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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling
Illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Published by Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic Press, 2000
734 pages
ISBN: 0-439-13959-7

Age 9 and older

Harry Potter returns for his fourth year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but not before attending the World Quidditch Cup with his best friends Ron and Hermione and Ron's family. Spirits are high as wizards and witches from around the world gather in Britain to attend the match. But events at the international sporting spectacle foreshadow possible bad times ahead when the Dark Mark, the sign of evil Lord Voldemort, is seen in the sky overhead after the championship. It is the first time the sign has appeared since Voldemort disappeared after killing Harry's parents years before. J.K. Rowling's fourth Harry Potter novel, which the author describes as "pivotal" in the planned cycle of seven books, continues what has become her trademark blend of highly imaginative plotting, wonderfully realized characters, spirited humor and compelling dramatic action. The now comfortingly familiar routine of life at Hogwart's School is never without surprises for Harry, who is now 14, or for readers. But Rowling adds a fresh twist to Harry's fourth year with the introduction of an international wizarding competition that brings students from schools of witchcraft and wizardry in two other nations to Hogwarts for the year. When Harry is called upon to be a contestant in the competition, no one is more surprised than he, and it seems certain that his name was put forth by someone wishing him harm. The first boy-girl dance for Harry and his friends also complicates life, as adolescent desires and uncertainties make for funny, poignant interactions among students. By now readers know Rowling's main characters–and many of the minor ones–quite well, and the result is a plot-driven adventure that builds swiftly to another gripping–and chilling-- climax. The lines are drawn more clearly and powerfully than ever before in the ongoing struggle of good–as seem through the actions of Harry, headmaster Albus Dumbledore and others at Hogwarts--versus evil, as represented by the heartless, inhuman deeds of the dark wizard Voldemort and his followers. But intriguing and complex questions remain, about the intentions and motivations of individual characters, and about the fate of all in Rowling's superbly realized world. And in the midst of all the action, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire offers more mature readers who are eager to dissect the intricacies of the plot and ponder what is yet to come the opportunity to also think about issues of economic and social justice as they play out in that magical world–and resonate in our own. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children. (MS; July 17) ©2000 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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