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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter Book 5
by J. K. Rowling
1st American Edition, ©2003, ISBN: 9780439358064
Hardcover, 896 pages
Current Retail Price: $29.99
Voldemort is back.

Suffering from trauma, stress, and unresolved anger issues, Harry returns to the Dursleys. But when a dementor is sent to kill him, he casts a spell to protect himself—and is charged with performing underage magic by the government of the wizarding world, the Ministry of Magic. The Ministry is trying to maintain the status quo, denying the fact that Voldemort has returned and punishing those who say otherwise. One particularly nasty government official, Dolores Umbridge, has been sent to Hogwarts to be a teacher, and with the support of the ministry she begins to rule Hogwarts with a grip of iron. But the Order of the Phoenix, a group created to fight Voldemort back in his days of power, works behind the scenes to discover Voldemort's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Harry is worried about Voldemort's plans. With a group of students he forms a club to practice defensive magic, something forbidden by Umbridge. Their goal is to learn how to fight Voldemort—a fight that will take them to the heart of the Ministry of Magic itself.

This is undoubtedly the moodiest book in the series. Harry suffers from extreme anger. He lashes out at friends and enemies alike as he struggles through the hurt and pain of growing up, coupled with the suffering he's experienced, the injustices to which he's been subjected, and the complacency of the wizarding world to the rise of their greatest enemy. He remains this way through most of the book. Sometimes he questions whether even his most loyal friends are still on his side. But his friends stick with him, proving their loyalty over and over again. Harry also pursues his attraction to Cho Chang, culminating in a kiss beneath the mistletoe before it falls apart. On top of that he has to deal with the cruelty of Umbridge, the realization that his father wasn't the perfect man he'd always held up in his mind, the injustice of the ministry, and one significant and devastating death. By the end of the book Harry is a mess. But (after one last breakdown) he finally comes to terms with his destiny and begins to have compassion again. It's an emotional, dark, and dramatic arc, but one that nevertheless ends with hope for Harry—and for the reader.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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