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Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Author - J.K.Rowling

This fifth book in the seven-part series was probably the most awaited book in recent times. Harry Potter fans, young and old, yearned to know what happened to the young wizard after his terrifying encounter with the Dark Wizard Voldemort in the Goblet of Fire. They had to wait three years to find out. Since its publication in June 2003, the Order of the Phoenix has broken many records. It is sold in about 200 countries and has been translated into more than 50 languages including Hindi and Gujarati.
Harry is no longer the diffident boy who entered Hogwarts wondering if he could really become a wizard. He is now fifteen. He is impatient, restless and often short-tempered. He is constantly seeking answers to many troubling questions, but is confused and angered by the hypocrisy of grown-ups. Harry learns painfully that there are no absolute heroes in real life. The ‘good’ ones have their failings too. Girls trouble him too, and one of them makes his life miserable and ecstatic by turns.
The Order of the Phoenix is the name by which a group of wizards who are trying to fight Voldemort call themselves. Harry and his friends are part of it too. They have to remain a secret organization because the Ministry of Magic chooses not to believe in the return of Voldemort to his human form, and in his growing power. The loyal press portrays Harry as a publicity-seeking brat and Dumbledore as a senile wizard incapable of running Hogwarts.
The fifth year at Hogwarts sees Harry’s best friends Ron and Hermione become prefects, while his own merits go unrecognized. The Ministry appoints the detestable Dolores Umbridge as teacher of Defence Against the Dark arts. Thanks to her restrictions and censorship, no learning happens at Hogwarts. Amidst the wide spread revolt from the students that the teachers silently support, the Weasley twins make their sensational break to freedom.
Apart from preparing for the OWLs (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) Harry has other troubles to cope with. The deserted corridor he sees repeatedly in his dreams, and the door that would not open, tantalize him. The drama that unfolds behind that door keeps us transfixed right to the very end. Harry barely manages to survive this encounter with Voldemort, and the Ministry officials are forced to accept the truth of his return.
When the book ends, there is no indication that things are going to be fine from then on. It indicates another beginning. Harry is devastated by his personal loss. He has to return to his guardians, the Dursleys. And there is the prophecy that links him inseparably with Voldemort. He has to re-form his opinion about a lot of things. But he has the consolation of having wonderful friends to stand by him.
The Order of the Phoenix is a wonderful sequel to the other books in the series. Along with the excitement of the adventure, thrills and laughs the book holds, we can also enjoy the way Harry and his friends grow and mature from one book to the next. There is magic not only in the plot and events, but in the way Rowling narrates her tale. 766 pages might seem a big hurdle to cross; the book could have been shorter, but, full credit to Rowling’s skill, we are at the last page before we realize it. Once the last page is read, we can only begin the countdown to the next book in the series.
There is only one danger that young readers have to beware of. Your parents or grandparents might want to read the book first!

Review - Revathi Sachidanandam

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