Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and the third in the Harry Potter series. The book follows Harry Potter, a young wizard, in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Along with friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry investigates Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban who they believe is one of Lord Voldemort’s old allies.
The book was published in the United Kingdom on 8 July 1999 by Bloomsbury and in the United States on 8 September 1999 by Scholastic Inc. Rowling found the book easy to write, finishing it just a year after she had begun writing it. The book sold 68,000 copies in just three days after its release in the United Kingdom and since has sold over three million in the country.
The book won the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the 2000 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and was short-listed for other awards, including the Hugo.
The film adaptation of the novel was released in 2004, grossing more than $796 million and earning critical acclaim. Video games loosely based on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban were also released for several platforms, and most obtained favourable reviews
Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.
Originally published: 8 July 1999
Author: J. K. Rowling
Release number: 3rd in series
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Characters: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Lord Voldemort, MORE
Illustrators: Mary GrandPré, Cliff Wright, Jim Kay