Sunday, May 15, 2011

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

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter Book #5)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: Mild language, moderate violence, murder
Premise: "Harry Potter, now a fifth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, struggles with a threatening teacher, problematic house elf, the dread of upcoming final exams, and haunting dreams that hint toward his mysterious past." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I love and detest this book. In the process of re-reading this series I've come to a new appreciation of J.K. Rowling's ability to create characters that intrigue and pull me into the story. I love Harry, Ron and Hermione, Firenze, the Weasley twins and so many more (although the emotional roller coaster of teenagers thoroughly reminds me why I'm glad to have survived that period of life). I even love Umbridge and Snape in a very love/hate relationship. They are complex characters, well written, that I love to hate. I also love the twists and turns of this installment of the story that lead me through all the ranges of emotion.

I feel that I must warn those who have not read this story yet, that this is the most violent of the stories so far (though in a way its fairly clean violence). There are lot of hexes and jinxes and secret attacks all over the place, culminating in a climatic battle. Throughout the story many people are wounded and more than one die (but I will not say who so as not to spoil the story). The story also discusses good versus evil, life and death, betrayal, honesty, love and relationships and so much more that teens may experience in their own lives. As such, I do suggest that parents read this book prior to their kids to determine if they feel that their child is able to handle such topics and then have a discussion with them as to how they feel about what happened in the book. I do feel that this book continued to strengthen the overall story arc of the Harry Potter series (though the 800+ page length was a bit much for me). If you do choose to read it, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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