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    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (UK cover)

The Harry Potter Books

Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix

by J. K. Rowling

published June 21, 2003, Bloomsbury Books, Britain;
Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine Books, USA;
Raincoast Books, Canada
illustrations by Mary GrandPré, 2003 (U.S. version)

To Neil, Jessica, and David,
who make my world magical.

This is the fifth book of the series.
It is the seventh Harry Potter book released (counting the "school books").


word count:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - 257,045 words
Official Word Count Provided by Scholastic Inc TM & © 2004 - 1996. All rights reserved.

audio versions:

  • audiobooks
  • film (Warner Bros. - 2007)
  • video/DVD
  • video games (Electronic Arts)

related essays:

Mourning, by Marta T.
"Mourning" by Marta T. © 2003

facts & trivia:

  • Notes about the covers, from WEB LINKCBBC Newsround:
    • "The contents of the book are so secret that even the artist, illustrator Jason Cockcroft, wasn't allowed to read it before drawing the cover. Instead J K Rowling and her editor at Bloomsbury, Emma Matthewson, came up with the idea and then told the artist the kind of image they wanted them to create. The adult cover, designed by Bloomsbury's Design director William Webb, is from a photograph by Michael Wildsmith and again shows a phoenix."
    • Mary GrandPré once again illustrated the U.S. edition of the book. She was given the book to read in advance, a necessity since she drew chapter art as well as the cover.
  • JKR revealed the title of the book during the taping of the Today Show and verified it in (NR2).
  • This book is longer than GF by almost 70,000 words.
  • Order of the Phoenix sold, uh, rather well. This is from The Scotsman, 7 January 2004:
    • Potter's magical effect on U.K. book sales
    • LOOK at a graph of sales of all British books last year, and you notice a strange thing. In late June, there is a sudden blip. In fact, it's more of a Matterhorn.
    • A single book caused that. On 21 June alone, 1,679,753 copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were sold. One copy for every 35 people in these islands. Nothing remotely comparable has ever happened in British publishing - where the average novel sells a mere 2,000 copies - and perhaps nothing remotely comparable ever will. Until JK Rowling writes another, that is.
  • The title refers to a group who band together to fight Voldemort, the "Old Crowd" Dumbledore sent Sirius to call together at the end of Goblet of Fire. This group originally fought Voldemort during the 1970s and included James and Lily Potter, Frank and Alice Longbottom, and others. Many in this group were killed or, in the case of the Longbottoms, tortured.
  • The phoenix in this title may be a reference to Fawkes, Dumbledore's pet phoenix, whose tail feathers are embedded in the wands of both Harry and Voldemort. Fawkes seems to be playing an increasingly important role in the mythos.
  • Harry is in his fifth year at Hogwarts in this book, the events of which take place between July 31, 1995 [Y15] and the end of June, 1996 [Y16].
author's comments about the book:
  • From RAH:
    I had to put in some things because of what's to come in Books Six and Seven, and I didn't want anyone to say to me, "What a cheat. You never gave us clues." Because if I didn't mention certain things in Order of the Phoenix, you could have said: "Well, you sprang that on us." Whereas I want you to be able to guess, if you've got your wits about you. There are a few surprises coming.

  • From RAH:
    I think what I was trying to do with the death in this book was show how very arbitrary and sudden death is. This is a death where you didn't have a big death bed scene. It happened almost accidentally, and that is one of the very cruel things about death, and they're now in a war situation where that really does happen, where one minute you're talking to your friend and the next minute he's gone. It's so shocking and so inexplicable... "Where did they go?" I found it upsetting to write, because I knew what it would mean to Harry.

  • From WBD:
    Q: Regarding Harry's subconscious feelings, how [have they] changed from book 1 to book 5?
    A: Well, he's obviously been through a lot since book one, and book five was the book when he cracked up a little.

  • From RAH:
    Q: What do you think Harry would find more difficult to do: to fight Voldemort or to kiss Cho?
    A: People who have read Order of the Phoenix will have a fairly shrewd idea what the answer might be.


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