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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter Series #3)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter Series #3)

4.7 3550
by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre (Illustrator)

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For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And


For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts ... he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


"A wonderful first novel. Much like Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling has a gift for keeping the emotions, fears, and triumphs of her characters on a human scale, even while the supernatural is popping out all over. The book is full of wonderful, sly humor [and] the characters are impressively three-dimensional (occasionally, four-dimensional!) and move along seamlessly through the narrative. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind its writing. Like Harry Potter, [J.K. Rowling] has wizardry inside, and has soared beyond her modest Muggles surroundings to achieve something quite special."
--The New York Times Book Review

"A charming, imaginative, magical confection of a novel...a glorious debut, a book of wonderful comic pleasures and dizzying imaginative flights. There is no cause to doubt Rowling's abilities and promise, and every reason to expect great things, truly great things, from her in the future."
--The Boston Sunday Globe

"You don't have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter."
--USA Today

"The story delights and the writing gives you goosebumps, the good kind."
--Chicago Tribune

"The huge cast of characters, set against a fantastic backdrop with good doses of action, humor and fun, will surely captivate..."
--Seattle Times

* "Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author sho dances in the footsteps of P.L. Travers and Roald Dahl. There is enchantment, suspense, and danger galore (as well as enough creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogey-men-loving readers, and even a magical game of soccerlike Quidditch to entertain sports fans)."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "After reading this entrancing fantasy, readers will be convinced that they, too, could take the train to Hogwarts School, if only they could find Platform Nine and Three Quarters at the King's Cross Station."
--School Library Journal, starred review

* "Rowling's first novel is a brilliantly imagined and beautifully written fantasy that incorporates elements of traditional British school stories without once violating the magical underpinnings of the plot. In fact, Rowling's wonderful ability to put a fantastic spin on sports, student rivalry, and eccentric faculty contributes to the humor, charm, and well, delight of her utterly captivating story."
--Booklist, starred review

"A rousing first novel.... This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons' eggs hatched on the hearth.."
--Kirkus Reviews

J. K. Rowling continues to bewitch readers everywhere with the third book in her magical Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry's ongoing exploits, along with those of his contemporaries, teachers, and relatives, are as imaginative, entertaining, and mysterious as ever. For during Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he must face his greatest challenge yet: a confrontation with Sirius Black, an escaped convict and madman who is rumored to be in cahoots with Harry's archenemy, the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort. This alone would be daunting enough, but Harry's task is made even more trying when he discovers that Sirius is suspected of being the one who killed Harry's parents.

For Harry, the Hogwarts campus has always been a sanctuary, but when Black escapes from the horrifying clutches of Azkaban Prison, all clues suggest the madman is headed for Hogwarts and Harry himself. As a result, the school starts to feel more like a prison than a sanctuary as Harry finds himself constantly watched and under guard. What's more, the terrifying Dementors -- the horrifying creatures who guard Azkaban Prison -- are lurking about the campus looking for Black. And their effect on Harry is a devastating one.

Still, life at school offers plenty of distractions. Harry really likes the new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin, who might be able to teach Harry how to defend himself against the Dementors. But Professor Snape's behavior toward Lupin has Harry wondering what secrets the two men are hiding. Harry's friend Hermione is also acting very strangely. And, of course, there is the tension caused by the ongoing Quidditch competition between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins and the never-ending bullying of the Slytherin leader, Draco Malfoy.

One of Rowling's greatest strengths is her ability to stack mystery upon mystery in a way that keeps the pages turning without frustrating the reader. Her clues are always fair and bountiful, but it's easy to lose track of them in the midst of all the high suspense, spell-casting action, and unexpected plot twists. That's okay, because Rowling ties it all neatly together at the end in a way that will leave readers snapping their fingers and muttering, "Oh yeah. Forgot about that one. How clever!"

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rowling proves that she has plenty of tricks left up her sleeve in this third Harry Potter adventure, set once again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Right before the start of term, a supremely dangerous criminal breaks out of a supposedly impregnable wizards' prison; it will come as no surprise to Potter fans that the villain, a henchman of Harry's old enemy Lord Voldemort, appears to have targeted Harry. In many ways this installment seems to serve a transitional role in the seven-volume series: while many of the adventures are breathlessly relayed, they appear to be laying groundwork for even more exciting adventures to come. The beauty here lies in the genius of Rowling's plotting. Seemingly minor details established in books one and two unfold to take on unforeseen significance, and the finale, while not airtight in its internal logic, is utterly thrilling. Rowling's wit never flags, whether constructing the workings of the wizard world (Just how would a magician be made to stay behind bars?) or tossing off quick jokes (a grandmother wears a hat decorated with a stuffed vulture; the divination classroom looks like a tawdry tea shop). The Potter spell is holding strong. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this most interesting Harry Potter adventure yet, Harry returns for his third and most dangerous year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A mass murderer involved in the death of Harry's parents is on the loose and is after Harry, and the terrifying guards of Azkaban come to guard the school. Determined to catch the murderer, Harry, aided by his friends Ron and Hermione, learns more about the facts leading to his parents' tragic deaths and must face his deepest fears. This book keeps readers on the edge of their seats and makes them yearn for the next installment in the Harry Potter saga.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This book is as daring and thrilling as any fantasy can be. Harry must confront the evil wizard responsible for his parent's death. Foes may wear disguises and appear harmless. Harry, with help from his friends, must use all his wits to discover the truth. In between quidditch games, studying, and coping with being an emerging teen, Harry has to battle the forces out to end his life. This third book flies by with breath-taking adventures and in-depth character development that helps us understand the complex cast with greater appreciation. I'm panting for Book Four.
ALAN Review
Those thousands of fans already familiar with this series will not be disappointed; Rowling is surprisingly inventive in her small details and startling in her plot twists. And what is particularly pleasing is that Harry grows in this novel, as the thematic concerns of the series grow in complexity. In this, the 3rd Harry Potter book, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his third year. He is shadowed by the knowledge of Sirius Black, a close associate of Lord Voldemort and one-time intimate friend of Harry's parents. Lord Voldemort has escaped from the prison of Azkaban and is undoubtedly looking to avenge himself upon Harry. While struggling with this shadow, Harry also deals with the presence of the Dementors, the guards of Azkaban. The Dementors are looking for Sirus Black because they want to suck all joy and happiness out of those they find, and Harry, because of his past, is particularly susceptible to their powers. Supported by close friends Ron and Hermione, our hero Harry faces Black, fights for the House Cup, and in the end, comes to a new knowledge of his parents that he had never dreamed possible.Here the good and the evil are not so starkly drawn, and may even at times blend in disturbing ways. If the final unraveling of the mystery is a bit clumsy, handled by lengthy and stilted exposition rather than her usual brisk action, Rowling is still wonderfully adept at creating engaging characters and a narrative line that pushes forward at a remarkable pace. Genre: Fantasy. 1999, Arthur P. Levine, Ages 9 to 12, $16.00. Reviewer: Gary D. Schmidt
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-The third book in J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter series (Scholastic, 1999) is spiritedly brought to life in this audiobook narrated by English actor/singer Jim Dale. In this installment, Harry's life seems to be in danger when Sirius Black, a wizard convicted of multiple murders, escapes from prison and appears to be heading towards Hogwarts to seek revenge against Harry for causing Voldemort's downfall. Dale, who also recorded the audio versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Jan. 2000, p. 73) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (April 2000, p. 76) gives a tour de force reading performance as he chronicles Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With his mastery of verbal inflection, expressive voice, and terrific accents, Dale deftly shifts from general narration to numerous character voices without disrupting the flow of the story. In fact, his tone is so warm and inviting that listeners don't feel the tapes nearly 12 hours length; instead, they will eagerly anticipate listening to more. Adding Dale's vocal talents to Rowling's already well-written and engaging story makes this a quality audiobook worthy of inclusion in all audio collections.-Lori Craft, Downers Grove Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Midwest Book Review
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban will involve a wide age range, with Jim Dale's performance adding life to the unabridged presentation telling of Potter's encounter with an old family enemy. Tensions builds in an excellent book on tape which is just as hard to quit as the print version.
Talk Magazine
Rowling writes fantastically (one growling book has wo be stroked to get it open) and yet with 20'th century verit

Talk Magazine's 10 Best Books of 1999

Fantasy & Science Fiction
Readers are welcoming back old friends, hissing at the recurring villians, cheering Harry's Quidditch team (Quidditch is a kind of aerial basketball played on broomsticks with five balls), and completely enthralled with the new mysteries that arise. And let me add here that Rowling is one of the few authors who, while playing fair, has still taken me by surprise with who the villian is in each book.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Harry Potter
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2

Harry went down to breakfast the next morning to find the three Dursleys already sitting around the kitchen table. They were watching a brand-new television, a welcome-home-for-the-summer present for Dudley, who had been complaining loudly about the long walk between the fridge and the television in the living room. Dudley had spent most of the summer in the kitchen, his piggy little eyes fixed on the screen and his five chins wobbling as he ate continually.

Harry sat down between Dudley and Uncle Vernon, a large, beefy man with very little neck and a lot of mustache. Far from wishing Harry a happy birthday, none of the Dursleys made any sign that they had noticed Harry enter the room, but Harry was far too used to this to care. He helped himself to a piece of toast and then looked up at the reporter on the television, who was halfway through a report on an escaped convict:

"... The public is warned that Black is armed and extremely dangerous. A special hot line has been set up, and any sighting of Black should be reported immediately."

"No need to tell us he's no good," snorted Uncle Vernon, staring over the top of his newspaper at the prisoner. "Look at the state of him, the filthy layabout! Look at his hair!"

He shot a nasty look sideways at Harry, whose untidy hair had always been a source of great annoyance to Uncle Vernon. Compared to the man on the television, however, whose gaunt face was surrounded by a matted, elbow-length tangle, Harry felt very well groomed indeed.

The reporter had reappeared.
"The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will announce today -"

"Hang on!" barked Uncle Vernon, staring furiously at the reporter. "You didn't tell us where that maniac's escaped from! What use is that? Lunatic could be coming up the street right now!"

Aunt Petunia, who was bony and horse-faced, whipped around and peered intently out of the kitchen window. Harry knew Aunt Petunia would simply love to be the one to call the hot line number. She was the nosiest woman in the world and spent most of her life spying on the boring, law-abiding neighbors.

"When will they learn," said Uncle Vernon, pounding the table with his large purple fist, "that hanging's the only way to deal with these people?"

"Very true," said Aunt Petunia, who was still squinting into next door's runner beans.

Uncle Vernon drained his teacup, glanced at his watch, and added, "I'd better be off in a minute, Petunia. Marge's train gets in at ten."

Harry, whose thoughts had been upstairs with the Broomstick Servicing Kit, was brought back to earth with an unpleasant bump.

"Aunt Marge?" he blurted out. "Sh - she's not coming here, is she?"

Aunt Marge was Uncle Vernon's sister. Even though she was not a blood relative of Harry's (whose mother had been Aunt Petunia's sister), he had been forced to call her "Aunt" all his life. Aunt Marge lived in the country, in a house with a large garden, where she bred bulldogs. She didn't often stay at Privet Drive, because she couldn't bear to leave her precious dogs, but each of her visits stood out horribly vividly in Harry's mind.

At Dudley's fifth birthday party, Aunt Marge had whacked Harry around the shins with her walking stick to stop him from beating Dudley at musical statues. A few years later, she had turned up at Christmas with a computerized robot for Dudley and a box of dog biscuits for Harry. On her last visit, the year before Harry started at Hogwarts, Harry had accidentally trodden on the tail of her favorite dog. Ripper had chased Harry out into the garden and up a tree, and Aunt Marge had refused to call him off until past midnight. The memory of this incident still brought tears of laughter to Dudley's eyes.

"Marge'll be here for a week," Uncle Vernon snarled, "and while we're on the subject" - he pointed a fat finger threateningly at Harry - "we need to get a few things straight before I go and collect her."

Dudley smirked and withdrew his gaze from the television. Watching Harry being bullied by Uncle Vernon was Dudley's favorite form of entertainment.

"Firstly," growled Uncle Vernon, "you'll keep a civil tongue in your head when you're talking to Marge."

"All right," said Harry bitterly, "if she does when she's talking to me."

"Secondly," said Uncle Vernon, acting as though he had not heard Harry's reply, "as Marge doesn't know anything about your abnormality, I don't want any - any funny stuff while she's here. You behave yourself, got me?"

"I will if she does," said Harry through gritted teeth.

"And thirdly," said Uncle Vernon, his mean little eyes now slits in his great purple face, "we've told Marge you attend St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys."

"What?" Harry yelled.

"And you'll be sticking to that story, boy, or there'll be trouble," spat Uncle Vernon.

Harry sat there, white-faced and furious, staring at Uncle Vernon, hardly able to believe it. Aunt Marge coming for a week-long visit - it was the worst birthday present the Dursleys had ever given him, including that pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks.

"Well, Petunia," said Uncle Vernon, getting heavily to his feet, "I'll be off to the station, then. Want to come along for the ride, Dudders?"

"No," said Dudley, whose attention had returned to the television now that Uncle Vernon had finished threatening Harry.

"Duddy's got to make himself smart for his auntie," said Aunt Petunia, smoothing Dudley's thick blond hair. "Mummy's bought him a lovely new bow tie."

Uncle Vernon clapped Dudley on his porky shoulder.

"See you in a bit, then," he said, and he left the kitchen.

Harry, who had been sitting in a kind of horrified trance, had a sudden idea. Abandoning his toast, he got quickly to his feet and followed Uncle Vernon to the front door.
Uncle Vernon was pulling on his car coat.

"I'm not taking you," he snarled as he turned to see Harry watching him.

"Like I wanted to come," said Harry coldly. "I want to ask you something."

Uncle Vernon eyed him suspiciously.

"Third years at Hog - at my school are allowed to visit the village sometimes," said Harry.

"So?" snapped Uncle Vernon, taking his car keys from a hook next to the door.

"I need you to sign the permission form," said Harry in a rush.

"And why should I do that?" sneered Uncle Vernon.

"Well," said Harry, choosing his words carefully, "it'll be hard work, pretending to Aunt Marge I go to that St. Whatsits -"

"St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys!" bellowed Uncle Vernon, and Harry was pleased to hear a definite note of panic in Uncle Vernon's voice.

"Exactly," said Harry, looking calmly up into Uncle Vernon's large, purple face. "It's a lot to remember. I'll have to make it sound convincing, won't I? What if I accidentally let something slip?"

"You'll get the stuffing knocked out of you, won't you?" roared Uncle Vernon, advancing on Harry with his fist raised. But Harry stood his ground.

"Knocking the stuffing out of me won't make Aunt Marge forget what I could tell her," he said grimly.

Uncle Vernon stopped, his fist still raised, his face an ugly


"But if you sign my permission form," Harry went on quickly, "I swear I'll remember where I'm supposed to go to school, and I'll act like a Mug - like I'm normal and everything."

Harry could tell that Uncle Vernon was thinking it over, even if his teeth were bared and a vein was throbbing in his temple.

"Right," he snapped finally. "I shall monitor your behavior carefully during Marge's visit. If, at the end of it, you've toed the line and kept to the story, I'll sign your ruddy form."

He wheeled around, pulled open the front door, and slammed it so hard that one of the little panes of glass at the top fell out.

Harry didn't return to the kitchen. He went back upstairs to his bedroom. If he was going to act like a real Muggle, he'd better start now. Slowly and sadly he gathered up all his presents and his birthday cards and hid them under the loose floorboard with his homework. Then he went to Hedwig's cage. Errol seemed to have recovered; he and Hedwig were both asleep, heads under their wings. Harry sighed, then poked them both awake.

"Hedwig," he said gloomily, "you're going to have to clear off for a week. Go with Errol. Ron'll look after you. I'll write him a note, explaining. And don't look at me like that" - Hedwig's large amber eyes were reproachful - "it's not my fault. It's the only way I'll be allowed to visit Hogsmeade with Ron and Hermione."

Ten minutes later, Errol and Hedwig (who had a note to Ron bound to her leg) soared out of the window and out of sight. Harry, now feeling thoroughly miserable, put the empty cage away inside the wardrobe.

But Harry didn't have long to brood. In next to no time, Aunt Petunia was shrieking up the stairs for Harry to come down and get ready to welcome their guest.

"Do something about your hair!" Aunt Petunia snapped as he reached the hall.

Harry couldn't see the point of trying to make his hair lie flat. Aunt Marge loved criticizing him, so the untidier he looked, the happier she would be.

All too soon, there was a crunch of gravel outside as Uncle Vernon's car pulled back into the driveway, then the clunk of the car doors and footsteps on the garden path.

"Get the door!" Aunt Petunia hissed at Harry.

A feeling of great gloom in his stomach, Harry pulled the door open.

On the threshold stood Aunt Marge. She was very like Uncle Vernon: large, beefy, and purple-faced, she even had a mustache, though not as bushy as his. In one hand she held an enormous suitcase, and tucked under the other was an old and evil-tempered bulldog.

"Where's my Dudders?" roared Aunt Marge. "Where's my neffy- poo?"

Dudley came waddling down the hall, his blond hair plastered flat to his fat head, a bow tie just visible under his many chins. Aunt Marge thrust the suitcase into Harry's stomach, knocking the wind out of him, seized Dudley in a tight one-armed hug, and planted a large kiss on his cheek.

Harry knew perfectly well that Dudley only put up with Aunt Marge's hugs because he was well paid for it, and sure enough, when they broke apart, Dudley had a crisp twenty-pound note clutched in his fat fist.

"Petunia!" shouted Aunt Marge, striding past Harry as though he was a hat stand. Aunt Marge and Aunt Petunia kissed, or rather, Aunt Marge bumped her large jaw against Aunt Petunia's bony cheekbone.

Uncle Vernon now came in, smiling jovially as he shut the door.

"Tea, Marge?" he said. "And what will Ripper take?"

"Ripper can have some tea out of my saucer," said Aunt Marge as they all proceeded into the kitchen, leaving Harry alone in the hall with the suitcase. But Harry wasn't complaining; any excuse not to be with Aunt Marge was fine by him, so he began to heave the case upstairs into the spare bedroom, taking as long as he could.

By the time he got back to the kitchen, Aunt Marge had been supplied with tea and fruitcake, and Ripper was lapping noisily in the corner. Harry saw Aunt Petunia wince slightly as specks of tea and drool flecked her clean floor. Aunt Petunia hated animals.

"Who's looking after the other dogs, Marge?" Uncle Vernon asked.

"Oh, I've got Colonel Fubster managing them," boomed Aunt Marge. "He's retired now, good for him to have something to do. But I couldn't leave poor old Ripper. He pines if he's away from me."

Ripper began to growl again as Harry sat down. This directed Aunt Marge's attention to Harry for the first time.

"So!" she barked. "Still here, are you?"

"Yes," said Harry.

"Don't you say 'yes' in that ungrateful tone," Aunt Marge growled. "It's damn good of Vernon and Petunia to keep you. Wouldn't have done it myself. You'd have gone straight to an orphanage if you'd been dumped on my doorstep."

Harry was bursting to say that he'd rather live in an orphanage than with the Dursleys, but the thought of the Hogsmeade form stopped him. He forced his face into a painful smile.

"Don't you smirk at me!" boomed Aunt Marge. "I can see you haven't improved since I last saw you. I hoped school would knock some manners into you." She took a large gulp of tea, wiped her mustache, and said, "Where is it that you send him, again, Vernon?"

"St. Brutus's," said Uncle Vernon promptly. "It's a first-rate institution for hopeless cases."

"I see," said Aunt Marge. "Do they use the cane at St. Brutus's, boy?" she barked across the table.

"Er -"

Uncle Vernon nodded curtly behind Aunt Marge's back.

"Yes," said Harry. Then, feeling he might as well do the thing properly, he added, "all the time."

"Excellent," said Aunt Marge. "I won't have this namby-pamby, wishy-washy nonsense about not hitting people who deserve it. A good thrashing is what's needed in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. Have you been beaten often?"

"Oh, yeah," said Harry, "loads of times."

Aunt Marge narrowed her eyes.

"I still don't like your tone, boy," she said. "If you can speak of your beatings in that casual way, they clearly aren't hitting you hard enough. Petunia, I'd write if I were you. Make it clear that you approve the use of extreme force in this boy's case."

Perhaps Uncle Vernon was worried that Harry might forget their bargain; in any case, he changed the subject abruptly.

"Heard the news this morning, Marge? What about that escaped prisoner, eh?"

As Aunt Marge started to make herself at home, Harry caught himself thinking almost longingly of life at number four without her. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia usually encouraged Harry to stay out of their way, which Harry was only too happy to do. Aunt Marge, on the other hand, wanted Harry under her eye at all times, so that she could boom out suggestions for his improvement. She delighted in comparing Harry with Dudley, and took huge pleasure in buying Dudley expensive presents while glaring at Harry, as though daring him to ask why he hadn't got a present too. She also kept throwing out dark hints about what made Harry such an unsatisfactory person.

"You mustn't blame yourself for the way the boy's turned out, Vernon," she said over lunch on the third day. "If there's something rotten on the inside, there's nothing anyone can do about it."

Harry tried to concentrate on his food, but his hands shook and his face was starting to burn with anger. Remember the form, he told himself. Think about Hogsmeade. Don't say anything. Don't rise -

Aunt Marge reached for her glass of wine.

"It's one of the basic rules of breeding," she said. "You see it all the time with dogs. If there's something wrong with the bitch, there'll be something wrong with the pup -"

At that moment, the wineglass Aunt Marge was holding exploded in her hand. Shards of glass flew in every direction and Aunt Marge sputtered and blinked, her great ruddy face dripping.

"Marge!" squealed Aunt Petunia. "Marge, are you all right?"

"Not to worry," grunted Aunt Marge, mopping her face with her napkin. "Must have squeezed it too hard. Did the same thing at Colonel Fubster's the other day. No need to fuss, Petunia, I have a very firm grip ..."

But Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were both looking at Harry suspiciously, so he decided he'd better skip dessert and escape from the table as soon as he could.

Outside in the hall, he leaned against the wall, breathing deeply. It had been a long time since he'd lost control and made something explode. He couldn't afford to let it happen again. The Hogsmeade form wasn't the only thing at stake - if he carried on like that, he'd be in trouble with the Ministry of Magic.

Harry was still an underage wizard, and he was forbidden by wizard law to do magic outside school. His record wasn't exactly clean either. Only last summer he'd gotten an official warning that had stated quite clearly that if the Ministry got wind of any more magic in Privet Drive, Harry would face expulsion from Hogwarts.

He heard the Dursleys leaving the table and hurried upstairs out of the way.

Harry got through the next three days by forcing himself to think about his Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare whenever Aunt Marge started on him. This worked quite well, though it seemed to give him a glazed look, because Aunt Marge started voicing the opinion that he was mentally subnormal.

At last, at long last, the final evening of Marge's stay arrived. Aunt Petunia cooked a fancy dinner and Uncle Vernon uncorked several bottles of wine. They got all the way through the soup and the salmon without a single mention of Harry's faults; during the lemon meringue pie, Uncle Vernon bored them all with a long talk about Grunnings, his drill-making company; then Aunt Petunia made coffee and Uncle Vernon brought out a bottle of brandy.

"Can I tempt you, Marge?"

Aunt Marge had already had quite a lot of wine. Her huge face was very red.

"Just a small one, then," she chuckled. "A bit more than that . . . and a bit more . . . that's the ticket."

Dudley was eating his fourth slice of pie. Aunt Petunia was sipping coffee with her little finger sticking out. Harry really wanted to disappear into his bedroom, but he met Uncle Vernon's angry little eyes and knew he would have to sit it out.

"Aah," said Aunt Marge, smacking her lips and putting the empty brandy glass back down. "Excellent nosh, Petunia. It's normally just a fry-up for me of an evening, with twelve dogs to look after. . . ." She burped richly and patted her great tweed stomach. "Pardon me. But I do like to see a healthy-sized boy," she went on, winking at Dudley. "You'll be a proper-sized man, Dudders, like your father. Yes, I'll have a spot more brandy, Vernon. . . ."

"Now, this one here -"

She jerked her head at Harry, who felt his stomach clench. The Handbook, he thought quickly.

"This one's got a mean, runty look about him. You get that with dogs. I had Colonel Fubster drown one last year. Ratty little thing it was. Weak. Underbred."

Harry was trying to remember page twelve of his book: A Charm to Cure Reluctant Reversers.

"It all comes down to blood, as I was saying the other day. Bad blood will out. Now, I'm saying nothing against your family, Petunia" - she patted Aunt Petunia's bony hand with her shovel-like one - "but your sister was a bad egg. They turn up in the best families. Then she ran off with a wastrel and here's the result right in front of us."

Harry was staring at his plate, a funny ringing in his ears. Grasp your broom firmly by the tail, he thought. But he couldn't remember what came next. Aunt Marge's voice seemed to be boring into him like one of Uncle Vernon's drills.

"This Potter," said Aunt Marge loudly, seizing the brandy bottle and splashing more into her glass and over the tablecloth, "you never told me what he did?"

Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were looking extremely tense. Dudley had even looked up from his pie to gape at his parents.

"He - didn't work," said Uncle Vernon, with half a glance at Harry. "Unemployed."

"As I expected!" said Aunt Marge, taking a huge swig of brandy and wiping her chin on her sleeve. "A no-account, good-for-nothing, lazy scrounger who -"

"He was not," said Harry suddenly. The table went very quiet. Harry was shaking all over. He had never felt so angry in his life.

"MORE BRANDY!" yelled Uncle Vernon, who had gone very white. He emptied the bottle into Aunt Marge's glass. "You, boy," he snarled at Harry. "Go to bed, go on -"

"No, Vernon," hiccuped Aunt Marge, holding up a hand, her tiny bloodshot eyes fixed on Harry's. "Go on, boy, go on. Proud of your parents, are you? They go and get themselves killed in a car crash (drunk, I expect) -"

"They didn't die in a car crash!" said Harry, who found himself on his feet.

"They died in a car crash, you nasty little liar, and left you to be a burden on their decent, hardworking relatives!" screamed Aunt Marge, swelling with fury. "You are an insolent, ungrateful little -"

But Aunt Marge suddenly stopped speaking. For a moment, it looked as though words had failed her. She seemed to be swelling with inexpressible anger - but the swelling didn't stop. Her great red face started to expand, her tiny eyes bulged, and her mouth stretched too tightly for speech - next second, several buttons had just burst from her tweed jacket and pinged off the walls - she was inflating like a monstrous balloon, her stomach bursting free of her tweed waistband, each of her fingers blowing up like a salami -

"MARGE!" yelled Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia together as Aunt Marge's whole body began to rise off her chair toward the ceiling. She was entirely round, now, like a vast life buoy with piggy eyes, and her hands and feet stuck out weirdly as she drifted up into the air, making apoplectic popping noises. Ripper came skidding into the room, barking madly.


Uncle Vernon seized one of Marge's feet and tried to pull her down again, but was almost lifted from the floor himself. A second later, Ripper leapt forward and sank his teeth into Uncle Vernon's leg.

Harry tore from the dining room before anyone could stop him, heading for the cupboard under the stairs. The cupboard door burst magically open as he reached it. In seconds, he had heaved his trunk to the front door. He sprinted upstairs and threw himself under the bed, wrenching up the loose floorboard, and grabbed the pillowcase full of his books and birthday presents. He wriggled out, seized Hedwig's empty cage, and dashed back downstairs to his trunk, just as Uncle Vernon burst out of the dining room, his trouser leg in bloody tatters.


But a reckless rage had come over Harry. He kicked his trunk open, pulled out his wand, and pointed it at Uncle Vernon.

"She deserved it," Harry said, breathing very fast. "She deserved what she got. You keep away from me."

He fumbled behind him for the latch on the door.

"I'm going," Harry said. "I've had enough."

And in the next moment, he was out in the dark, quiet street, heaving his heavy trunk behind him, Hedwig's cage under his arm.

Meet the Author

J.K. Rowling, a graduate of Exeter University, a teacher, and then an unemployed single parent, Rowling wrote Harry Potter when "I was very low, and I had to achieve something. Without the challenge, I would have gone stark raving mad." But Rowling has always written; her first book was called "Rabbit." "I was about six, and I haven't stopped scribbling since."

Brief Biography

Perthshire, Scotland
Date of Birth:
July 31, 1965
Place of Birth:
Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England
Exeter University

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3550 reviews.
Balina More than 1 year ago
The Harry Potter books are definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading all the books from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book's title is excellent. It fits the book but it doesn't make entirely perfect sense until further in. However, like the first two, getting absorbed in the story is simple. After the first Harry Potter book, which I started out reading because I wanted to see if it was as good as everyone said, I couldn't put it down. It was like escaping to another world. I know that is probably an overused phrase but it fits in this case. I could get away from my stressful school life, homework, siblings, and nice but sometimes annoying friends, but also identify with the characters. Harry's story is so wildly and exotically different, yet so true for almost everyone who has ever gone to school or had an annoying family. Not only that but the story is enthralling. What started out as pleasure reading to 'get away' became a quest to find out what would happen next with each page of all three books. I started the first book right after the second came out, and finished the second a week after the third came out. Now the rumor is that new additions will be released once a year. The 7-book series will be completed when I am 17. They can't come out fast enough for me!!! The only book I've read that tops these is 'The Last Silk Dress' by Ann Rinaldi but it is not like these books at all. I have varied tastes. I hope you enjoy Harry Potter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 11 andI have read all the HPs. This is my favorite book out of all seven. If you were bored in the second book (I was not, but I know some people were) and are wondering if you should read the third, read it. All the books are better after the second especially the third. JK Rowling is an amazing author and to all of you that have not finished the series keep on reading, you won't be disappointed!
murphyslibrary More than 1 year ago
from Murphy's Library Harry Potter's life isn't easy, we all know that. And it gets worse when a prisoner escapes from Azkaban-but, hey, isn't this the wizard's prison, the one from where nobody has ever escaped?-and everyone believes he's coming after the boy who survived. As expected, everybody gets overprotective and Potter, of course, gets himself in trouble all the time. This book has some awesome highlights. We finally get to know a little bit of Hogsmeade, and I found myself daydreaming I could shop on those stores-something that me and Guta are totally going to do this summer, when we're going to the Harry Potter park in Orlando!-, we find out more about Harry's dad and his friends and there's also the Dementors, creatures Rowling created based on her depression phase. Oh, and we get to know more about Snape, one of the best characters on this entire series, in my opinion! What else can I say about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? I liked the Hippogriff flight much more on the movie than on the book, and I laughed a lot with Trelawney and her crazy talks. And I liked the fact that this book shows that not all the bad guys are Slytherins-something that people usually don't remember whenever I say that I'd totally be a Slytherin if my owl hadn't gotten lost on my 11th birthday!
Pandaocalypse More than 1 year ago
J.K. Rowling never fails to provide an excellent story for her readers! The writing is amazing and our journey through Hogwarts keeps getting darker and darker as Lord Voldemort inches into the story even more!
clujan1995 More than 1 year ago
A great installment to the series, alot better and more thrilling than the first two, just some of the characters got a little annoying, but this is still a great book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like #1 and #2 of the Harry Potter books, Prisoner of Azkaban is great. A bit more chilling and adult-like, but just as enjoyable as the others. I just finished this and I am quite the J.K. Rowling fan. I like everything she puts into her books - ancient myth, monsters, magic, witchcraft, and all else I enjoy. Can't wait to read #4.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 9 year daughter asked me to read this, as she loved it. I can't imagine a more brilliant and talented author. Everyone with a bit of child in him or her must read this book!! Gripping, suspenseful and heart rendering at the end! Enjoy!!!!
SMeyerHatesAllHerFans More than 1 year ago
amazing book series by j k rowling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MetaLHeaD101 More than 1 year ago
amazing from the very start to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling is an exciting fantasy novel that tells the tale of three friends who go on an adventure, and end up in trouble more than ever. Harry Potter and his two best friends Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasely try to solve the mystery behind murderer Sirius Black and their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin. Harry learns to defend himself from dementors. He learns more about his fathers past. Hermione has a secret of her own and Harry tries to figure it out with Ron's help. Hagrid gets a new pet and becomes a teahcer. This book is full of new surprises. This book has many negatives and positives. A positive is that it keeps you entertained throughout the novel. The plot is very unpredictable. It changes multiple times so you never know what to expect. Another positive is that the characters are very unusual. Their personalities range so you may be able relate to some of them. J.K. Rowling's writing style is also very good. It is very clear and understandable. It isn't confusing. J.K. Rowling also writes in third person limited narrator from Harry's point of view. There are many feast scenes in the novel. J.K. Rowling shows great sensory details. She also describes everything very carefully so you can picture the novel with figurative language. A negative for this book is that it is in the middle of a series. You may be confused if you read this book before the first and second. Another negative is that there are multiple problems in the novel so it can confuse you. I recommend this book for a few reasons. One reason is that it is in a series so it could give you something good to read for a while. Another reason is that it is fun to read. If you play it in your mind like you're at a movie than it's like you're there with the characters. If you liked this book I think you'll like to read the rest of the series. I also recommend other fantasy books such as the Twilight series. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a great book.
cbbookworm1997 More than 1 year ago
THis book is amazing! I read it in a day and I loved it! I have read it like a million times and I still find it funny, action packed and surprising.
Lambee5990 More than 1 year ago
Third book in the series only gets better then the others. One of the best in the whole series!!! More information into Harry's family changes everything with more twists and turns throughout the whole thing!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My review is on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K. Rowling copyright 1999.In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is told by numerous people that a person has escaped from Azkaban the most secure prison. Harry goes through a long year at Hogwarts discovering new things and new people. But in the end a traitor is at Hogwarts and the real person is found.Harry found a relative and saves more than one life.In the end a traitor is found and an innocent person is free. He saves more than one life. This book is a fun filled, adventure packed, book that is a great book to read and I would recommend this to my friends and many others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book rox. The entire series is amazing. I love it. I finished the series in June. I read over 300 or 400 pages in 1 weekend to finish the 7th and final Harry Potter book. I'd absolutley recommend this book and the movie. I hope i helped.
magic_girl More than 1 year ago
I'm on the third chapter but I can't put it down for a second. When I'm not reading it I'm think about the next time I will have time to sit back and fall into the realm of witches and wizards!! I highly recommend this series! THANK YOU JKR!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OBS More than 1 year ago
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz The third installment in the Harry Potter series is fraught with new dangers for Harry and even bigger secrets coming to the light! A few new changes take place in Harry's world. A new professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is hired, Professor Remus J. Lupin who Harry learns had been best friend with his parents. Sirius Black also use to be a best friend of Harry's parents and is said to have been the one to kill Harry's parents. Now Sirius is after Harry. But there's more to the story of how Harry's parents where murdered. Snape also played a role in Harry's parents life. He didn't just know them, he was close to Harry's mom, and Harry's dad wasn't so innocent, there's a very good reason why Snape is so resentful toward Harry's dad. After Divination class, taught by Professor Trelawney, Harry heads back up to return a glass ball that had fallen down the stairs. As he places it back inside the class, Professor Trelawney predicts that the Dark Lord's servant will return to him that night and Harry's world completely changes from that moment on. He learns more about Snape's past with his father. Lupin's big secret and why he has to miss class sometimes. The real truth about Sirius Black and how his parents were murdered, and with the help of Ron, Hermonie and Dumbledore, Harry sets out to put all the pieces together and save some lives in the process.
lolobristow More than 1 year ago
I love this entire series. If you haven't read any of the Harry Potter books you are missing out.
Spin_Nightwalker More than 1 year ago
I loved this one. A huge surprise, there are lots in this series.
Intrigued_by_Romance More than 1 year ago
This is the third installment of the Harry Potter Series. I loved it! Harry Potter is going back to Hogwarts for his third year. He finally meets his godfather. I am not going to say anymore on that subject. I truly love all the teachers they have at Hogwarts. Even though Snape is a bad guy, I think his character is really good. Even if the movies did not come out, you could picture what everything and everyone looks like; just because of the detail J.K. Rowling writes. Of course the books are the best! The movies can only show a percentage of what is really going on..otherwise the movies would last many hours. I can honestly say that it seems like each time he goes back to Hogwarts, the more things happen to him and the more he needs to count on his friends to help him. Definitely would recommend this book..the series is AWESOME!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Think it is not fair how Harry gets treated by his aunt and uncle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harry Pottef rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ps if you dont like the movies or books YOU WILL DIE!!!!!!!!!!pss LOVE PRIZENER OF AZBAKAN!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book for children to read this is 100% reccomended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! I've read this book like a billion times plus all the others!! They'ra a really great series to read if you can't find other books you like and want to read!! But of course you're going to have to like adventure, magic, fantasy, and fiction books and any other type of genre these books are first. You're going to want to read them in order of course other wise they're not going to make any sense to you. I have to warn you though once you start reading them you're not going to want to stop reading them!!!