This book is really where the series begins to take off and set itself apart from the typical young adult novel. I read the books as they came out, but remember not getting really into the series until this volume came along.
Harry just turned thirteen and is a typically frustrated teenager. To be honest though, he has more reason to be bitter against his family than most. While enduring a visit with Uncle Vernon’s sister, Harry accidently inflates he like a balloon and runs off into the night to avoid getting his wand taken from him for improperly using magic. Fortunately for him, the Ministry of Magic is much more concerned about his safety than a silly little thing like blowing up his aunt.
You see, they are worried about a recently escaped prisoner, Sirius Black, who betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort and is presumably after Harry. Harry has all of the typical school stuff to deal with plus the ever-present threat of assassination by Black or the dementors, wizarding prison guards. Though at this point people trying to kill him is old news. As long as he can still play Quidditch he will be okay.
I love this book because we get more of the backstory for his parents and get introduced to one of my favorite characters, Professor Lupin. But to be honest my favorite part of the book is Wood slowly losing his mind over Quidditch. It’s priceless.