Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pub. Date: September 1999
Age Range: 9 to 12
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.
To be honest when I chose to accept be a part of Operation Retirement Rescue Challenge I didn't have any ideas of the books I'd review. I hardly have any English books that were released five years ago or more so I was kind of hopeless. Thankfully, HP series suddenly crossed my mind and I picked Book Three immediately.
There're so many reasons why I love HP and The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Firstly, the storyline is so much better than the first and the second book. It's more dangerous, more myterious, yet, close to a life of a normal teenager. Harry has to deal with not only an infamous prisoner who is after him, but also with ordinary problems - the Quidditch Games, the study, the permission to hang out with friends on the village. All of them make the story more interesting but still, do not bring readers feelings of burden or the likes. Actually it's super duper fun.
Secondly, needless to say, J K Rowling writing is just perfect. I love how everything flows. The scenes, vary from natural ones to fighting ones, are so real and just right. This book is like the end of a peaceful period for Harry himself and everyone in the magic world so it's really different. It doesn't have the sadness or the gloominess of death like the next ones, it ain't just innocent as the first two either. To me it's pure and nostagic. It's a nice combination of the joy and the thrill.
I especially adore the family love in book Three. It comes with such a twist that I bet no readers would think of. It's so cute to see Sirius and Harry together, all happy and warm, it also proves how brilliant the author is. Looks like she's planned all the details even from book One because it makes perfect sense, there's not a tiny flaw. One more thing to mention is the investment in fear. It leads you to understand Harry more and more, and at the same time, you can relate to yourself as well.
Thrilling, warm-hearted and fun, HP and The Prisoner Of The Azkaban will always remain my favorite off the series. If you haven't read HP and want to skip a few books to get to the end quicky, I suggest picking this one!