Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

J. K. Rowling
Illustrator:  Mary GrandPre 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic, 2003   ISBN: 978-0439358064

This summer holiday has to be the worst that Harry has ever had. First of all Harry's aunt, uncle and cousin, with whom he lives when he is not in school, seem to be more horrible than usual. Then there is the fact that Harry's friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger seem to have completely forgotten him. He hasn't received so much as a single letter from them. The end result is that Harry is in a very angry and frustrated state of mind.

Then everything changes very suddenly. One night Harry and his cousin are confronted by a Dementor right there in Private Drive. What on earth is a Dementor doing in Little Winging in the first place? Luckily Harry knows how to use a special magic spell to drive off Dementors but when he casts the spell he also breaks a very important wizarding rule and now he faces the prospect of possibly being expelled from Hogwarts, the Wizarding School which he loves.

Thankfully Harry's friends come to the rescue and they remove him from the care of his reluctant relatives taking him to Harry's godfather's house in London. Here Harry learns that a special organization has been brought back into being and that the members of this organization, the Order of the Phoenix, are doing all they can to fight back against the dark wizard Voldemort and his followers.

Harry is relieved when the school terms starts again and he is able to return to Hogwarts, but his relief is short-lived for all is not well inside the walls of the school. It would seem that the Ministry of Magic is doing all it can to ruin everything that Harry cares about. Thankfully Harry and his friends are not the kinds of people to take things lying down and they work together to defend themselves and the people they care about from the Ministry and from Voldemort's gathering forces.

This fifth book in the Harry Potter series is a tour de force which will have readers alternately laughing out loud and gasping with horror. This is not a tale for the soft-hearted for Harry and those around him are in mortal danger. For Harry the information that he discovers in this year at Hogwarts is devastating and shocking and he comes to realize that a very unique and frightening destiny lies ahead of him.