Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

From the Publisher
There is a Door at the end of a silent corridor. And it’s haunting Harry Potter’s dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror? Here are just a few things on Harry’s mind: A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey. A venomous, disgruntled house-elf. Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams…and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice. Though thick runs the plot (as well as the spine), readers will race through these pages and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back.

My comments:

Our local Barnes and Noble has a monthly event called Dumbledore’s Army and the kids have been really excited about it. It’s a discussion group for the Harry Potter books. Riley and I started going and then Maggie wanted to go, so she started reading the books! Fabulous! My girl was starting to enjoy reading! Harry Potter was working his magic on her just like he did Riley many years ago when he took a girl who read because she had to into the girl I see today who goes through a book a day when she’s in a groove! Going to Dumbledore’s Army meetings really put me in a mood to read the books again myself. Especially with the new (and final! *sob*) book coming out soon and the new movie.

Most of the world has read these books, but here are my comments anyway.

This book is full of teenage angst. Harry is cranky! But not without reason. It really isn’t very long before we’re neck deep in serious situations at Hogwarts and the angst is all but forgotten.

It’s been such a pleasure to re-read this series again, taking my time to savor it. When the books first come out, there is such a flurry of excitement that you want to finish them as soon as possible to discuss with others, or to finish so the next family member can devour it. There have been little subltities that I missed the first time.

I was reading another “adult” novel at the same time and I found it ironic that this “young adult” book used more mature vocabulary and use of language then the so called adult book. While this Harry Potter book stretched my brain with new words, the adult book almost talked down to me.

Order of the Phoenix has become my new favorite in the series. The plot is rich with layers upon layers of storytelling goodness. It doesn’t pull punches, and granted the series is becoming darker and the themes more difficult, but it’s written about in such a wonderful, caring way.

Now, I have to say this to my Christian friends. My pastor won’t let his children read these books and I respect his decision. He feels Harry is rewarded for misbehavior more often then not, and while I disagree with his opinion, he’s more then entitled! Also, if we take all the books featuring magic and deem them evil, we’ll have to rid our shelves of Shakespeare, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and CS Lewis to name a few. The near worship of Harry Potter in society causes me to pause, but I see more good then bad coming from it. In my own children I’ve witnessed a loathe of reading turned into joy. They enjoy talking and thinking about Harry for now, but soon those thoughts will be replaced with more grown up things like boys, cars and jobs.

Keep It Or Pass It On?
Not only are we keeping them, but we have our hardcover copies that we read when they are first released and then we buy the paperback when it comes out for future reading. Harry Potter and the series will remain on our shelves!

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