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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
By J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
By J. K. Rowling
Thorndike Press - Large Print, (2003)
ISBN: 0-7862-5778-4
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Available Editions: Large Print (Hardcover) | Standard Print (Hardcover) | Audio Cassette (Unabridged) | Audio CD (Unabridged) | Standard Print - Deluxe Edition (Hardcover)

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - October 24, 2003

It was a long wait for the next installment of the Harry Potter saga, but it was a worthwhile wait. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book, in J. K. Rowling's seven part Harry Potter series. This installment of the beloved series follows Harry through his fifth year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is fifteen-years-old and he's been having horrid nightmares. This is not an unexpected occurrence after having witness Cedric's murder at the end of book four. However, his nightmares are much more than simple bad dreams...

The evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, is back with a vengeance - but no one seems to acknowledge the threat that he poses. Worse, the scar on his forehead that hurts when Voldemort is around is paining Harry constantly, making it even more difficult to deal with the changes that have occurred at school - and which are occurring in his body as he struggles through his adolescence. Not only is the school work the harder than ever, but he has to deal with a horrific new teacher who seems to hate Harry for no reason whatsoever. Plus he is facing the dreaded O.W.L.'s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels examinations).

In this story, Harry is struggling with being a full-fledged teenager and going through some very typical teenage rebellion. Throughout this story Harry is hounded by bureaucrats from the Ministry of Magic who seem bent upon finding any excuse to revoke Harry's magical powers. Additionally, his relationships with his friends are changing as they mature and begin to develop in different directions. Worse, Harry discovers that his parents were not the ideals that he had thought them to be. Learning that his parents, especially his father, had feet of clay shakes Harry's confidence and makes him question is own place in the world.

A dark and haunting story, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a more mature story than the previous Potter books, mirroring Harry's own development. Some younger readers may find the story a bit too dark, but for most it will be a thrilling foray into the magical world of Harry Potter. As you can expect, much of this story revolves around Harry's next encounter with Lord Voldemort, and the consequences of that fatal meeting.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a fast-paced, thrilling story filled with all the elements that readers have come to love in the Harry Potter stories, including some exciting Quidditch games. In the Harry Potter books, Rowling's has built a fascinating world filled with wizards, exotic creatures, and realistic characters that speak equally well to children and adults. Additionally, Rowling is able elevate the story tension to hair-raising levels without scaring younger readers out of their wits - an important consideration for parents! Although written for young adults, this story will thrill and delight readers of all ages, and it will jump-start the imagination of any muggle. I highly recommend Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and I'm anxiously looking forward to the next installment in this phenomenal series!!

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