Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Publishing Facts and Information:

UK Book Info

  • First British Printing: July 8, 1999
  • The First Print Run: 200,000 copies
  • Pages (paperback):317
  • Price (Hardcover): £11.99

US Book Info

  • First U.S. Printing: October, 1999
  • Pages:435
  • Price (Hardcover): $19.95
  • Book Colors:
    Outside: Dark Purple and Blue
    Inside: Red
    Title Writing: Green

Dedications (US):

To Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely
The Godmothers of Swing

Summaries from the back of the books

(from back of UK book)
Harry Potter, along with hus best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursley’s?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There is an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school….

(from back of US book)
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 of 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.


  1. The Owl Post
  2. Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake
  3. The Knight Bus
  4. The Leaky Cauldron
  5. The Dementor
  6. Talons and Tea Leaves
  7. The Boggart in the Wardrobe
  8. Flight of the Fat Lady
  9. Grim Defeat
  10. The Marauder’s Map
  11. The Firebolt
  12. The Patronus
  13. Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw
  14. Snape’s Grudge
  15. The Quidditch Final
  16. Professor Trelawney’s Prediction
  17. Cat, Rat, and Dog
  18. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
  19. The Servant of Lord Voldemort
  20. The Dementor’s Kiss
  21. Hermione’s Secret
  22. Owl Post Again

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Nestle Smarties Book Prize- Gold Metal 9-11 years, 1999
  • Whitbreak Children’s Book of the Year, 1999
  • British Book Awards- Author of the Year, 1999
  • FCBG (Federation of Children’s Books Group) Children’s Book Award- Overall winner and for Longer Novel Category, 1999

Plot Summary: Contains Spoilers

Short Summary:

This year in the wizarding world, Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban. Convicted of turning Harry’s parents into Voldemort, and killing 13 muggles and the Potter’s friend Peter Pettigrew. Harry learns about his parent’s past in this book; including how Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, James Potter, and the new DADA teacher Remus Lupin used to be best friends, and how Sirius Black is Harry’s godfather. Harry and his friends save Buckbeak the hippogriff from getting killed by the MOM. They also learn that Sirius Black is innocent, and it was Peter Pettigrew who turn his parents in. Lupin turns into a werewolf, and Harry and Sirius get cornered down by Dementors, and a patronus from an unknown person saves them. Harry and Hermione go back in time, and Harry performs the unknown performance, saving his past self and Sirius. Hermione and Harry help Sirius escape and he is free. Also, Lupin resigns from being the DADA teacher, because Snape told the Slytherin’s he was a werewolf.

Long Summary:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban starts off in Harry’s room. Here, Harry receives gifts from his friends (and Hagrid, who bought him a very odd book called “The Monster Book of Monsters”) for his 13th birthday. The next morning at breakfast, Harry sees on the t.v. that a murder by the name of Black is on the loose after escaping from a prison.

Later on, Aunt Marge (Uncle Vernon’s sister) arrives and keeps saying what a horrible child Harry is, and how bad his parents were many times. By accident, Harry makes her inflate, causing her to be very much like a giant balloon. Harry is so angry that he runs upstairs, packs his Hogwarts things and leaves the Durlseys.

Walking down the street, Harry sees an enormous black dog, and become frightened. He puts his wand up, and the knight bus comes (even though Harry didn’t even know he called them). Harry tells the conductor of the night bus that his name is Neville Longbottom. Harry gets dropped off in Diagon Alley, where the conductor soon learns (from Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic) that his real name is Harry Potter.

Harry spends the rest of his summer vacation at the inn in Diagon Alley. Here, he explores Diagon Alley, buying all of his school books and acknowledging a very new and rare broomstick; the Firebolt. Harry meets Ron (who’s father recently won a large amount of gold from the Ministry of Magic) and Hermione. Ron’s rat was looking rather sick, so they brought him to the pet shop (in Diagon Alley) to be looked at. Ron buy’s Scabber’s (his rat) medicine, and Hermione buys a fluffy orange, rather crazy cat named Crookshanks. Crookshanks chases Scabbers around the store, which makes Ron not like Crookshanks.

The night before they leave for Hogwarts, Harry overhears Ron’s parents discussing whether or not they should tell Harry that Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban (The wizarding prison) to come after Harry, and that Black is the only person ever to break out of Azkaban.

The students leave for Hogwarts the next day, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione sit with a new teacher in shabby robes on the train. Harry tells his friends what he heard the Weasleys discussing. For some reason, the train just stops. Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley come in wondering what is going on. Then, a strange creature comes on the train, and makes everybody unhappy. Harry passes out hearing his mother screaming for her life.

Harry is revived when the teacher (with the shabby robes) gives him chocolate, and says to eat it. The teacher tells him that the strange things that came on the train is a dementor (a creature that sucks all the happiness out of you), and that they were searching the train for Sirius Black.

The students arrive at Hogwarts, where Professor Dumbledore (the headmaster) says that the dementors will be guards to Hogwarts, until they catch Sirius Black. He also introduces two new teachers; Professor Lupin (the teacher on the train who gave Harry the chocolate) and Hagrid, who would become the Care of Magical Creatures professor. The first lesson is with Professor Trelawney in Divination. While doing their lesson on tea leaves; Professor Trelawney says that Harry has the grim. The grim is an omen of death, taking the shape of a large black dog. She also predicts that somebody will leave at the end of April.

Their next lesson is with Hagrid. Hagrid presents a 1/2 bird, 1/2 horse animal called a hippogriff (named Buckbeak). Since a hippogriff is a very proud creature, you must bow and keep eye contact with it in order to touch it. Harry does this, and even gets to ride him. Malfoy does this, but then insults Buckbeak, and the hippogriff attacks Malfoy.

After this is Defense Against the Dark Arts. This class becomes an instant success when Lupin brings in a boggart (a creature that turns into your greatest fear). All the students have a show with the boggart (Lupin’s greatest fear being a bright orb). Harry does not get the chance to fight it. Harry and Ron are wondering how Hermione is getting to her classes, because she has 2 or 3 classes at 1 time.

While everybody else goes to Hogsmeade, (a village that Harry is not allowed to go to, because Uncle Vernon refused to sign the slip after Harry blew up Aunt Marge) Harry has tea with Lupin. Harry learns that he was not allowed to fight the boggart because Lupin was afraid it would turn into Voldemort. Harry admits that he fears dementors more than Voldemort. Snape then comes in with a cauldron of potion for Lupin. Harry asks Lupin to give him lessons to fight off dementors, because Lupin fought them off on the train. Lupin says he will after the holidays.

Later that night, Sirius Black attempts to break into the Gryffindor common room. He does not get in, but nearly destroys the portrait of the fat lady. The students sleep in the Great Hall while the castle is being checked. The next day is the first quidditch match of the season between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. During the match, Harry sees a large black dog, and the dementors come on the ground, causing Harry to go unconscious, fall off his broom, and his broom is destroyed by the Whomping Willow. Harry wakes up, and they lost the match. Harry also learns (from Lupin) that the dementors affect him so much because he has such a horrible past.

The next Hogsmeade trip is planned, and Harry manages to sneak out of Hogwarts through a secret passage way (that he found by the Marauders map that Fred and George gave him. The map was created by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs). Harry meets Ron and Hermione in Hogsmeade. Here, Harry overhears Cornelius Fudge say that Sirius Black was Harry’s parent’s best friends (and his godfather), and he sold them out to Voldemort. He also hears that Sirius Black killed 13 muggles with 1 curse, and killed another one of Harry’s parent’s friends, Peter Pettigrew. The most they found of him was a finger.

Harry returns to the castle to find out that Buckbeak is going to be put on trial for attacking Malfoy (who was making a great deal about being attacked). The Christmas holidays come, and Harry receives a Firebolt with no letter saying who it was from. Hermione reports this to Professor McGonagall (head of Gryffindor house) who takes the broom to have it suspected (thinking it could have come from Sirius Black and been cursed).

After the holidays, Harry beings to work on his anti-dementor lessons with Lupin. The spell is the Patronus charm (Expecto Patronum), which works as a silvery shield against dementors (a full one turns into a symbol of the person conjuring it). Harry tries and gets a little bit, but not a full Patronus.

Soon before the next game, Harry’s broom is returned to him. Gryffindor plays Ravenclaw and beats them easily. However, during the game the dementors come onto the field. Harry produces a Patronus and knocks them all down. Harry then learns that they were just a couple of Slytherins (including Malfoy) trying to play a trick on Harry. That night, Sirius Black breaks into the Gryffindor common room. He got in because Neville left the passwords on his bed stand, and Sir Cadogan (the portrait filling in for the fat lady) let him in. A few days later, Hagrid talks to Harry and Ron about being nicer to Hermione.

On the next Hogmeade weekend, Harry meets Ron in Hogsmeade. When he returns, Snape says that he thinks Harry was in Hogsmeade, and gives the Marauders map to Lupin to look for dark magic in. After Lupin scolds Harry for leaving school, Hermione tells Harry that Buckbeak has been convicted guilty, and they have set a date for the execution.

Hermione is very stressed by all her work, and even slaps Malfoy for making fun of Hagrid. She also quits Divination (and Professor Trelawney’s prediction about somebody leaving in April) comes true. The next day, Gryffindor beats Slytherin and wins the Quiditch cup.

The exams finally come, and during Harry’s Divination exam Professor Trelawney makes a prediction. She predicts that Voldemort servant will return to him that night. Later that night Harry, Ron, and Hermione go down to see Hagrid before Buckbeak’s execution. Hermione discovers Scabbers (who Ron thought Crookshanks eat) in a milk jug. They leave, then Buckbeak is executed. On the way back to the castle, a giant black dog grabs Ron and drags him into the Whomping Willow. Harry, Hermione, and Crookshanks follow them. At the end of the tunnel, they are in the Shrieking Shack (the most haunted building in Britain located in Hogsmeade). The dog has turned into Sirius Black. The kids disarm black, and Harry tries to kill Black. Before he can, Lupin walks in and disarms Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The kids then think that Lupin has been helping Black get into the castle. Hermione then yells at Lupin because she has been keeping a secret; he is a werewolf.

The kids finally calm down; and Lupin explains everything. He says that he is a werewolf, and that he takes a potion Snape makes him that makes him harmless when he is a werewolf. He says that while he was a student, they planted the Whomping willow on the top of a passage to Hogsmeade. Lupin would then go into the shrieking shack and turn into a werewolf (because when he was a kid, they did not have the werewolf potion). He also says that his best friends Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew learned to turn into animals so that they could go with Lupin when he turned into a werewolf. Also, he explains that those were the 4 who made the Marauder’s map- and their nicknames at school were Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Pettigrew), Padfoot (Sirius Black), and Prongs (James Potter). Snape then appears from under Harry’s invisibility cloak (which he found outside the Whomping Willow) and tries to tie up Sirius to take to the dementors. Then, Harry, Ron, and Hermione disarm Snape and he goes unconscious.

Lupin then explains that the real betrayers of Harry’s parents was Peter Pettigrew, not Sirius Black. Sirius explains that he was the Potter’s secret keeper while the Potter’s were in hiding from Voldemort. A secret keeper is somebody in which somebody else’s secret is kept inside of them, and nobody else can know the secret unless the secret keeper tells them. He then explained that Peter Pettigrew became the Potter’s secret keeper secretly, and betrayed them to Voldemort. Sirius then explains that Ron’s rat Scabbers is Pettigrew in his rat form (he could change into an animal).

Lupin transforms Scabbers into Peter Pettigrew. They all go back up to the castle, but before they could, Lupin turns into a werewolf after forgetting to take his potion. Pettigrew then escapes, and Ron falls. Sirius then turns into the dog again, and drives Lupin (as a werewolf) into the forest. A swarm of dementors approach, and Sirius and Hermione pass out. They tried to form the dementor’s kiss (when they suck out the soul of a person) on Harry, but then a fully formed Patronus drives them all away. Harry thought that he saw his dad form it.

Harry then wakes up in the Hospital wing with Hermione and Ron. Harry hears Fudge and Snape talking about how the dementors will perform their kiss on Sirius soon. Harry says that he is innocent, but then Snape said that Black had brainwashed the kids. Dumbledore then enters the room, after talking to Sirius, and makes everybody else (except for Hermione, Harry, and Ron-who was still asleep) leave. Dumbledore tells Hermione to turn three times.

Hermione puts a chain around her and Harry’s neck, and they travel 3 hours back in time. Hermione tells Harry that this is a time turner, and it is how she had been getting to her classes all year. They watch their past selves go down to Hagrid’s, and then leave. After they leave, Fudge, Dumbledore, and the executioner go down to Hagrid’s hut. While in his hut, Harry grabs Buckbeak, and gets him out before they could kill him. They run into the forbidden forest and hide there while their past selves were in the Shrieking shack. Hermione explains that Harry could not do anything to change the past, such as grab the invisibility cloak before Snape got there.

While they are waiting for them to come down to the lake and the dementors to come, Harry waits for his dad to show up and conjure the Patronus. He waits, but his dad does not come. Harry then understands that it was he, and now his father who did the spell. Harry then runs to the lake and forms a fully formed Patronus, in the form of a stag (which was the animal shape that his father took). They then go with Buckbeak to save Sirius, who was in Professor Flitwick’s office before the dementors could get them. He then gets on Buckbeak and thanks Harry and Hermione for all of their help. Harry and Hermione go to the hospital wing before Dumbledore locks the door, and go back into their beds before anybody notices they were missing.

Snape and Fudge then realize that Sirius was missing, and Snape blames Harry for it. Fudge then says that Harry could not have done anything, because he has been in the Hospital wing the entire time. The next day, Harry learns that Lupin has resigned, because Snape told the Slytherins that Lupin was a werewolf, and parents would not want a werewolf to be teaching their children.
On the train ride home, Harry receives a letter from Sirius saying that he and Buckbeak have gone into hiding, and admits that he gave Harry the Firebolt. He also gives Harry a piece of paper giving Harry permission to visit Hogsmeade. The owl he send the letter with, he gives to Ron. At King’s Cross station, Ron invites Harry to come with him later in the summer. But until then, Harry is stuck with the Durlseys.