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    by J. K. Rowling

    Arthur A. Irvine Books, Scholastic Press, July 2000

    Harry Potter is back--in his fourth year at the Hogwarts school. At fourteen, Harry has begun to notice girls (especially fellow Quidditch player Cho Chang), and is looking forward to some serious play. When the Weasleys invite him to the world Quidditch cup, he thinks he's in heaven. Still, his lightning-bolt shaped scar is acting up and that can only mean that Voldemort is back in business.

    Harry is thrust into adventure again, this time when he is selected as school champion in the long suspended inter-school magic competition. Because he is under age, there's resentment even within Hogswart and for a while, friction between Harry and his best friend Ron. Ron and Hermoine continue bickering, but at a different level. The two are certainly noticing each other, a hint of a relationship that is likely to continue to develop in future Harry Potter stories.

    J. K. Rowling has written another exceptional adventure. Harry Potter is a sympathetic hero who will appeal to virtually anyone. His teen angst is completely believable, as is his difficulty in getting up the nerve to ask Cho to an important dance. Voldemort is as evil as ever and even more determined to end Harry as a threat. Using one of his few loyal servants, Voldemort hatches a plan that will result in Voldemort's recovering his body and in Harry's destruction.

    Much was made of the fact that 'someone dies' in this novel. While someone does die, that someone does not include Harry, Ron, or Hermoine--the three principle characters in the series. THE GOBLET OF FIRE is longer than any of the other novels in the series and does contain several dark moments--including the opening scene. In general, however, Rowling writes with a light touch.

    HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is the fourth in the excellent Harry Potter series. It fully lives up to the strong tradition established by the earlier novels. Although the Harry Potter series was positioned as aimed at children, the series also appeals to adults. In fact, while older children will thrill to the adventures Harry and his two friends endure, older readers are likely to appreciate the character growth, the relationships among the three friends as well as their relationships with their families and their instructors. Each of the books in this series can stand alone although the reader is likely to get hooked and read the entire set.

    Four Stars


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