The Definitive Guide to

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Written by J. K. Rowling and illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Book #3 in the Harry Potter Series
Published by Scholastic
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.6 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Readerly Mom
Bay Area mother of two, world traveler, book lover, picky reader

This is one of my favorite books out of the Harry Potter series, because it makes you think you know what’s happening before spinning you around and spitting you out in a completely different direction. It’s also the last Harry Potter book that feels episodic - meaning that for younger readers who aren’t ready to get into the longer, darker Harry Potters books later in the series, this is a good place to hit pause on the books.

Who Wrote Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

J. K. Rowling

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Who Illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Mary GrandPré

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What Has J. K. Rowling Said About This Book

  • What does J.K. Rowling love about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

    “I was looking forward to writing the third book from the start of the first because that’s when Professor Lupin appears.”
  • What was the writing experience like for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was “the best writing experience I ever had. Of the five books that are published, writing Azkaban was the easiest, and in some ways I think it shows. I was in a very comfortable place when I wrote (number) three: Immediate financial worries were over, and press attention wasn’t yet by any means excessive.”
  • What do the dementors represent?

    Ann Treneman asked Rowling if the dementors represent depression, to which Rowling replied, “Yes. That is exactly what they are. It was entirely conscious. And entirely from my own experience. Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It’s a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”
  • Does Rowling have any regrets from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

    “The Marauder’s Map subsequently became something of a bane to its true originator (me), because it allowed Harry a little too much freedom of information.”

What Has Mary GrandPré Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Mary GrandPré know that we want more details from them about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Trivia to Know About This Book

  • When was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban first published?

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was first published on July 8, 1999 by Bloomsbury and then in the United States on September 8, 1999 by Scholastic Inc.

  • How many copies of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban have been sold?

    Over 65 million copies have been sold worldwide, and 68,000 copies were sold in the UK within three days of its release, which made it the fastest-selling book in Britain of all time (1999).
  • How long did it take Rowling to write Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

    Rowling wrote the book in just one year.
  • Was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a New York Times Best Seller?

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was on the New York Time’s best-sellers list, along with the first two books in the series, but this third book is what pushed the New York Times to create a separate best-sellers list exclusively for children’s literature.
  • How’s the movie adaptation?

    Rated PG, run time of 2h 22min, and rated a 7.9/10 on IMDb (where you can also find the trailer and information about the cast).

    Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 90% on the Tomatometer and a 86% Audience Score.

    This Bustle article discusses some of the more apparent differences between the book and the movie, and this article from lays out all of the differences it could find.

    John Williams is the composer for the magical music in the film, and there are Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert performances put on by CineConcerts of the full-length movie screening with a live orchestra.

What Do Critics Say About This Book

  • The New York Times

    “The Prisoner of Azkaban” may be the best “Harry Potter” book yet.

    Read full review >>

Did This Book Win Any Awards

You bet it did. Check them out below!

  • 1999 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Books for Young Adults
  • 1999 The Whitbread Children’s Book Award
  • 1999 The Bram Stoker Award
  • 2000 The Locus Award - Fantasy Novel
  • 2000 The American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Books
  • 2001 Publisher’s Weekly All-Time Bestselling Children’s Books - #11
  • 2004 The Colorado Blue Spruce Award
In which professor’s office is Sirius Black kept while awaiting the dementor’s kiss?
  1. Professor McGonagall
  2. Professor Flitwick
  3. Professor Lupin
  4. Professor Sprout
Take the Full Quiz!

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Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
July 8, 1999