Author J.K. Rowling
City and Publisher Vancouver: Raincoast Books
Teaser/Reader Annotation Between the crazy new professor and reinstatement of a Tournament that has not been successfully played in centuries, Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts is one he will never forget.
Plot Summary As Harry Potter enters his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry he has been haunted by an unusual dream concerning Lord Voldemort, Wormtail, and the murder of a muggle caretaker named Frank. This is only the beginning of what turns out to be a strange and treacherous school year for Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament, an event canceled centuries previous when the death toll rose too high. Instead of three of age witches and wizards from the three schools, however, a fourth name was drawn from the Goblet of Fire – Harry Potter. Despite the irregularity of the situation, the Goblet has spoken, and Harry must compete in the three tasks of the Tournament while trying to survive his Defense Against the Dark Arts class and their crazy new professor, 'Mad Eye' Moody the paranoid ex-Aurora. All the while, the threat of Voldemort looms over the wizarding world.
Critical Evaluation Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series and is the first to truly introduce the darkness that marks the last half of the series. There is a significant amount of character development that happens with the main characters in this book. We see them transitioning from the children they were in the previous books to the young adults they will become. Readers follow along through the awkward first dance and the first hints of puberty, and the confusion that comes with it, in the adolescent characters. Her writing style has also improved significantly by this point in the series; the level of detail in both scene and plot descriptions has increased dramatically, and readers are pulled even further into the whimsical world. There is also a great deal of foreshadowing woven into the literature, both by use of metaphor and plot positioning. The fourth book in the series is when the pieces on the chessboard are truly beginning to move into play.
About the Author J.K. Rowling was born July 31, 1965 in Gloucestershire, England. The story of her conception of the Harry Potter series is one of the most talked about events in the literary world. She reportedly thought of the idea on a train trip to London in 1990 and spent the formative years of the writing process scribbling ideas onto napkins and scrap pieces of paper. While she was writing the first novel she was living on welfare and attempting to care for her young child, struggling through a bad divorce. The experiences she went through in that time greatly shaped the themes and characters in the novels.
Since the publication of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1995) she has become a multimillionaire and one of the most influential celebrities in the world. In 2007, Time Magazine ranked her as runner up for Person of the Year for the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. Having written seven books and overseen their adaptations into movies, Rowling is taking a break and dedicating time and money to charities.
Primary Genre Fantasy
Curriculum Ties None
Arrange a series of tables with crafts and activities representing the different challenges of the Triwizard Tournament.
Reading Level/Interest Age While this is a darker book than the ones that came previously, it is still off interest and reading level for younger readers, through all teenage years, and greatly enjoyable for adults as well.
Challenge Issues While this book could come under fire for the promotion of witchcraft, it would be hard for the Christian Right to get it pulled from young adult shelves for that reason. I would remind them that it is against ALA and library policy to censor ideas. Altogether, it is not an offensive book.
Why is it included? This was a book a read repeatedly as a young adult and still enjoy today.