Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Novel

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Released on July 8, 1999, in the UK and September 8, 1999, in the US, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book in the Harry Potter series. It has 22 chapters and is 317 pages long in the UK and 435 pages long in the US.

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.

– Back cover description

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Of the first three books in the series, Prisoner of Azkaban took one year to write, which was the shortest amount of time in comparison - Sorcerer's Stone took five years to complete, and Chamber of Secrets required two years. Rowling's favorite aspect of this book was introducing the character Remus Lupin. Rowling said that Prisoner of Azkaban was "the best writing experience I ever had... I was in a very comfortable place writing three. Immediate financial worries were over, and press attention wasn't yet by any means excessive." Prisoner of Azkaban sold more than 68,000 copies in the UK within two days of publication.

The audiobook in the US is read by Jim Dale and in the UK by Stephen Fry.


Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts is anything but quiet in Prisoner of Azkaban. He accidentally causes his Aunt Marge to inflate when she visits the Dursleys during the summer and is picked up by the Knight Bus when he leaves the house in anger. He reads about Sirius Black, who has escaped from prison, and later learns that Black may be after Harry.

On the way to Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are introduced to Remus Lupin when the new professor saves Harry from Dementors with a piece of chocolate. Later on, he is helped into Hogsmeade by the Marauder's map, given to Harry Fred and George Weasley. The map is written by Moony, Prongs, Wormtail, and Padfoot and leads him through a secret passageway into the village.

Harry will later learn that this quartet is no other than his father, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and the traitorous Peter Pettigrew. For the rest of the year, Harry Potter unravels the mystery of Sirius Black and his parents' deaths.


To Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely, the godmothers of Swing.

Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely were J.K. Rowling's flatmates when she lived in Portugal. They used to visit a club/restaurant called Swing regularly. Because they spent so much time there, Jo called themselves its godmothers.


Awards Won

  • FCBG Children’s Book Award 1998 Overall winner in Longer Novel Category
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2000
  • ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, 2000
  • Booklist Editors' Choices, 1999
  • The Booksellers Association/The Bookseller Author of the Year 2000
  • Bram Stoker Award, Work for Young Readers (Horror)
  • British Book Awards 1999 Author of the Year
  • CBC Not Just for Children Anymore! List
  • CCBC Choices 2000: Fiction for Children
  • Friends of Libraries USA Readers' Choice Award, 1999 Locus Award
  • Los Angeles Times Best Book of 1999
  • Maine Student Book Award
  • National Council of Teachers of English: Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, 2000
  • Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Gold Award, 9–11 Years, 1999
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Platinum Award
  • Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1999
  • Voice of Youth Advocates: Books in the Middle, Outstanding Titles of 1999
  • W. H. Smith Children's Book of the Year Award
  • Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001
  • Whitbread Children's Book Prize, 1999
  • Wisconsin Educational Media Association Golden Archer Award (Intermediate), 2001


  • 2000 Hugo Award Nominee: Best Novel
  • Carnegie Medal Shortlist 1999
  • Guardian Children's Fiction Prize Nominee
  • New York State Children's Choice Award Nominee
Illustrated Edition

The illustrated edition of Prisoner of Azkaban was released on October 3, 2017, by Bloomsbury and Scholastic. It features over 115 color illustrations provided by award-winning artist Jim Kay. The cover of the hardcover edition depicts Harry's first encounter with the purple triple-decker Knight Bus. The cover of the UK illustrated paperback edition, to be released on November 12, 2020, depicts a different version of the same image. The hardcover edition also includes a ribbon marker and illustrated endpapers. 



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Deluxe Illustrated Edition

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Released on October 3, 2017 by Bloomsbury and Scholastic, the deluxe illustrated edition of Prisoner of Azkaban features a blue cloth cover and a slipcase adorned with gold foil-stamped artwork by Jim Kay. This edition also includes special features such as premium-grade paper with gilt edges, an exclusive pull-out double gatefold, and two ribbon bookmarks.

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