Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix by JK Rowling (Banned Books Week)
He who shall not be named has once again… oops…. scratch that….. I guess I am a little deep into the story line yet….
*shakes head* Starts again….
Voldemort is once again causing a bit of destruction and mayhem in the wizarding world. It is the fifth year at Hogwarts and Harry has emerged into full-blown adolescence, including a crush, rage, and questions about his future. Dumbledore has taken to avoiding him at all costs and it seems to Harry that everyone has forgotten that he almost had died last year and had saved the school from yet another horrifying evil.
Then there is the new addition to the school compliments of the Ministry of Magic, Dolores Umbridge. A short toad like of a woman who is scrutinizing everything going on in Hogwarts much like a child would do to an ant with a magnifying glass. In no time at all she has Harry off the Quidich team … banned for life (there’s that dirty word banned again!) and in desperation the Griffindor Team puts Ron in as Keeper.
Things are not so wonderful at the school as they had been in the past and Harry is really wondering what sort of future he is going to have if this keeps up….
I listened to this one on audio, which haveI been doing all year, and highly recommend the audio versions if you have not yet experienced Harry Potter that way. Narrator Jim Dale is an experience in itself and you will not believe the many voices he uses for the different characters. I swear Hagrid is the real Hagrid and when Dale does Delores my skin crawls just like it did when I read the books!
While listening to this audio what I really noticed that I had not before (during my many readings of this book) is that this really is the book where Harry comes to the realization that his father was not the hero that he had built him up to be in his mind. Harry is introduced to some hard truths about his dad and has to learn that everyone has faults.
As I thought about Harry’s feelings about his dad I had to think that this was another great move on J K Rowling’s part. I swear, the more I listen and or read the books, I find more things that impress me. I thought about how easy it is to put someone on a pedestal when they have passed away…. how we forget the annoyances, and focus on the wonderfulness and what we miss. J K shows Harry a side of James that not only gives us a glimpse at why Snape loathes Harry so….. but also a look at his true father…. a fifteen year old hot-shot kid who thought he was super cool and loved to show off for his friends. This book really shows us a good message about relationships and Harry comes to realize that while his dad was not the perfect man he had imagined, he was still a very good man.
If you have not taken the time to experience Harry Potter on Audio I highly (HIGHLY) recommend it. This rich installment won Jim Dale a Guinness World Record for the most character voices in an audio book. The series has won the Audies Hall of Fame Award. Fifth in the series. “Dale’s exciting, nuanced performance wholly captures the story’s irrepressible humor and magic.”—Booklist
Why was Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix by J K Rowling banned?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with the rest of the Harry Potter series, has been attacked by several religious groups and banned in some countries because of accusations that the novels promote witchcraft. However, some Christian commentators have written that the book exemplifies important Christian viewpoints, including the power of self-sacrifice and the ways in which people’s decisions shape their personalities. Educators regard Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and its sequels as an important aid in improving literacy because of the books’ popularity.
In July 2002, the parents of a student in Cedarville, Arkansas, filed suit against the School Board’s decision to restrict access to the Harry Potter series. The Board’s decision limiting the availability of the book only to students who received parental clearance came in response to a parent’s complaint that Rowling’s books promoted witchcraft and defiance of authority.
If only we could wave a magic wand and educate parents and school boards about the First Amendment.
I borrowed this audio from my wonderful local library