Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In this third installment in the projected seven-volume series, Sirius Black, imprisoned for killing 13 people with one curse, escapes from Azkaban. As he heads for Hogwarts, the chilling Dementors who trail him quickly descend upon the school. "Each successive volume expands upon its predecessor with dizzyingly well-planned plots and inventive surprises," said PW in a Best Books of 2001 citation. Ages 8-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-8-Isn't it reassuring that some things just get better and better? Harry is back and in fine form in the third installment of his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His summer with the hideous Dursley family is cut short when, during a fit of quite understandable rage, he turns his Aunt Marge into an enormous balloon and then runs away. Soon, it becomes quite apparent that someone is trying to kill him; even after Harry is ensconed in the safety of fall term at Hogwarts, the attacks continue. Myriad subplots involving a new teacher with a secret, Hermione's strangely heavy class schedule, and enmity between Ron's old rat, Scabbers, and Hermione's new cat, Crookshanks, all mesh to create a stunning climax. The pace is nonstop, with thrilling games of Quidditch, terrifying Omens of Death, some skillful time travel, and lots of slimy Slytherins sneaking about causing trouble. This is a fabulously entertaining read that will have Harry Potter fans cheering for more.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
(Intermediate) All current reviews of Harry Potter books should probably be addressed to some future audience for whom Harry is book rather than pheno-menon; at the moment, reviews seem superfluous. For the record, then, O future reader, this latest installment in Harry's saga is quite a good book. The basics remain the same: it's another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (where there's perforce a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher); it's still Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Gryffindor House, and the headmaster versus Professor Snape, Draco Malfoy and his Slytherin goons, Lord Voldemort, and various other forces of darkness. But all the elements that make the formula work are heightened here. The characters are particularly interesting, especially the aforementioned new teacher, Professor Lupin, a man with a howling secret; Sirius Black, a feared, possibly mad, escaped prisoner who is believed to have betrayed Harry's parents and is now said to be after Harry; and Harry himself, who in facing the reality of his parents' violent deaths becomes a stronger person-and a more complex hero. The Quidditch action is the best yet; the Hogwarts classes (Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, and Potions) are inventive and entertaining; and Rowling pulls off a nifty bit of time manipulation in the book's exciting climax. There's hope, too, for a lessening in the power Harry's Muggle relatives seem to have over him-and so a probability that we won't have to endure quite so much of these tiresomely one-dimensional characters in the future. Speaking of which...have a hot butterbeer, future reader, and enjoy. m.v.p. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
The Harry Potter epic (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, p. 888, etc.) continues to gather speed as Harry enters his third year at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry and does battle with the traitor behind his parents' deaths. Besides coping with the usual adversaries'sneering classmate Draco Malfoy, evocatively-named Potions Master Snape'the young wizard-in-training has a new worry with the escape of Sirius Black, murderous minion of archenemy Lord Voldemort, from the magicians' prison of Azkaban. Folding in subplots and vividly conceived magical creatures'Azkaban's guards, known as dementors, are the very last brutes readers would want to meet in a dark alley'with characteristic abandon, Rowling creates a busy backdrop for Harry as she pushes him through a series of terrifying encounters and hard-fought games of Quidditch, on the way to a properly pulse-pounding climax strewn with mistaken identities and revelations about his dead father. The main characters and the continuing story both come along so smartly (and Harry at last shows a glimmer of interest in the opposite sex, a sure sign that the tides of adolescence are lapping at his toes) that the book seems shorter than its page count: have readers clear their calendars if they are fans, or get out of the way if they are not. (Fiction. 10-13)