Saturday, August 14, 2010

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling

Countdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Month Two-Book Three-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling


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Welcome to Month Two! This month we shall review Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire! Then next month……well, I’m sure I’ve hammered it into your head enough, and if I haven’t go look at the previous review, I’m tired of saying it. Well, in any case, here’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

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The story opens with Harry attempting to do his homework in the dead of night.

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Yeah. Really.

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See, the Dursleys would really rather their neighbors not know that Harry exists, much less is a wizard. So they’ve locked away his books, broomstick, wand, etc. But Harry managed to steal some of it back, so he can do his homework.

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Yeah. Really.

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So, anyway, then Harry’s horrible aunt comes to visit and decides to insult Harry’s parents. So, anyway, one inflated aunt (ha-ha) and an encounter with some sort of very scary dog later, Harry’s on the seriously weird Knight Bus on his way to the Leaky Cauldron.

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By this point you’re probably thinking, “Hey, whoah, slow down. Isn’t Harry going to get in trouble for this?” My thoughts exactly. But when Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, (uh-oh) meets Harry, he lets him off easy. Now in my opinion Fudge is just a little bit of a wimp. I don’t mean to give anything away, but he’s the one who makes Harry look bad in The Order of the Phoenix. They practically had to shove Voldemort under his nose to make him believe……ooops. Forget I said that. Anyway, let’s just say I have a very low opinion of him. On the bright side, though, he lets Harry off easy due to the fact there’s a murderer on the loose.

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Whoah. Back up here. We need some background info on this. According to Mr. Weasley, the murderer’s name is Sirius Black (it’s pronounced serious- well, at least it is in the movies. Otherwise it’s sy-rus. I know, I was confused, too. Seriously!) and he’s the one who betrayed Harry and his parents’ whereabouts to Voldemort! And not long after that, he supposedly blew up a whole street, killing dozens of Muggles and one supposedly heroic wizard named Peter Pettigrew.

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Oh, yeah, and he’s Harry’s godfather.

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Yeah. Really.

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Anyway, Sirius Black is now on the run. He somehow managed to escape from the wizard prison, Azkaban, and is on his way to Hogwarts, supposedly to try and kill Harry.

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So drastic measures have been taken. For the year, Fudge has sent dementors to guard Hogwarts.

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Dementors. These are creatures you’d really not want to meet down a dark alley, trust me. They live off all happy thoughts and feelings, all things good and bright. They can suck these things right out of you like a smoothie. But the very worst thing they can do is kiss you. Believe me, besides the obvious yuck factor of kissing a dead guy, there’s the fact that when they do, they suck out your soul.

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Yeah. Not pretty.

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But that’s exactly what they plan to do with Sirius Black if they catch him. But in the meantime, they decide to search for him onboard the Hogwarts Express, and here Harry gets his first face-to-face encounter with a dementor, and it’s not pretty, to say the least. But luckily, the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin, is able to drive the dementor away. Probably the only good thing about dementors is that the antidote is chocolate, so that’s cool.

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(((Psst, Kimber An here. Lupin is my favorite professor!)))

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However, the fact that there’s a bunch of really mean dementors hanging around Hogwarts is only one of the new things this year. Another is the new subjects Harry, Ron, and Hermione are taking. One in particular is very odd. It’s Divination, and as if that’s not totally weird on its own, the teacher’s named Professor Trelawney and, as they soon find out, her favorite pastime is predicting Harry’s death.

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Yeah. Really.

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However, there’s another really cool one that’s called Care of Magical Creatures, and that’s just awesome. And guess who teaches it! If you guessed Hagrid, you’re right!

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Unfortunately, though, the class is taken with the Slytherins, including our favorite ASE (arch-school-enemy) Draco Malfoy, and as we all know by now, that’s going to lead to trouble.

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It does. The very first lesson (a very cool one on hippogriffs, which are big half-griffin, half-horse creatures), Malfoy manages to offend a hippogriff named Buckbeak. Now, hippogriffs are very proud creatures, and, as a result, Malfoy gets slashed in the shoulder and blames it on Buckbeak’s being vicious- puh-leeze!!! We’ll have to see how that turns out.

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Meanwhile, it’s time for Professor Lupin’s class, and it turns out to be hysterical! It’s on boggarts: shapeshifting creatures that turn into whatever scares you the most. In Harry’s case, it’ a dementor. And that’s not good. As a matter of fact, it’s quite bad.

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But then, as if Harry didn’t have enough on his mind to begin with, Sirius Black comes to Hogwarts and slashes the Fat Lady’s portrait! As a result, all the kids are sent to the Great Hall for the night and the castle is searched, but no further sign of Sirius Black is found.

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Then something really not good happens. It’s the first Quidditch match of the season, and Harry is flying against the Hufflepuff team and their Seeker, Cedric Diggory. But before Harry can catch the Snitch, a bunch of dementors come onto the field and make Harry fall off his broom from fifty feet up in the air!

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Yeah. Not pretty. .

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When Harry wakes up in the hospital wing, it’s to learn that 1) Hufflepuff won and 2) that his Nimbus Two Thousand flew into the Whomping Willow and was reduced to nothing but a bunch of sticks. Ooops. .

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So, all in all, it’s kind of a disappointing year so far. Harry can’t even go to this place called Hogsmeade, which is this all-wizarding village that has candy shops and joke shops and stuff like that. However, just before the Christmas Break visit, the Weasley twins Fred and George give Harry a magical map that shows several ways to Hogsmeade! Six of them won’t work, but the seventh leads right into Hogsmeade’s local candy shop, Honeydukes.

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Finally, things start looking up. Harry receives a new broomstick for Christmas, and it isn’t just any broomstick-it’s the newest model, the awesomely awesome Firebolt!

But who’s it from? Of course, everyone suspects it’s from Sirius Black, and we all know what he’s after. But then, just before the next Quidditch game, Harry gets it back from Professor McGonagall, who was checking it over, and it’s really cool!

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But meanwhile, Harry’s dementor problem is kind of getting worse, so he’s enlisted the help of our friend Professor Lupin to learn a spell to repel (hey, that rhymes!) them. It’s called a Patronus, and it’s basically a shield of happy things so to speak that will protect you from the dementors. Really handy, I know. But it’s also really advanced. Will Harry be able to learn it in time?

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Then it’s time for Quidditch! This time it’s against Ravenclaw, and boy is it intense! And no, I’m not saying who wins!

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But before you can say, “Where’s Sirius Black?” he turns up-right in the Gryffindor boys’ dormitories! Yipes! So once again the kids stay up all night while the castle is searched, but once again Sirius Black vanishes. Seriously (pun intended), this is getting annoying!

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But when Harry is discovered in Hogsmeade and nearly gets the map exposed by our old friend Professor Snape, we find out about four key people named Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. Luckily, though, Professor Lupin gets Harry out of hot water and we’re all fine. But then Hermione bursts in and we hear about what Malfoy has managed to pull off.

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Buckbeak had to have a hearing, and he lost.

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He is going to be executed. .

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Yeah. Really.

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And that is a problem.

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So then, when Harry, Ron and Hermione run into Malfoy gloating over his victory, they pull off my absolute favorite scene in all of Harry Potter.

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Hermione slaps Malfoy!!!!!!

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Hahahhah! Take that, Draco!

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Anyway, then it’s the Quidditch finals finally! The game is against everyone’s favorite House, Slytherin, and in case you don’t know, Malfoy is Slytherin Seeker. He hasn’t managed to beat Harry at it yet, but we know he’s going to give it a good try.

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You know the drill by now. I’m not telling who wins, since it’s so utterly obvious!!

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Soon after, it’s time for exams. I think by now everyone suspects that Professor Trelawney isn’t all she says she is. But when it’s Harry’s turn to take the exam, Professor Trelawney does something no one expects.

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She makes a prophecy! .

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It’s something about Lord Voldemort rising again with the help of a returned servant……needless to say, Harry assumes the returning servant is Sirius Black. And he’s not happy about that. So when they go down to comfort Hagrid before Buckbeak’s execution and a giant black dog drags Ron and his rat Scabbers into the tunnel under the Whomping Willow, they quickly follow to find that the dog is Sirius Black-he’s what’s called an Animagus. Animaguses can turn into an animal-in Sirius Black’s case, a huge black dog.

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So imagine their surprise when Professor Lupin turns up and tells them that Sirius is innocent-it was their supposed friend Peter Pettigrew who betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort! Peter Pettigrew is the same person who supposedly stood up to Sirius Black when he blew up the street and killed all those Muggles-but it wasn’t Sirius at all, it was Peter Pettigrew! We also find out who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs were-Moony was Professor Lupin, Wormtail was Peter Pettigrew, Padfoot was Sirius Black, and Prongs was-guess who!-Harry’s dad!!! They were all Animaguses-well, except for Professor Lupin, but we find out what he was later.

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But no sooner have we found that out than several really bad things happen. One, it happens to be a full moon that night. What mythical creature do we know that always turns savage on the full moon? If you guessed werewolf, you are correct! That is exactly what happens to poor Professor Lupin, and Sirius is forced to fight his old friend as a dog. But that isn’t the worst thing that happens. Harry, Hermione, and Sirius Black are stranded on the lakeside with hundreds of dementors on their tails. But then something good happens-someone who looks an awful lot like Harry’s dad casts a Patronus and chases the dementor. But is it really?

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Some time later, Harry wakes up to find that Sirius has been locked up and is awaiting the dementors, who are going to give him the worst thing they can do-the Dementor’s Kiss! It’s up to Harry and Hermione to save the day. Can they save Sirius and maybe even Buckbeak too and make sure this story has a happy ending? Oh, yeah, and solve the mystery of just who cast that Patronus? (It’s really sort of obvious, actually,)

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Well, let’s just say that’s for you to figure out. I’m not telling!
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Well, that’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! Later this month we’ll do Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but that’s the last of the two-a-month ones. But don’t worry; I intend to have at least three books each month-one Harry Potter and two others. But until next time, bye-bye!

2 comments:

Nayuleska said...

Hermione rules! Especially when she slaps Malfoy :) Heehee.

Lupin is the coolest professor - even more so in the rest of the series.

I'd love to try butterbeer! (that was my first thought when I saw Lupin in the review).

Thanks for the review!

Kimber An said...

Thanks again, Nayu! We're trying to figure how to make our own butterbeer for a movie release party. Orange juice and whipped cream?