J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter, Book #5

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz

Synopsis: There is a door at the end of a silent corridor, and it’s haunting Harry Potter’s dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?

Here are just a few of the things on Harry’s mind:

• A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
• A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
• Ron as Keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
• The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams

. . . and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

In the richest installment yet of J.K. Rowling’s seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts.

Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice.

Review: The fifth installment begins with Harry producing a Patronus charm when he is attacked in the open with his cousin Dudley. Of course, the Durleys are more than happy to blame Harry for Dudley being sick and non-responsive. Soon, the members of the Order of the Phoenix arrive and escort Harry to their secret headquarters. The entire Weasley family along with Hermonie and Sirius are also at the headquarters. Harry learns that Voldemort is building an army and is seeking to retrieve some sort of weapon. But before Harry can ponder what Voldemort is after, he has to face a hearing at the Ministry of Magic because he is charged with performing underage magic. Harry is cleared of all charges thanks to Dumbledore’s testimony and his neighbor, Arabella Figg.

Once back at Hogwarts, Ron, Hermonie, and Harry are surprised to find that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry official, who seems to care more about control than actually teaching anything of use. She is also hell bent on kicking Dumbledore out as Head Master and taking over the school.

As Harry, along with his friends, try to find a way to combat Umbridge, Lord Voldemort is on the move. Harry must fight not only to free his school of Umbridge but find the mysterious weapon Voldemort is after before the Death Eaters can attain it.

Memorable Scenes/Moments/Characters:

–Harry fighting off the Dementors with his Patronus charm.

–Dolores Umbridge was unadulterated evil! She imposes strict rules and carries out sadistic punishments if they are not followed (I.e. quills that cut the words the student writes into the skin). She is also a racist, harboring a great deal of hatred for anyone not born a pure blood.

–Harry learning the Occlumency spell from Snape. Occlumency spell will help protect one’s mind from being intruded. Harry finally gets the upper hand from Snape and manages to see why Snape hates Harry’s dad so much.

–The creation of Dumbledore’s Army. Harry secretly teaches members of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff in spells they were supposed to learn in Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

–Harry and Cho finally kissing!

–Dumbledore disappearing with the help of his phoenix, Fawkes, when Minister Fudge, Percy Weasley, and Umbridge try to have him arrested to be sent to Azkaban.

–Umbridge being carried off into the woods by the centaurs after stupidly attacking them.

–Fred and George revolting against Umbridge and flooding the school on the day the O.W.L.s are given. They fly away on their brooms.

–Harry, Hermonie, Ginny, Ron, Neville, and Luna fighting against the Death Eaters.

–Bellatrix Lestrange blasting Sirius with a spell and Sirius falling back into the mysterious veiled archway disappearing.

–Mad Eye Moody telling the Dursleys if they continue to mistreat Harry, they will have to deal with him.

Favorite Quotes:

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ~Sirius

“You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” ~Dumbledore

“You should write a book,” Ron told Hermione as he cut up his potatoes, “translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them.”