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In short, we find out in quick succession that a) the person Harry loves was never in any real danger in the first place, b) all of the students save Harry and Neville are incapacitated and come close to dying, and worse yet c) because Harry rushed off to save the person he loves that person ended up dying whilst trying to rescue Harry.
Though it is never explicitly stated, Harry behaves as though he has post-traumatic stress disorder, having witnessed Cedric Diggory's murder near the end of the prior book.
He is constantly snapping at his friends, easily provoked, more easily persuaded into doing things he wouldn't normally.
This helped A quite a bit, since he was constantly worried he missed something important.
With these rules in place, we were no longer bound to finish a chapter a night, which was good both for my kids and my voice (did I mention that the chapters are This was K's response to the boys after they asked questions about why something happened or why someone did something, and was a perfect example of an answer that was a) completely correct and b) very, very annoying.
Instead, they're slandering Harry, calling him a liar and a fraud, and worse yet they've installed a falsely-sweet teacher called Dolores Umbridge at Hogwarts, and her level of cruelty is yet unparalleled in this series. Harry's got a lot on his mind, and between the knowledge that Voldemort is back and the fact that no one who can do something about that believes him, Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts is shaping up to be his most difficult one yet.
Complicating matters are Harry's dreams: he keeps seeing a door at the end of a dark hallway, a door that beckons to him. He wakes up, screaming in terror, and yet the dreams don't go away. Remember how I said in the story tops 200,000 words.B, being a huge fan of this series, would respond with this whenever we finished a chapter and still had some time left over. Due to conditions beyond his control, he kept falling asleep in the middle of read-aloud time.This was the first book where I implemented a new measure: if two kids fell asleep, at any time, we stopped reading no matter where we were.The only reason why I gave this book three stars is because it's very long and it's not your typical chapter book. Teenagers Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and their friends are entering their fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry under an ominous cloud: the evil wizard Voldemort has been restored to his full power yet the magical government, the Ministry of Magic, flatly refuses to believe this is so or to do anything about it.I eventually had to ask her to stop responding with that statement every time the boys asked a question, and to her credit, she did.I continue to be concerned about K's ability to grasp the events that are happening in this book.He YELLS IN ALL CAPS so it's easy to see when he's angry.Possibly worse is the fact that he's also a teenager, prone to doing teenager things without thinking them through.There are moments of light, and Harry's friends and allies do not waver in their belief of what Harry witnessed, but permeating this book is a central question: when the people in power refuse to acknowledge something terrible, can a mere student make a difference?I made a rule saying that we had to be done reading by PM no matter where we were in the book, mostly due to how long the chapters are.