Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Chapter 1 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

HPPoA BannerIn Chapter 1, we see how Harry fared over the summer with the Dursleys and see how he got to celebrate his 13th birthday. Let’s go!

This is weird, because I had this all typed up and ready to post on Friday, and I just . . . didn’t post it? Not sure what happened there. Oh well.

Yay for starting Prisoner of Azkaban!  I am very excited. I know this is many people’s favorite Harry Potter book and, while I don’t know for sure if it’s my favorite, I do enjoy it a lot. But then, the same could be said for all the books. I always say that my favorite Harry Potter book is whichever one I’m reading at the time.

This chapter (among others) makes me really, really dislike the Dursleys. So much. Harry is forced to do his summer homework in secret, hiding his books and quills under the floorboards of his bedroom, because if the Dursleys saw him working on his wizard stuff, they would probably lock him back up under the stairs again. Seriously, who acts like this towards a kid??? It’s ridiculous. Granted, the Dursleys got a bit spooked when they found out that Harry had given one of his friends their phone number so that they could talk over the school break. Poor Ron. He has no idea how a Muggle phone works, so he ended up shouting the whole time. Uncle Vernon was really, really, really, really angry. Really.

Also, as a side note, what school gives out summer homework? I’ve never had summer homework and neither have my kids. Is that a British thing maybe? Or just a fancy school thing?

This chapter also makes me love Hedwig even more than I already do. It’s after midnight, which means it’s Harry’s birthday! He is now 13 years old.

Yet another unusual thing about Harry was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his life. The Dursleys had completely ignored his last two birthdays, and he had no reason to suppose they would remember this one.


Here’s why I love Hedwig. Harry looks out the window and sees a strange shape flying towards him. Turns out it’s Hedwig and another owl propping up the Weasleys’ owl, Errol, between them. I’ll get to the other two, but Hedwig left and tracked down Hermione, who was on vacation with her family in France, to make sure that Harry would receive at least one birthday card.

How sweet is that!!

Hermione sent a broom servicing kit as a present, a great gift for any Quidditch enthusiast. Errol sent a card from Ron, along with a clip from the newspaper showing the Weasleys visiting their son, Bill, in Egypt because they had won some money in a contest. The other owl is from Hogwarts, bringing Harry his start of term letter along with a permission slip to go on school trips to the neighboring village of Hogsmede. Harry knows that getting the permission slip signed might be tricky, but he’s not going to worry about it now. There is also a present from Hagrid! Yay! Except . . .

Harry poked the parcel nervously. It snapped loudly again. Harry reached for the lamp on his bedside table, gripped it firmly in one hand, and raised it over his head, ready to strike. Then he seized the rest of the wrapping paper in his other hand and pulled.

And out fell – a book. Harry just had time to register its handsome green cover, emblazoned with the golden title The Monster Book of Monsters, before it flipped onto its edge and scuttled sideways along the bed like some weird crab.

Only Hagrid would think it was a good idea to send a living, breathing, growling book to a house full of Muggles.

Extremely unusual though he was, at that moment Harry Potter felt just like everyone else – glad, for the first time in his life, that it was his birthday.

Aw, Happy Birthday Harry!

See you next time for Chapter 2!

Categories: Chapter-A-Long

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