Friday, September 3, 2010

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

AR Reading Level: 7.2
On the library stacks: YA fiction
Booklist Editors' Choice; Bilby Award; ALA Best Book for Young Adults; VOYA: The Perfect Tens; ALA Notable/Best Books; Bram Stoker Award/Nominee; Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
Series: Book 5 of 7 (Harry Potter)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Years ago I went on a little boycott/hiatus of all things Harry Potter. My husband dutifully read all the books, some multiple times, while I persisted in my obstinate ways. But my 9-year old recently blew through the first four books in the series and wanted to know if she could read the next one. My husband recalled that things get awful dark and we agreed that I would pick up where I left off to assess the age appropriateness of the rest of the series for our kids.

The first 3/4 of the book put me soundly to sleep every night for the past week. I love to stay up late reading, but I was a goner by 11pm every night. The last 1/4 had its redeeming moments, especially the departure of the Weasley twins which I thoroughly enjoyed. But really not a lot happens in this book considering it's the longest book in the series. It also seemed like Rowling tried too hard to provide teenage angst, and moody Harry with his bad attitude really got on my nerves.

As far as my kids go, I did find this book dark and violent, especially Harry's detentions with Professor Umbridge. I also found the Hitler-esque regime disturbing. There are mild swear words in this book, although some are not relevant to the American audience. Since every parent has to decide what they feel comfortable letting their child read, I'm going to have my kids wait until at least 5th grade to read this one. This is a case where just because my child can read it, doesn't mean they should. For parents who are unsure, I found this article to be a useful guide of various Harry Potter media by age and stage.

Also reviewed by: Muse Book Reviews ~ Jules' Book Reviews ~ Book Addiction ~ 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews ~ Your link here?

Book 79 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 35 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge, Book 53 of 55 for the Countdown Challenge (2003), Book 37 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge

Source: Purchased


Trisha said...

I'm one of those liberal types who think that Harry Potter is pretty appropriate for everyone. My almost-five-old niece and even her three-year-old brother have seen the movies, and I would have no problem reading the books to them if they had that sort of attention span. :)

Alison said...

This is definitely my least favorite of the series... I tried to do a reread of them last summer, I think, but just thinking about rating this one again made me bored, so I gave up!

bermudaonion said...

I loved this whole series, so I'm sorry to see you didn't enjoy this one. Harry was rather moody in this book, but I don't think that's all that uncommon for teens.

Veens said...

I don't know, but I did enjoy all the books.

Okie said...

I sadly haven't yet made it through the entire HP series.

I stalled early on ("early" being...~100 pages?) in Goblet of Fire. I got bored because, while the world/characters/interaction were interesting generally, I really felt like there was nothing worthwhile going on....and since the length of the book had jumped forward by 30% or more, I was worried that this initial reading was indication of unnecessary bloat caused by editorial leniency after proven success of the I gave up and haven't gone back...YET.

I've enjoyed the movies and stayed up to date there. I loved Prisoner and Order...they're my two favorites in the series, movie wise. I may just skip to the next book and try to keep going...

When the Half-Blood movie came out, I grew even more worried about the series since I felt about the movie much the same way I felt about what I'd read in Goblet thus far....interesting but only from a high level...because ALMOST NOTHING HAPPENS. It seriously felt (to me) that 80% of that movie was filler to keep fans engaged for the climax. Talking with my wife about the Half Blood book, she says the movie actually trimmed out a lot of even more useless drivel.

So...I'm definitely nervous about continuing the reading. I want to try and catch up before the final movie (or two movies, as it were)...but I'm having trouble motivating myself.