Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published May 1, 2004
Hardcover, 435 pages
Scholastic, Inc., Mass Market Paperback
Listened: 11h 49m
I did not grow up a Harry Potter reader, so I’m reading this series to evaluate whether I want my sons to read them in the future. While some families might find this series an automatic “yes” or a certain “no” depending on one’s background and beliefs, I think it’s an important thing to have knowledge and insight no matter which direction we decide.
As you can see, this is the third of the Harry Potter series, so I found the first two books decent in content as well as writing enough to continue reading. I’m intrigued and invested and have yet to find the topics alarming. I will share more below.
J.K. Rowling is a skilled writer. Her ability to attach the reader to the important players in the book is excellent and not seen in many YA books. The characters are both well-described and more importantly demonstrated, so that the reader is invested in both the favored characters as well those fighting the protagonist. Her plots are creative, and while all the mischief involved is magic-based and adolescent, it’s harmless. I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised with the content. As someone who has read JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Ted Dekker’s Black, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, I have been surprised to find the the magic content simplistic, the darkness of the themes minimal,and the “powers” discussed less than that of a superhero in any Marvel movie or X-Men series.
The plot consistently follows Harry Potter through his years at Hogwarts School and in doing so, the characters, the settings, and the themes are repetitive, making it very dyslexic reader-friendly. There is no language, nothing sexual in the content, and good is portrayed as very good and bad as clearly bad. In every book, good overcomes evil and the truth wins every time.
I can see that readers (like my parent had been) would be concerned at the concept of “good” magic and I find that that is a topic worth discussing. I’d love your comments here and we can discuss this for our mutual edification.
As a whole, I found this specific book to be enjoyable, simple, and a profound lesson on honor, forgiveness, and learning the truth without prejudice…. and the confirmed truth that one should never have a pet rat.
Want to read it yourself? Find this book at Amazon!