Book cover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre (Illustrator), Mary GrandPre

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pages: 672
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780439784542






Available to Buy

Overview of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet...

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

Winner of the 2005 Quill Awards Book of the Year & Children's Chapter Book/Middle Grade Category

Synopsis of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet...

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review - Liesl Schillinger

These newest 652 pages - far darker than those that preceded them - are leavened with humor, romance and snappy dialogue, and freighted with secrets, deepening bonds, betrayals and brutal lessons, many of them coming from the sinister, Harry-hating Severus Snape, master of the dark arts. Up to now, Harry, while overcoming any number of harrowing trials, has managed to retain a trusting nature; but at 16, worsening circumstances force him to realize that even though he regards himself as ''Dumbledore's man through and through,'' he must also be his own man.

About the Author, J. K. Rowling

A phenomenon like Harry Potter does not come along very often. The young wizard and his eager companions Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley have inspired countless children to delve into reading with a fervor rarely seen, and we have J. K. Rowling to thank for that! Rowling has created a fantastic world of wizards and muggles, ghosts and trolls, and good and evil that has completely revitalized a love of reading in both kids and adults all over the world.

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Editorials

From Barnes & Noble

The Barnes & Noble Review
After months of frenzied anticipation and wild speculation about the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the numerous bombshells and incredible plot twists in the sixth, ever-darkening installment of J. K. Rowling's bestselling Harry Potter saga will leave readers as shocked and stunned as they are utterly satisfied.

As the novel begins, a "grim mood" has fallen over the country. The minions of Lord Voldemort (a.k.a. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) continue to grow as his evil spreads. The Ministry of Magic has stepped up security everywhere, and as Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts, he begins to see himself -- and everyone around him -- in a different, more discerning, light. With rumors swirling about Harry being the prophesied "Chosen One," he begins taking private lessons from Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. As Dumbledore prepares Harry for his destined clash with Voldemort by revealing jaw-dropping insights into the Dark Lord's past -- who his parents were, what happened after he left Hogwarts, and more -- Harry also struggles to uncover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the past owner of a potions textbook he now possesses that is filled with ingenious, potentially deadly, spells. But Harry's life is suddenly changed forever when someone close to him is heinously murdered right before his eyes....

With only one book to go before the series' projected conclusion, Rowling masterfully sets the stage for what will surely be an epic battle to end all battles. The chess pieces are all in place for a magic-powered endgame that will be as thrilling as it is bittersweet. Paul Goat Allen

From the Publisher

July 25, 2005
'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince': The Kirkus Review Review Date: JULY 25, 2005
Category: NONE Classification: ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Revealed at last?now that the fog of whipped-up anticipation, secrecy, hints, threats, news stories of legal action, wild speculation, midnight-oil-burning and marketing smoke is thinning?the penultimate Potter sequel delivers, as have its predecessors, a tale worth the wait. Readers who felt a bit hammered by the adolescent rage coloring Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003) will be relieved to find that Rowling has returned to the lighter tone of earlier episodes, though properly portentous events do swirl in the background, and, as promised: There Is a Death.

Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts knowing that he has a pivotal role to play in the now-open war against Voldemort, sure that Draco Malfoy is up to something, and more than a little conflicted by his attraction to Ginny Weasley, sidekick Ron's suddenly not-so-little sister. Harry's relationship to Dumbledore is entering a new phase, too, as under the kindly old wizard's direct guidance, he begins taking trips through a series of magically preserved memories to explore his archenemy's parentage and character.

Meanwhile, Harry's glee at getting a leg up in Potions class thanks to a heavily annotated old textbook that once belonged to a mysterious “Half-Blood Prince” rivals his discomfort at being caught between Ron and Hermione, who are going through a rocky patch, and the horror of discovering that his new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor is none other than hated, hateful Severus Snape. How could Dumbledore possibly insist, as he repeatedly does, that Snape is a trustworthy ally?

While charting teenage infatuations and friendships with a wry wit that occasionally tumbles into outright merriment, Rowling tucks in several revelations (notably, the secret to Voldemort's seeming immortality), adds a dash of sympathy for Malfoy (of all people!), who does indeed turn out to be part of an ugly scheme, and further develops Snape's role as a pivotal character. Then, after a heartrending test of Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore, Rowling propels the plot to a climax that is?thanks to artful pre-pub preparation?tragic, but not uncomfortably shocking. This newest excursion into the Potterverse will leave readers pleased, amused, excited, scared, infuriated, delighted, sad, surprised, thoughtful?and likely wondering where Voldemort has got to, since he appears only in flashbacks. There's no doubt, however, that he'll figure prominently in what promises to be a spectacular finish.

SLJ 8-05
ROWLING, J. K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. illus. by Mary GrandPré. 672p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. 2005. Tr $29.99. ISBN 0-439-78454-9; PLB $34.99. ISBN 0-439-78677-0. LC 2005921149.
Gr 5 Up?Opening just a few weeks after the previous book left off, the penultimate entry in the series is, as the author foretold, the darkest and most unsettling yet. The deeds of Voldemort's Death Eaters are spreading even to the Muggle world, which is enshrouded in a mist caused by Dementors draining hope and happiness. Harry, turning 16, leaves for Hogwarts with the promise of private lessons with Dumbledore. No longer a fearful boy living under the stairs, he is clearly a leader and increasingly isolated as rumors spread that he is the “Chosen One,” the only individual capable of defeating Voldemort. Two attempts on students' lives, Harry's conviction that Draco Malfoy has become a Death Eater, and Snape's usual slimy behavior add to the increasing tension. Yet through it all, Harry and his friends are typical teens, sharing homework and messy rooms, rushing to classes and sports practices, and flirting. Ron and Hermione realize their attraction, as do Harry and Ginny. Dozens of plot strands are p

Jabari Asim

The journey from child to adult is tough enough for ordinary mortals, but the trip has been unusually hazardous for the world-famous wizard-in-training. Rowling shepherds her hero's arduous trek to maturity with her customary grace and good humor, though she has infused her story with more bone-cracking and blood-spattering than may be tolerable for many of the young readers who have followed Harry's adventures so far.
— The Washington Post

Liesl Schillinger

These newest 652 pages - far darker than those that preceded them - are leavened with humor, romance and snappy dialogue, and freighted with secrets, deepening bonds, betrayals and brutal lessons, many of them coming from the sinister, Harry-hating Severus Snape, master of the dark arts. Up to now, Harry, while overcoming any number of harrowing trials, has managed to retain a trusting nature; but at 16, worsening circumstances force him to realize that even though he regards himself as ''Dumbledore's man through and through,'' he must also be his own man.
— The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Michiko Kakutani

… the darkest and most unsettling installment yet … It is a novel that pulls together dozens of plot strands from previous volumes, underscoring how cleverly and carefully J. K. Rowling has assembled this giant jigsaw puzzle of an epic … the achievement of the Potter books is the same as that of the great classics of children's literature, from the Oz novels to The Lord of the Rings: the creation of a richly imagined and utterly singular world, as detailed, as improbable and as mortal as our own.
— The New York Times

From The Critics

Our hero, Harry, now 16, battles ever-more-complex evil as Lord Voldemort's followers begin to wreak havoc even in the Muggle (non-wizarding) world. Rowling writes with increasing depth and nuance, her characters gaining maturity and dimension with each book. As Harry and Professor Dumbledore join forces to unlock the secrets of Voldemort's dark heart, their discoveries tie up loose ends from previous installments while (vexingly) unraveling others to be resolved in the seventh, and final, installment. The dark tone, snogging (kissing), and a shocker of an ending make this a better choice for older readers. (ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005

Publishers Weekly

From our Best Books citation: "In this sixth book, Rowling pulls together threads from all the previous titles, expertly poising readers for the planned finale." Ages 9-12. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

From The Critics

When the sixth book in the Harry Potter epic begins, the wizarding and muggle worlds are terrorized by Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. To make matters worse, Snape makes an unbreakable vow with Mrs. Malfoy, and Draco Malfoy is suspected of being a Death Eater. In the meantime, Harry and Dumbledore travel through the Pensieve to learn how to defeat Lord Voldemort. The stakes are high when Draco's plan is revealed and the Half-Blood Prince betrays those who trusted him most. In the midst of poisonings, werewolf attacks, and a tragic death, Rowling adds much-needed comic relief when Dumbledore visits the Dursleys, the Weasley twins create "the constipation sensation that's gripping the nation" (p. 116), and Ron and Lavender are "snogging" all over Hogwarts castle. Fans will be waiting impatiently for the last book in the series to learn more about R. A. B., horcruxes, and Harry's fate. 2005, Scholastic, 652 pp., Ages young adult.
—Faith H. Wallace

KLIATT

Your library already owns multiple copies of this blockbuster fantasy adventure, of course, but just in case you haven't read it yet, this tells of heroic Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is now 16, and romance is in the air along with hefty helpings of humor, horror, and Rowling's delightfully inventive fantasy details (wouldn't you like a potion that confers luck?). Headmaster Dumbledore teaches Harry about the background of Harry's mortal enemy, Lord Voldemort, so that together they can try to defeat him. Old adversaries Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape play important roles, as do Harry's faithful friends Ron and Hermione, and a particularly beloved character meets a nasty end. Not as gripping as the last volume, but the action-packed final chapters help make up for a slow start. (Harry Potter, #6). KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Scholastic, 652p., Ages 12 to adult.
—Paula Rohrlick

Children's Literature

Book 6 in the Harry Potter series clearly has been written for a somewhat older audience. For example, instead of beginning with Harry unhappily ensconced at the home of his aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, as was the case in earlier volumes, the first two chapters of this book set the stage for the continuation of the story by relating recent events in the struggle between good and evil affecting both the Ministry of Magic and the supporters of Lord Voldemort. In Chapter 3, Harry is rescued by Albus Dumbledore after a mere fortnight of boredom during his summer holiday at the Dursleys, which leads to a visit to the Burrow, the new home of the Order of the Phoenix. As sixth-year students at Hogwarts, Harry and his pals Ron and Hermione learn to apparate, Harry becomes captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and teenage hormones begin to kick in with their usual side effects. Flashbacks, presented in the form of visits via the Pensive to old memories collected by Dumbledore, provide Harry with more information about the young wizard who eventually became Lord Voldemort. This leads to a spine-tingling search for one of the seven Horcruxes created by Voldemort to ensure his immortality, and which sets the stage for the concluding volume of the series. All in all, a great read. Fans of Harry Potter will not be disappointed. 2005, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Ages 10 to adult.
—Charles Wyman

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Opening just a few weeks after the previous book left off, the penultimate entry in the series is, as the author foretold, the darkest and most unsettling yet. The deeds of Voldemort's Death Eaters are spreading even to the Muggle world, which is enshrouded in a mist caused by Dementors draining hope and happiness. Harry, turning 16, leaves for Hogwarts with the promise of private lessons with Dumbledore. No longer a fearful boy living under the stairs, he is clearly a leader and increasingly isolated as rumors spread that he is the "Chosen One," the only individual capable of defeating Voldemort. Two attempts on students' lives, Harry's conviction that Draco Malfoy has become a Death Eater, and Snape's usual slimy behavior add to the increasing tension. Yet through it all, Harry and his friends are typical teens, sharing homework and messy rooms, rushing to classes and sports practices, and flirting. Ron and Hermione realize their attraction, as do Harry and Ginny. Dozens of plot strands are pulled together as the author positions Harry for the final book. Much information is cleverly conveyed through Dumbledore's use of a Pensieve, a device that allows bottled memories to be shared by Harry and his beloved professor as they apparate to various locations that help explain Voldemort's past. The ending is heart wrenching. Once again, Rowling capably blends literature, mythology, folklore, and religion into a delectable stew. This sixth book may be darker and more difficult, but Potter fans will devour it and begin the long and bittersweet wait for the final installment.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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