A review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

The latest Harry Potter book is over 650 pages but it gets interesting right from the first page, and flies by. You’ll be sad when it’s finished, not only because sad things happen, but because you won’t want to leave Harry’s world. There are all sorts of reasons why this is a great read. First, it’s full of action like fighting, magic hexes, jinxes, a special crazy language–parsel tongue–and so on, which is very cool.

Reviewed by Dominic Ball

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
By J.K. Rowling
Scholastic
July 2005, Hardcover: 652 pages, ISBN: 0439784549

Harry Potter is waiting nervously at the Kursley’s house in Privet Drive for a visit from Porfessor Dumbledore himself. What could Professor want now? Lord Voldmort has returned and the Death Eaters are growing stronger every second. Now Dumbledore is giving Harry private lessons and soon they discover how to kill Lord Voldemort, but trying to will lead to many strange things. Will Harry be able to do it?

The latest Harry Potter book is over 650 pages but it gets interesting right from the first page, and flies by. You’ll be sad when it’s finished, not only because sad things happen, but because you won’t want to leave Harry’s world. There are all sorts of reasons why this is a great read. First, it’s full of action like fighting, magic hexes, jinxes, a special crazy language–parsel tongue–and so on, which is very cool. There are all sorts of puzzles like trying to work out who the half-blood prince is, and where Dumbledore goes when he disappears, and it keeps you guessing right to the end. At the end of each chapter, you get teased about what might come next and you just can’t stop reading. There are lots of surprising twists, and you just can’t guess what is going to come next. You won’t have to wait long though, since once you start reading, you just can’t put it down. Parents will yell at you to stop reading and eat your dinner. Your brother and sister will beg you to stop reading and play with them, but still you have to keep reading until it is finished:

‘Don’t,’ crooned Moaning Myrtle’s voice from one of the cubicles. ’Don’t…tell me what’s wrong…I can help you…’
‘No one can help me,’ said Malfoy. His whole body was shaking. ’I can’t do it. I can’t. It won’t work…and unless I do it soon he says he’ll kill me…’
And Harry realised with a shock so huge it seemed to root him to the spot, that Malfoy was crying–actually crying–tears streaming down his pale face into the grimy basin. Malfoy gasped and gulped and then, with a great shudder, looked up into the cracked mirror and saw Harry staring at him over his shoulder.
Malfoy wheeled around, drawing his wand. Instinctively, Harry pulled out his own. Malfoy’s hex missed Harry by inches, shattering the lamp on the wall beside him; Harry threw himself sideways, thought Levicorpus! and flicked his wand, but Malfoy blocked the jinx and raised his wand for another–(488)

This is the kind of fantasy that every child can get into. In some ways it is because we would all like to have a magic wand and be able to cast spells. Harry is my favourite character and the perfect hero, because he has a good heart, is on the right (good) side, and he tries his best and isn’t conceited. I also liked other characters like Hermione, who is very clever, and Dumbledore, who is very wise. People say that Harry has changed in this book, but I don’t think so. He does get angry that no one believes him, but he is still the same boy, trying his best to do the right thing in a very difficult situation. This is certainly my favourite book of all time, and I suspect it will be yours. I can’t wait until the final one in the series.

About the reviewer: Dominic Ball is an 8 year old student who loves to read.

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