Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Publisher:  Scholastic
June 21st 2003
Mass Market Paperback, 870 pages

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Lines are drawn! Sides are chosen! It is time to decide what you stand for! This is exactly what happens in the 5th Harry Potter installment.  However, something is wrong with Harry – he is angry and annoyed all the time.  Why? He has amazing friends, his new found Godfather Sirius, and he’s going back to Hogwarts for another year (away from the Dursleys).  Soon his anger and constant annoyance is noticed by others.  On the other hand, why shouldn’t be angry and even feel alone when he is summoned to the Ministry of Magic for using magic in the Muggle world as an underaged wizard? I would be.  In The Order of the Phoenix we start to learn about the connection between Harry and Voldemort…. 

Some of my favorite scenes in this novel take place in the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters,  Grimmauld Place.  A lot of my favorite characters come together at Grimmauld Place, at one point of time or another.  We see Snape leaving, hear of Dumbledore’s visit, Sirius, Lupin the Weasleys and Hermione.  Furthermore, Grimmalde Place becomes very important in Harry’s journey…. (little spoiler).  

By far this is the darkest installment as of yet.  You really start to feel the loneliness that surrounds Harry, even though he has an amazing group of friends and supporters.  Dumbledore appears to have abandoned Harry, even at his trial (even though he is there on Harry’s side).  No matter how hard Harry tries, Dumbledore will not speak with him.  If that wasn’t enough, no one at Hogwarts believes Harry’s ‘story’ that Voldemort is back.  Add on Harry’s unexplained anger and it is no wonder he has nightmares and starts to wonder if he is more like Voldemort.

However, this all changes when Harry and and his ‘gang’ find a common interest in defeating a new professor who is literally taking over Hogwarts: Umbridge. Umbridge is a rare breed of characters.  Far away, in all her pink attire, she looks ‘sugar and spice’, but she has more spice than you think, turning out to be plain evil up close. 

In the goal to defeat Umbridge, Dumbledore’s Army is created, bringing together amazing Hogwarts students who are willing to place their life on the line to defend Hogwarts and wizards in general against Voldemort and his followers.

A few scenes in this novel had me in literal tears – the 2 final battles, each that place at the Ministry of Magic.  First, Sirius’ death.  You fall in love with the relationship Sirius and Harry have formed, both out of love and necessity.  For this relationship to end so soon and quickly is hard to swallow.  Again you find yourself asking, how much more can Harry take.  The second scene is the battle between Voldemort and Harry, meeting for the 2nd time face to face.  The inner struggle in Harry really plays out here, forcing him to choose to fight or give up.  

As with every installment, new clues, questions, and answers are given, tying each previous installment closer together. 

My Rating:

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