn’t be any other way, and it shouldn’t be any other way. Harry might be a wizard, but he is still human (a fictious human, that is). Book five is perfect–bad attitude and all.

As always for the Harry Potter series, pick up the audiobook. There are a couple of ending scenes that are especially awe-inspiring, and to listen to Jim Dale’s rendition is the ideal way to go.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  6 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  A teen hits another teen in the head; a frightening scene with magical creepy creatures who try to take people’s souls; an adult tells a teen about the many people murdered by a group of adults many years ago; a teacher uses a magical instrument to torture a student in detention; an owl is injured by someone; a teen threatens another teen; teens get into a fistfight; an adult is shown to have sustained large bloody injuries, but seems to be coping despite them; a large creature attacks a human and gives him huge and life-threatening injuries; it is implied that an adult will be tortured; adults threaten each other; an adult knocks out several adults with magic; teens talk about getting into a scuffle; an adult threatens to whip two teens for misbehaving; a small creature attacks an adult, but no injuries are mentioned; a large magical creature hurts (not seriously) an adult; a bunch of adults use magic to attack a couple of other adults, seriously injuring one of them; a teen dreams about an adult being tortured with magic; a teacher pulls a student around roughly and attempts to torture him with magic; students get in a scuffle and one student is nearly strangled; magical creatures attack an adult and carry her off; magical creatures threaten an adult and a couple of teens; magical creatures attack another magical creature and seriously injure his face, slightly graphic; teens discuss a violent scuffle; a couple of teens are covered in blood; a bunch of adults threaten a bunch of students; a bunch of adults attack a bunch of students, though the students get away temporarily unhurt; a very long scene in which adults battle students and other adults (using magic), some injuries and brutality and one murder; a long intense scene in which two adults battle and a student is attacked and feels a lot of pain; a long discussion where violence is mentioned a few times.

Sex/Nudity:  A kiss between teens is implied and then discussed; teens are seen kissing in a cafe; two teens go on a date; two teens hold hands; a teen makes a joke about fireworks mating; a teen kisses another teen on the cheek.

Mature Subject Matter:

The aftermath of witnessing murder, death of a loved one, murder, guardians mistreating their charge.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Drinks are mentioned as consumed by adults and teens (the ones consumed by teens: it is unclear if they are alcoholic).

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am devoted to stories. The guest bedroom at our house is themed “Harry Potter.” My dream job is to be a librarian or book editor. I even wanted to name our dog Ender or Julian Delphiki, but my husband put his foot down (which was probably a good idea).