Saturday, January 26, 2013
Harry Potter is in his fifth year at Hogwarts and this is the year of the dreaded OWLS (Ordinary Wizarding Level) examinations. Everyone is worried they won't pass because there is a new professor in town, named Umbridge, who has decreed they cannot practice spells by orders of the Ministry of Magic. Harry's been kicked off the Quidditch team and been forced to write, in blood, that he will not tell lies about You Know Who.
He keeps having weird dreams about a door at the end of a hall, Dumbledore won't talk to him and You Know Who keeps invading his mind. Harry is sure he is going crazy. Ron and Hermione are prefects, Hagrid has been missing for months and life is topsy turvy at Hogwarts. Umbridge and the Ministry refuse to believe that You Know Who is back and they are upsetting the status quo. Harry has to learn to guard his mind while he teaches his friends the spells required to protect themselves and pass their OWLS.
Rowling has created another exciting adventure in the Order of the Phoenix. The ending is fabulous as Rowling is now preparing her readers for the end of the series and the ultimate battle between Harry and Voldemort. I enjoyed the addition of new characters like Luna Lovegood and Gawp.
For the past five years, I have read aloud one Harry Potter book a year to my kids. After we read the book, we watch the movie together. The Order of the Phoenix is a very long book at over 800 pages and it actually took me a full year to read it aloud. To speed it up a bit in the middle, we rented the audiobook from the library and listened to parts of it as the audio version reads faster than I do. I think the movie of the The Order of the Phoenix is not as good as the others. My husband didn't read the book and he thought the movie was terrible. Unfortunately, 800 plus pages stripped down to a two hour movie, missed a lot of important details.