Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

This week, Marshmallow continues her repeat journey through the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and reviews the fourth book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The version she is writing about below is the gloriously illustrated edition, with illustrations by Jim Kay.

For Marshmallow’s reviews of the earlier books see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Marshmallow also reviewed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, written as a sequel to the whole series.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about magic and school, or enjoyed the earlier books or any of the movies in the Harry Potter series, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Harry Potter is a fourteen-year-old boy who discovered his wizard identity on his eleventh birthday and has ever since been attending Hogwarts, a school for young wizards. This fourth book about Harry’s adventures in and around Hogwarts starts with the murder of an old Muggle, which is the word wizards use for people who don’t have magic. The Muggle is murdered by Harry’s archnemesis, Lord Voldemort, and Harry sees the whole event in a dream. Lord Voldemort is in a large house that Harry does not recognize, but he does recognize one of Lord Voldemort’s accomplices: Peter Pettigrew, who, as we all learned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was the traitor who betrayed his parents. 

On a happier note, Harry is going to be visiting his friend, Ronald Weasley, and watching a Quidditch game with Ron’s whole family and their friend Hermione. However, after the game, Death Eaters, servants of Lord Voldemort, attack the camping grounds for the game and set the Dark Mark, the symbol of Lord Voldemort, in the sky. 

Marshmallow is reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow is reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

When Harry returns to Hogwarts for the new school year, he learns that the Triwizard Tournament is being held. The Triwizard Tournament, which had not been held for a while due to it being extremely dangerous, is a tournament in which three students, one from Hogwarts, one from a wizarding school in France named Beauxbatons Academy, and one from another wizard school in northern Europe named Durmstrang Institute. These students compete in trials and the winner receives the Triwizard Cup and a lot of money. Students who are eligible (they need to be seventeen or older) put their names in to the Goblet of Fire, and the Goblet will select the champions.

In the end, Cedric Diggory from Hufflepuff, one of the houses at Hogwarts, is selected, along with Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, and Viktor Krum from Durmstrang. (Viktor is also a famous Quidditch player and we had heard about him before when watching the quidditch game when the Dark Mark had appeared.) Surprisingly, the Goblet also selects Harry, who did not put his name in, nor is eligible because he is too young. However, the judges decide that he will have to compete.

The Triwizard Tournament has always been extremely dangerous, and now, given the impending return of Lord Voldemort, Harry faces more danger than he can imagine. 

Marshmallow is still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow is still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a great book and makes a great fourth book to the Harry Potter series. The author J. K. Rowling created an amazing world and we continue to learn more about it in this book. Something that really adds to the pleasure of reading these books is all the details that she adds. 

The particular version that I chose to read for this review is the illustrated one, by Jim Kay. The drawings are amazing! There are almost no pages that don’t have a special background related to the story, or a drawing or two in the corner. Sometimes there are pages that are all pictures, beautiful, eerie, haunting, whatever is needed at that point of the story. 

Some of the illustrations reminded me of the movie, which too was pretty awesome. Here is the trailer for it in case you are interested in checking it out:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Original Theatrical Trailer (2005).

The plot is very well written. There are some twists and turns that one would not expect, but the evidence is all in the story. Sprinkles tells me that this was the most moving book in the series for her. It is also one of the longest (only the fifth book is longer). But it is definitely worth the read.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay 100%.
Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Marshmallow has been slowly going through the Harry Potter books, rereading the illustrated versions and reviewing them for the book bunnies blog. See for example her reviews of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the first two books in the series. Today she wanted to write about the third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about magic and school, and especially if you enjoyed the previous Harry Potter books, or any of the movies from the series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Harry Potter, a thirteen-year-old wizard, has been attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for two years and is going to be starting his third year soon. At Hogwarts, third-years are allowed to go to Hogsmeade, a wizard town, but students must have permission from their guardians. Unfortunately, Harry’s guardians, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, don’t like anything to do with magic. They like to think of themselves as ordinary and hate anything that is not. Harry and Uncle Vernon strike a deal. If Harry behaves around Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge, who is coming to visit for a week, Uncle Vernon will sign the permission slip. Aunt Marge hates Harry and treats him terribly, like everyone else, but Harry agrees to try to behave himself, meaning no “funny stuff”. By “funny stuff”, Uncle Vernon means that Harry won’t use magic. Aunt Marge does not know that Harry is a wizard and believes that he attends St. Brutus’s Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys. 

Until the last day, Harry behaves. Marge loves to criticize him for anything, but Harry endures it, until she starts insulting Harry’s parents. She says that his father was “a no-account, good-for-nothing, lazy scrounger”. Harry says that that is wrong, and Uncle Vernon tries to change the subject and tells Harry to go to his room. However Marge wants to hear what he said. They start arguing and Marge starts swelling. She inflates like a balloon, and starts rising. Harry runs away, but little does he know that he is in great danger, being alone. Even the Muggles know that there is a dangerous criminal at large, but they don’t know that he is a violent criminal who has escaped from the inescapable wizard prison of Azkaban. What’s more, he is after Harry. 

Marshmallow is reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow is reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that this is one of the best Harry Potter books. I like The Prisoner of Azkaban’s plot, because it explains a lot about Harry’s past, and the event that made him famous in the wizarding world. There are some twists in the plot, like who the main bad guy is, but I won’t spoil any more. 

I think that the characters are also well written: they are realistic and relatable. My favorite character is Hermione Granger, one of Harry’s best friends at Hogwarts. Hermione is really hard-working and smart. All of J. K. Rowling’s characters have unique and distinct personalities. 

I read the illustrated edition this time, and it has not only beautiful drawings, but also other interesting pages. Some of the pages are full with information about animals mentioned in the book. These pages also have detailed drawings of the creature being described. And on pages without illustrations, the background is a related pattern, or, on one page, the wrapper of a chocolate bar.

This book has been made into a movie which I have watched several times and I still enjoy. The trailer is below:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Official Trailer #1 – (2004) from YouTube.

One of the special things about J. K. Rowling’s books is that she takes care of all of the details, which helps to create a completely believable world for Harry. Also, the details sometimes tie into the main plot, and very neatly too. All of the books in the Harry Potter series are amazing, and The Prisoner of Azkaban is no exception. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay 100%.
Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Both Marshmallow and Caramel are keen readers of graphic novels and they have both reviewed a handful of them for this blog. In particular Marshmallow has reviewed two books by Raina Telgemeier in 2020; you can check out her reviews of Ghost (2016) and the graphic novel version of Ann N. Martin’s Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) (2006). Today she decided to talk about another book by Telgemeier, the 2012 book Drama.

Marshmallow reviews Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about school, or you like to think about theatre and plays and performances in school, or if you like graphic novels and have especially enjoyed books by Raina Telgemeier, like Ghosts, for example, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Seventh grader Callie is on the stage crew as set designer for this year’s production of Moon over Mississippi, with her best friend, Liz, who is in charge of the costumes. However, she is having issues with her friendships. Also, the school has a limited budget for the performance, so she is restricted in terms of the set pieces she can make. She wants to have a cannon for example, but their budget will allow for only two sets. 

Callie loves theater and she would try out, but she is unable to sing. However, she makes friends with a pair of twins, Jesse and Justin, one of whom, Justin, is trying out for the leading man. The other twin, Jesse, can sing but wants to give his brother a chance to shine. Unfortunately, when the results come out, Justin does not get the leading role. He gets one of the other roles, Colonel Scrimshaw; Justin is very disappointed. Also, Bonnie, a girl Callie does not like, gets the leading woman role. This creates some issues in terms of the cast and the stage crew. 

Also the cannon Callie wanted so much is not working out, as the confetti poppers they are using fails the first time. Callie has to deal with complicated sets, and complications in her social life. Can Callie get Moon over Mississippi up and running?

Marshmallow is reading Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Review: This book is written in a different way than is usual. The characters are actually in a play, themselves. The book is written as if we are seeing the scenes of the play; only in between them, we see the author and the audience. I thought it was interesting that the characters were creating a play, as they performed in one themselves, and it worked really well for me.

According to the Wikipedia article for it, Drama was the seventh most banned book of the 2010-2019 decade in the United States. This seems to be due to the fact that two of Callie’s good friends are gay and they are portrayed in a positive way, which some parents believe children should not be exposed to. However I thought the gay characters were portrayed just as all the others were, and things flowed naturally and realistically. Just like To Night Owl From Dogfish, which also had some gay characters without making the whole story about gender identity or sexual orientation (which might make things more contentious for some), Drama tells a good, compelling story about a bunch of middle schoolers, who are diverse in many ways, and is worth the read.

As the story is about middle school, Drama might be more appropriate for bunnies older than 9. Also there is some falling in love and having crushes stuff going on, and younger bunnies will most likely not find that too exciting.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Drama by Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Drama by Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Caramel reviews N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley

Today Caramel wanted to review a book he discovered in his classroom library: N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, written by Michael Buckley. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley.
Caramel reviews N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me a bit about this book.

Caramel:The book is about a secret organization called N.E.R.D.S. It is an acronym, for National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society.

S: That’s a funny way to open up the word “nerds”. So this secret society, is it made up of children?

C: Yes, and they are all nerds.

S: What does that mean?

C: I think it means someone who is super-smart.

S: And sometimes it comes with connotations of socially awkward and inept, because people occasionally use the term in a derogatory way.

C: But the nerds in this book are pretty cool. They have super cool gadgets.

S: Ooh, that sounds interesting. Tell me more.

C: For example there is a character called Jackson Jones, who is wearing braces, but the braces can change into weapons and anything else he needs at the time. Then there is Duncan Dewey who can shoot glue out of his hands. He can also stick to walls and so can climb walls. He can also climb on the ceiling.

S: Those are some super cool tools and gadgets really. The characters seem to be nerdy but also kind of like superheroes, right?

C: Yes. And they solve crimes together.

S: But they are school children, aren’t they? How does this crime-fighting fit into their school lives?

C: There is a fire alarm that they set off and they sneak away without anyone noticing they are gone.

S: Hmm, not a very respectable thing to do, setting off an alarm like that, but maybe they are doing very important work. So tell me, what kinds of crimes do they fight?

C: They are fighting evil people, like people who kidnap scientists and so on. So in this book a few scientists have been kidnapped, and they try to get the scientists back.

S: Oooh, that sounds serious!

C: Yes it is.

Caramel is reading N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley.
Caramel is reading N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley.

S: So I saw you read this book really fast. There are lots of pictures in it, and I could see that the book could be appealing to you from how it started. Can you read the dedication page to our readers?

C: Okay, here it is:

For dorks, dweebs, geeks, spazzes, waste cases, and nerds everywhere. Some day you too will change the world.

S: So this book is written to inspire kids who see themselves as outcasts in a way.

C: I guess it could be. But it is also really really funny. And the mystery is very interesting.

S: I can tell you really enjoyed the book. Do you think you will read the next one in the series? Apparently there are a total of five books.

C: Yes. I want to read them all!

S: That’s very good. So tell me your three words to describe the book then, and we can wrap up this review.

C: Fun, funny, and adventurous.

S: That sounds neat! And what else do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley, and is looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Caramel enjoyed reading N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, by Michael Buckley, and is looking forward to reading the next book in the series.