The Book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K Rowling, was published by Scholastic in 1990, has 435 pages, and a reading level of 6.7 (MG). It’s Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts and he learns that the mass murder, Sirius Black, has escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban. It is rumored that he was on the Dark Lord’s side, and of his intentions to kill Harry. Soon, Potter and Black come face to face, and the outcome isn’t what you would expect. Black has valid explanations, and the person who killed Harry’s parents is found. But, it is important to know, that he wasn’t found like any other, he was living with him and his best friends all along.
The book majorly takes place in Hogwarts Castle, in the early 1900s. It takes up the span of one year; it’s Harry’s third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main characters are Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Professor Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. The major conflict is to find Sirius Black, an escaped convict from the wizard prison Azkaban, and to protect Harry from him. IT is rumored that Black is on Voldemort’s side and means to kill Harry, the enemy of the Dark Lord. The rising action includes a lot of appearances of Sirius Black within Hogwarts and even inside Gryffindor tower, where Harry sleeps. The climax occurs when Harry, Hermione, and Ron follow the black dog down the Whomping Willow. They discover that the black dog was actually Sirius Black and that he is innocent and must have his name cleared and Pettigrew is to be blamed. The falling action is when Peter Pettigrew escapes and dementors come to suck Black’s soul. The resolution is when Harry and Hermione use the time turner to go back in time and save Sirius Black and help him escape. This is highly dangerous because if they were caught, huge suspicion would rise and they could be killed.
The majority of this book is set at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry castle. This is in the wizarding world, a world that only wizards and witches can see and interact in. Since Harry lived in London, he would go to the train station and use the platform numbered 9 ¾ to get on the Hogwarts Express, that would drop him to the school. The book is set in the early 1900s. But, like all of the other books, this book starts out with Harry at the Dursleys house. Harry doesn’t like the Dursleys at all. “Harry was bursting to say that he’d rather live in an orphanage than with the Dursleys, but the thought of the Hogsmeade form stopped him (24). This shows how Harry feels like living with the Dursleys is like being in prison. Another example of this is on page 44, “I always stay at Hogwarts for the Christmas and Easter holidays,” he said, “and I don’t ever want to go back to Privet Drive” (44). This is important to notice because this is what makes Harry feel like Hogwarts is his real home. He really likes it there, making him more attached to the place.
One example of simile used in this book is, “waxy skin stretches so tightly over the bones of his face, it looks like a skull”(339). I think the author did this to show how Azkaban has affected Sirius Black and how yet after all this suffering, he is conscious of everything and has a great sense of humor. An example of Irony in this book is Professor Trelawney’s prediction. On pages 106-107, Professor Trelawney makes a prediction that Harry has “the grim”, the worse omens of death. Professor McGonagall is sure that Harry looks in excellent health and she is not going to let him off homework. But, she adds, “I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in [Homework]” (109). Professor McGonagall doesn’t realize the danger on Harry from Sirius Black’s escape. This irony is based on the fact that Professor McGonagall doesn’t seem to realize or grasp Harry’s danger seriously. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very action packed and alluring, and I think any reader who enjoys that would like this book. In the middle, however, it did get very confusing as to who was where, because Harry and Hermione were essentially going back in time.
Readers who like stories that are action packed with fascinating plot lines, filled with adventure and uncertainty, showing thrilling events, with a tinch of mystery, and the ups and downs in friendship, this book is meant for you!
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