Book cover of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pages: 448
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780439136358






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Overview of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Read by Jim Dale Running time: 11 hrs., 48 mins. 10 CDs.

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

During his third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter must confront the devious and dangerous wizard responsible for his parents' deaths.

Synopsis of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Kids of all ages -- even adults! -- have fallen under Harry Potter's spell. And now, following the phenomenal success of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the young wizard-in-training has returned for his third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry -- and more exciting, magical adventures. This time, a dangerous escaped convict is on the loose -- a reputed madman with a mysterious tie to Harry's past. Harry's life is in danger, and his sorcery skills are tested to the limit. Can he catch the criminal and discover the truth?

Publishers Weekly

Rowling proves that she has plenty of tricks left up her sleeve in this third Harry Potter adventure, set once again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Right before the start of term, a supremely dangerous criminal breaks out of a supposedly impregnable wizards' prison; it will come as no surprise to Potter fans that the villain, a henchman of Harry's old enemy Lord Voldemort, appears to have targeted Harry. In many ways this installment seems to serve a transitional role in the seven-volume series: while many of the adventures are breathlessly relayed, they appear to be laying groundwork for even more exciting adventures to come. The beauty here lies in the genius of Rowling's plotting. Seemingly minor details established in books one and two unfold to take on unforeseen significance, and the finale, while not airtight in its internal logic, is utterly thrilling. Rowling's wit never flags, whether constructing the workings of the wizard world (Just how would a magician be made to stay behind bars?) or tossing off quick jokes (a grandmother wears a hat decorated with a stuffed vulture; the divination classroom looks like a tawdry tea shop). The Potter spell is holding strong. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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

J. K. Rowling continues to bewitch readers everywhere with the third book in her magical Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry's ongoing exploits, along with those of his contemporaries, teachers, and relatives, are as imaginative, entertaining, and mysterious as ever. For during Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he must face his greatest challenge yet: a confrontation with Sirius Black, an escaped convict and madman who is rumored to be in cahoots with Harry's archenemy, the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort. This alone would be daunting enough, but Harry's task is made even more trying when he discovers that Sirius is suspected of being the one who killed Harry's parents.

For Harry, the Hogwarts campus has always been a sanctuary, but when Black escapes from the horrifying clutches of Azkaban Prison, all clues suggest the madman is headed for Hogwarts and Harry himself. As a result, the school starts to feel more like a prison than a sanctuary as Harry finds himself constantly watched and under guard. What's more, the terrifying Dementors -- the horrifying creatures who guard Azkaban Prison -- are lurking about the campus looking for Black. And their effect on Harry is a devastating one.

Still, life at school offers plenty of distractions. Harry really likes the new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin, who might be able to teach Harry how to defend himself against the Dementors. But Professor Snape's behavior toward Lupin has Harry wondering what secrets the two men are hiding. Harry's friend Hermione is also acting very strangely. And, of course, there is the tension caused by the ongoing Quidditch competition between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins and the never-ending bullying of the Slytherin leader, Draco Malfoy.

One of Rowling's greatest strengths is her ability to stack mystery upon mystery in a way that keeps the pages turning without frustrating the reader. Her clues are always fair and bountiful, but it's easy to lose track of them in the midst of all the high suspense, spell-casting action, and unexpected plot twists. That's okay, because Rowling ties it all neatly together at the end in a way that will leave readers snapping their fingers and muttering, "Oh yeah. Forgot about that one. How clever!"

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (September, 1998)

"A wonderful first novel. Much like Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling has a gift for keeping the emotions, fears, and triumphs of her characters on a human scale, even while the supernatural is popping out all over. The book is full of wonderful, sly humor [and] the characters are impressively three-dimensional (occasionally, four-dimensional!) and move along seamlessly through the narrative. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind its writing. Like Harry Potter, [J.K. Rowling] has wizardry inside, and has soared beyond her modest Muggles surroundings to achieve something quite special."
--The New York Times Book Review

"A charming, imaginative, magical confection of a novel...a glorious debut, a book of wonderful comic pleasures and dizzying imaginative flights. There is no cause to doubt Rowling's abilities and promise, and every reason to expect great things, truly great things, from her in the future."
--The Boston Sunday Globe

"You don't have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter."
--USA Today

"The story delights and the writing gives you goosebumps, the good kind."
--Chicago Tribune

"The huge cast of characters, set against a fantastic backdrop with good doses of action, humor and fun, will surely captivate..."
--Seattle Times

* "Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author sho dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl. There is enchantment, suspense, and danger galore (as well as enough creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogey-men-loving readers, and even a magical game of soccerlike Quidditch to entertain sports fans)."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "After reading this entrancing fantasy, readers will be convinced that they, too, could take the train to Hogwarts School, if only they could find Platform Nine and Three Quarters at the King's Cross Station."
--School Library Journal, starred review

* "Rowling's first novel is a brilliantly imagined and beautifully written fantasy that incorporates elements of traditional British school stories without once violating the magical underpinnings of the plot. In fact, Rowling's wonderful ability to put a fantastic spin on sports, student rivalry, and eccentric faculty contributes to the humor, charm, and well, delight of her utterly captivating story."
--Booklist, starred review

"A rousing first novel.... This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons' eggs hatched on the hearth.."
--Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Rowling proves that she has plenty of tricks left up her sleeve in this third Harry Potter adventure, set once again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Right before the start of term, a supremely dangerous criminal breaks out of a supposedly impregnable wizards' prison; it will come as no surprise to Potter fans that the villain, a henchman of Harry's old enemy Lord Voldemort, appears to have targeted Harry. In many ways this installment seems to serve a transitional role in the seven-volume series: while many of the adventures are breathlessly relayed, they appear to be laying groundwork for even more exciting adventures to come. The beauty here lies in the genius of Rowling's plotting. Seemingly minor details established in books one and two unfold to take on unforeseen significance, and the finale, while not airtight in its internal logic, is utterly thrilling. Rowling's wit never flags, whether constructing the workings of the wizard world (Just how would a magician be made to stay behind bars?) or tossing off quick jokes (a grandmother wears a hat decorated with a stuffed vulture; the divination classroom looks like a tawdry tea shop). The Potter spell is holding strong. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

ALAN Review

Those thousands of fans already familiar with this series will not be disappointed; Rowling is surprisingly inventive in her small details and startling in her plot twists. And what is particularly pleasing is that Harry grows in this novel, as the thematic concerns of the series grow in complexity. In this, the 3rd Harry Potter book, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his third year. He is shadowed by the knowledge of Sirius Black, a close associate of Lord Voldemort and one-time intimate friend of Harry's parents. Lord Voldemort has escaped from the prison of Azkaban and is undoubtedly looking to avenge himself upon Harry. While struggling with this shadow, Harry also deals with the presence of the Dementors, the guards of Azkaban. The Dementors are looking for Sirus Black because they want to suck all joy and happiness out of those they find, and Harry, because of his past, is particularly susceptible to their powers. Supported by close friends Ron and Hermione, our hero Harry faces Black, fights for the House Cup, and in the end, comes to a new knowledge of his parents that he had never dreamed possible.Here the good and the evil are not so starkly drawn, and may even at times blend in disturbing ways. If the final unraveling of the mystery is a bit clumsy, handled by lengthy and stilted exposition rather than her usual brisk action, Rowling is still wonderfully adept at creating engaging characters and a narrative line that pushes forward at a remarkable pace. Genre: Fantasy. 1999, Arthur P. Levine, Ages 9 to 12, $16.00. Reviewer: Gary D. Schmidt

Children's Literature

In this most interesting Harry Potter adventure yet, Harry returns for his third and most dangerous year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A mass murderer involved in the death of Harry's parents is on the loose and is after Harry, and the terrifying guards of Azkaban come to guard the school. Determined to catch the murderer, Harry, aided by his friends Ron and Hermione, learns more about the facts leading to his parents' tragic deaths and must face his deepest fears. This book keeps readers on the edge of their seats and makes them yearn for the next installment in the Harry Potter saga.

Children's Literature

This book is as daring and thrilling as any fantasy can be. Harry must confront the evil wizard responsible for his parent's death. Foes may wear disguises and appear harmless. Harry, with help from his friends, must use all his wits to discover the truth. In between quidditch games, studying, and coping with being an emerging teen, Harry has to battle the forces out to end his life. This third book flies by with breath-taking adventures and in-depth character development that helps us understand the complex cast with greater appreciation. I'm panting for Book Four.

School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up-The third book in J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter series (Scholastic, 1999) is spiritedly brought to life in this audiobook narrated by English actor/singer Jim Dale. In this installment, Harry's life seems to be in danger when Sirius Black, a wizard convicted of multiple murders, escapes from prison and appears to be heading towards Hogwarts to seek revenge against Harry for causing Voldemort's downfall. Dale, who also recorded the audio versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Jan. 2000, p. 73) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (April 2000, p. 76) gives a tour de force reading performance as he chronicles Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With his mastery of verbal inflection, expressive voice, and terrific accents, Dale deftly shifts from general narration to numerous character voices without disrupting the flow of the story. In fact, his tone is so warm and inviting that listeners don't feel the tapes nearly 12 hours length; instead, they will eagerly anticipate listening to more. Adding Dale's vocal talents to Rowling's already well-written and engaging story makes this a quality audiobook worthy of inclusion in all audio collections.-Lori Craft, Downers Grove Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Midwest Book Review

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban will involve a wide age range, with Jim Dale's performance adding life to the unabridged presentation telling of Potter's encounter with an old family enemy. Tensions builds in an excellent book on tape which is just as hard to quit as the print version.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Readers are welcoming back old friends, hissing at the recurring villians, cheering Harry's Quidditch team (Quidditch is a kind of aerial basketball played on broomsticks with five balls), and completely enthralled with the new mysteries that arise. And let me add here that Rowling is one of the few authors who, while playing fair, has still taken me by surprise with who the villian is in each book.

Talk Magazine

Rowling writes fantastically (one growling book has wo be stroked to get it open) and yet with 20'th century verit?.

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