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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale

Unabridged Audiobook: 19 hours on 17 Compact Disks
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter is in his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and along with his friends, Ron, Hermione and Ginny, learning to use new magical skills and potions and spells to achieve his goals. In his quest to defend the wizard world against the evil forces of Lord Valdemort and to learn more about the boy who became the murderous villain, Harry is aided by private instruction from Professor Dumbledore. Although it seems that he is also being helped by the mysterious Half-Blood Prince, disaster strikes, and Harry learns once more that things are not always what they appear.

This audio book will not disappoint the Harry Potter fans who have eagerly awaited its release. The author is so skilled at incorporating the characters and the events from the prior 5 books into this 6th book in the series, that even a first time listener can enthusiastically follow the plot, understanding the elements of the mystery and the motives of the players. Although promoted as a book for children, it easily holds the interest of adults as well. While the action is straightforward, the development of the characters and the various themes will appeal to the more sophisticated reading tastes of teen and adult listeners.

James Dale's performance is magical and masterful. He brings each of the characters to life with his or her own distinct voice, giving Ginny a wistful innocence and Snape a sinister presence. Just as reading to children is a proven method of improving reading skills, listening to books is important, too. The listener's imagination is engaged as the spoken words serve to create images, developing thinking skills and strengthening vocabulary. The packaging of this set of compact disks is particularly appealing. Each of the five folders and their disks is color-coded and marked with large numbers, making it easy for children to find and replace disks.

We recommend this book with the highest praise. It's not only an engrossing story with strongly defined characters, it's an entertaining performance by a skilled actor. We join the millions of fans who look forward to the next Harry Potter adventure. This book is perfect for family road trips, because it will appeal to all ages of travelers.

John Mormon & Ruth Mormon

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