Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling

What more can one say about J.K. Rowlings and the most famous boy in wizardom?

Since last summer, I've been working my way steadily through all five of the Harry Potter books (Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), reading them aloud to my five-year old son. Most recently, thanks to the benevolence of Santa Claus, we've been ripping through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I say ripping because my enthralled son insisted on reading the 870-page book nightly, often for more than an hour at a time (which, if you have a five-year old and you are reading something that has no pictures, is definitely saying something about the author's ability to capture his interest!).

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling continues to build on both the depth of her imaginary magical world and on the steady growth of the characters. Harry Potter is returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his fifth year, despite the ominous indications that (as seen in Book IV) He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (that's the evil Lord Voldemort, for the three people left in the world who haven't either read the books or seen the movie) has returned.

Harry, and his growing array of friends and allies (the Order of the Phoenix in the title) must face down enemies both within and without as Harry faces the multiple challenges of his cousin Dudley, rogue Dementors, OWL (Official Wizarding Levels) exams, bad press, first romance and a malevolent new "headmistress" at Hogwarts....and the machinations of Voldemort and his DeathEaters.

Despite the length, the book doesn't sag or lack. At times it is pure adventurous exhilaration and fun, and although some sections are somewhat slow, I found that as a reader, I was so invested in the characters, the world and the setting, that the occasional slow section was barely noticable. You should note that if you are reading the book to younger kids, you may wish to self-edit some of the more frightening bits and pieces. This is also a good excuse to read ahead....

All in all, we loved Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and are eagering anticipating the next book in the series. Get to work Ms. Rowling!

I have read in the media that some people have complained at times regarding the content of the Potter books.. Let's face it - these books offer up terrific, imaginative, thoughtful, adventurous reads that successfully pull kids and adults away from the pale everyday gleam of the cathode ray tube and gets them to read! Kids! Reading! Who'd have thunk it?

J.K. Rowling deserves to be congratulated for that fact alone (but I suppose being richer than the Queen is probably enough).

Interested in finding out exactly what are Muggles, Hippogriffs and Bowtruckles? Consult the Harry Potter Lexicon for all your wizarding queries.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Interested in visiting Hogwarts?

Lastly, since it is an election year....

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