Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 1999, Scholastic
Category: Young Adult/ Fantasy
I've always thought that Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter, but I just finished Goblet of Fire and I think I've changed my mind! (Next I'll finish 5 and 6 and think they're my favorites, maybe.) But this will always be one of my favorites.
I should probably say that this is not a proper review. It is me gushing and speculating. I just felt like giving it a ten anyway. :)
The Harry Potter books kind of break into two chunks: the first three, which are very much children's books, lighter and shorter, and the last three, which are much darker and more intricate, exciting, action-packed and often quite scary, with the fourth book sort of half and half bridging the gap. In Azkaban, Harry is definitely still a boy; he's growing up and changing but still has a youthful innocence that we see him lose in #4. He is happier in this book than in any of the others, which is nice.
Though this is the only book in which Harry does not come face to face with Voldemort, the villain portrayed is just as intimidating and scary, maybe even more so because he is thought to be insane.
There are some elements and characters introduced that I especially love: the Marauder's map is completely cool and presents all sorts of interesting plot twists in this and the next few books; I LOVE Professor Trelawney, she is always good for a laugh; Trelawney's prophecies, which we all know become very important; and we start to learn a bit more about Harry's parents, especially his dad.
The movie version of this one is currently my favorite, though I have great hopes for #5. They did really clever things with the time-turning scenes at the end---I love it when a screenplay takes what is great about a book and twists it around just a bit to make it work as a movie.