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“It was a colossal skull, comprised of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. As they watched, it rose higher and higher, blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, etched against the black sky like a new constellation. Suddenly, the wood all around them erupted with screams.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter #4
by J.K. Rowling
Harry is ecstatic to be attending the Quidditch World Cup with Ron and Hermione. While the match is spectacular, the appearance of Death Eaters casts a dark shadow over the event. While most people think that the old followers of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named were acting alone, Harry and a few others are concerned that odd happenings may mean something more sinister is coming.
If Harry thinks his troubles are over when he returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year, he is sorely mistaken. A magical tournament is taking place at Hogwarts with students from other magical schools coming to compete. Harry should have fun watching the tournament with Ron and Hermione—but someone secretly enters his name into the competition. Chosen as a school champion, Harry is forced to get past a dangerous myriad of monsters and challenges, all the while wondering who entered him into the tournament and if their goal is to make sure Harry ends up dead.
While Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is twice the length of the earlier books in the series, the book does not drag a bit! Fascinating new characters from other schools of magic, a once-in-a-lifetime tournament, and growing danger from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named make this an absolute page-turner. The length, action sequences, and sinister climax of this novel make Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a slightly more mature book than the last, as the series gradually grows in complexity throughout the seven books. While still appropriate for elementary readers in terms of content, the ending may scare more timid readers. It includes someone that Harry knows dying; he does not see the death, but he does see the body directly afterward.
A whirlwind of adventure and mystery, this is another must-read that will delight elementary to young adult readers so much that they will want to read it again and again.
- Ron says he will “go starkers” before wearing the dress robes that his mother bought him.
- Ron says his brother, “wouldn’t recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him.”
- Fleur kisses Harry and Ron on the cheek after they rescue her sister.
- A man is murdered by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. “There was a flash of green light, a rushing sound, and Frank Bryce crumpled. He was dead before he hit the floor.”
- Uncle Vernon panics and starts throwing things. “Uncle Vernon, who had lost control completely, seized a china figure from on top of the sideboard and threw it very hard at Mr. Weasley, who ducked, causing the ornament to shatter in the blasted fireplace.”
- A group of Death Eaters, former followers of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, attack some muggles (non-magical people). “High above them, floating along in midair, four struggling figures were being contorted into grotesque shapes . . . the smallest Muggle child . . . had begun to spin like a top, sixty feet above the ground, his head flopping limply from side to side.”
- As punishment, Professor Moody turns Malfoy into a ferret and bounces him up and down with his wand. “The ferret bounced higher and higher, squealing in pain.”
- Harry and his class learn about the forbidden curses in their Defense Against the Dark Art class. One is the Cruciatus Curse, which causes pain. Another is Avada Kedavra, the killing curse. The professor demonstrates the curses on a spider.
- During a verbal fight with Ron, Harry throws a badge at him. He “chucked it, as hard as he could, across the room. It hit Ron on the forehead and bounced off.”
- Harry is attacked by grindylows. “He kicked out, hard; finally, he felt his foot connect with a horned skull, and looking back, saw the dazed grindylow floating away.”
- After a shocking discovery, Hagrid receives hate mail. He says they included things like, “Yeh’re a monster an’ yeh should be put down.” And “Yer mother killed innocent people an’ if you had any decency you’d jump in a lake.” He says “They’re jus’ nutters” and says the best thing to do is to throw the letters away.
- When Karkaroff spits at Dumbledore, “Hagrid seized the front of Karkaroff’s furs, lifted him into the air, and slammed him against a nearby tree.”
- Harry hears Cedric being tortured, and then sees him, “jerking and twitching on the ground.”
- Cedric and Harry battle a gigantic spider. “He was lifted into the air in its front legs; struggling madly, he tried to kick it; his leg connected with the pincers and next moment he was in excruciating pain.”
- To revive He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, a spell of blood, bone, and flesh is used. “The surface of the grave at Harry’s feet cracked. Horrified, Harry watched as a fine trickle of dust rose into the air.” A Death Eater cuts off his own hand for the spell, though Harry closes his eyes during that part.
- He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named tortures several people, including Harry, with a forbidden curse. “It was pain beyond anything Harry had ever experienced; his very bones were on fire; his head was surely splitting along his scar; his eyes were rolling madly in his head; he wanted it to end . . . to black out . . . to die . . .”
- Cedric is killed. “A blast of green light blazed through Harry’s eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him . . . he opened his stinging eyes. Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead. For a second that contained an eternity, Harry stared into Cedric’s face, at his open gray eyes, blank and expressionless as the windows of a deserted house.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Mrs. Weasley drinks a cup of tea with a “shot of Ogdens Old Firewhiskey” after an emotionally fraught day.
- A team of giant, magical horses are said to only drink single-malt whiskey.
- The fat lady, one of the magical portraits in the castle, drinks a box of chocolate liqueurs.
- Winky, a house elf, starts drinking heavily after she is fired. “‘Winky is getting through six bottles a day now,’ Dobby whispered to Harry.”
- Damn and shut up are used a few times.
- Ron tells Malfoy to “eat dung.”
- During an event, Ron yells at a judge. “You lousy, biased scumbag!”
- The word git is used twice. For example, Ron calls his owl a “feathery git.”
- Harry Potter goes to a school of wizards and is a part of an entire world of magic. His studies include transfiguration, charms, and defense against the dark arts. He goes to school in a castle with talking portraits, singing coats of armor, and a poltergeist. He encounters dragons, merpeople, and Forbidden Curses. In short, Harry is surrounded by magic and supernatural occurrences every day of his life. As such, not all instances are listed here.
- Although the series revolves around magic, the story does not encourage children to try magic on their own. To cast a spell, wizards simply say a word and wave their wand. For example, saying luminos casts light.
- There are ghosts in the castle that behave like regular (although transparent) people. One of Harry’s teachers is even a ghost.
- A spell causes He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s wand to produce echoes of its most recent spells. As he killed several people, shadowy ghosts of those people appear briefly. “The smoky shadow of a tall man with untidy hair fell to the ground as Bertha had done, straightened up, and looked at him . . . and Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the ghostly face of his father.”
by Morgan Lynn