Reviews for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix : Library Edition


AudioFile Reviews 2003 August/September
Harry is 15, angry and alienated. Gone is the eager, wet-behind-the-ears boy wizard. He's morphed into a surly teenager. The story is slow to start, but a peerless performance by Jim Dale spins even long passages of exposition into gold. Once Harry reaches Hogwarts, the pace accelerates and the fun begins. Voldemort is secretly marshalling the dark wizards for war, the new Dark Arts teacher runs Hogwarts like a fascist state, and Harry learns of an ancient prophecy explaining his psychic connection to Voldemort. More thoughtful, missing the playfulness of earlier adventures, this artful coming-of-age story provides the perfect backdrop for Harry's adolescent angst and awakening consciousness. Dale's wizardry transports listeners to places Muggle and magical, and Rowling's inventive plot shifts and fresh characters make this "must listening" for older Potter fans. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #6
Dale has topped himself, and that's no easy feat. It's hard to decide whether to be more awestruck by his stamina or by his storytelling, but it really doesn't matter. It's a treat any way you listen to it. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Review 2003 July #2
Dale again takes the reins as nimble voice master and gallops away with a splendid performance of Rowling's fifth tome about the beloved boy wizard. Full credit is due Dale for creating-and keeping track of-an enormous cast (134, to be precise) of distinct voices; he achieves impressive continuity of character from one novel to the next. But perhaps most notable here is Dale's development of protagonist Harry's evolution from wide-eyed, affable boy to an often angry and disillusioned teenager. Obviously at home in Rowling's world, Dale effortlessly follows the story into darker and more complex waters. Plot turns include further intrigue amongst the wizard hierarchy, the arrival of a new, suspect Defense of the Dark Arts professor, and the main characters' navigation through increasing social and academic pressures. Though Harry, Ron and Hermione are gradually sounding a bit older, and inevitably wiser, Dale keeps their cores intact, so as not to lose listeners along the way. Ages 9-up. Simultaneous release with the Scholastic/Levine hardcover. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 August
Gr all levels-The boy with the thunderbolt scar is back, and while he's bravely showing his magical might, he's also succumbing to some very human emotions. J.K. Rowling's fifth book (Scholastic, 2003) is not only bigger than the previous ones, it's better. Harry is now a feisty, sometimes frustrated, 15-year-old with his usual cohort of loyal friends and a new nemesis from the Ministry of Magic. Though the young wizard is fearful when it comes to dating, he's recklessly courageous combating his old enemy, Voldemort. Rowling has carefully combined dexterous detail with bursts of heart-pounding action to create a finely-textured story. Award-winning narrator Jim Dale does a superb job of making both the romping humor and the riveting danger feel three dimensional. Now thoroughly at home with the horde from Hogwart's, Dale is equally adept at creating this book's new and distinctive characters. Even those who've read all of the novel's 870 pages will be richly rewarded by listening to this exceptional recording; and every library should have the cassettes and/or the CDs for them to borrow.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
Gr 4 Up-J. K. Rowling's fifth book (Scholastic, 2003) is not only bigger than the previous titles, it's better. Harry is now a feisty, sometimes frustrated 15-year-old with his usual loyal friends and a new nemesis from the Ministry of Magic. Award-winning narrator Jim Daley does a superb job of making both the romping humor and the riveting danger feel three-dimensional. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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