‘Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix’ by J.K. Rowling: Magic, Death-eaters and Children’s Literature

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I’m almost afraid to ask you if you’re a devotee of the whole Harry Potter phenomenon. To a true fanatic the question is almost absurd: surely everyone adores Harry? (Or Snape, or Hermione, or Luna Lovegood or whichever particular character you’ve chosen to worship and adore.) And of course the reverse is also true: for the haters of all things Harry (and yes, they do exist) the question is an open inviation to an outpouring of bile and loathing for everything cutesy and wizard and spell-casting in children’s literature (or perhaps just Joanna Rowling’s output specifically). Let’s say that you are indeed an enthusiast and you’ve worked your way through as far as the fourth ‘chapter’, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Is the fifth in the series worth checking out and girding your loins for (because make no mistake, taking on another Potter book is a feat of endurance and stamina as well as reading pleasure).


Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix is the fifth in the series of seven novels that has cast a spell over so many reading childhoods, from the keyboard of J.K. Rowling.  It covers the rise to power of the Ministry of Magic, and a pall of denial regarding the return of Voldemort and the Deatheaters that pervades the book and which Harry and his pals and allies must fight against, however fruitlessly.  Symbolic of the new regime, and the powerlessness of Harry’s camp, is the appointment to headmistresship of Hogwarts of new boss Dolores Umbridge.

There’s a heavy gothic gloom and misery that overlays this episode of the Hogwarts series.  (So what else is new, I hear you cry!)  No, really.  In a way I’m surprised it can be classified as a kid’s book: if I’d read this as a ten year old I might have had to stay home for a week with clinical depression.  (Or I might have been able to convince my mum that I needed to.)  In a way I like it for that, too!

Just be warned, it’s not a cheery read, for either adults or kids.  One for the strong of stomach, not the faint of heart!

There’s a heavy gothic gloom and misery that overlays this episode of the Hogwarts series.  (So what else is new, I hear you cry!)  No, really.  In a way I’m surprised it can be classified as a kid’s book: if I’d read this as a ten year old I might have had to stay home for a week with clinical depression.  (Or I might have been able to convince my mum that I needed to.)  In a way I like it for that, too!

Just be warned, it’s not a cheery read, for either adults or kids.  One for the strong of stomach, not the faint of heart!

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