At my library, we just finished hosting book discussions for each of the seven Harry Potter books. Upon searching the internet for discussion questions however, I really didn’t find that many that suited my purpose. So I crafted some of my own, and some I found on the Scholastic website, and I thought I’d share them with everyone. Our third book discussion for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had a lot of repeat patrons, with myself and two parent volunteers leading the discussion with almost 30 young patrons ranging in age from eight to thirteen years old. I’ll post the rest of the questions for the remainder of the books in the following weeks.
1. Oliver Wood puts a lot of pressure on his team to win the Quidditch Cup because it’s his last year. Do you think it’s fair that he is so hard on his team, especially since he’s the goal keeper and not able to score or find the snitch himself?
2. Almost immediately after meeting Professor Trelawney, Hermione expresses her dislike in her and disinterest in the subject in Divination. Professor Trelawney even tells Hermione that “from the moment you arrived in this class my dear it has been apparent that you do not have what the noble art of Divination requires.” (298)
- Why do you think Hermione doesn’t like Divination, when she likes all her other classes? Is Ron right when he tells Hermione “You just don’t like being bad at something for a change!” (111)
- Do you think she should have gotten out of the class earlier than she did? Why?
3. Does Hermione try to do too many things at once? Why do you think she signs up for all those classes in the first place? Is she the responsible one amongst the trio of friends? If so, does she regret or relish her role and if not, who is the responsible one?
4. It seems like Ron and Hermione spend half the book not talking to each other, either because Hermione turned in Harry’s broom or because Ron thought Crookshanks had eaten Scabbers. Hermione accuses Harry of always siding with Ron. Knowing what Harry knew at the time the fights happened, who would you have sided with and why? In other words, you don’t know that Sirius sent the broom and you don’t know Scabbers is really alive.
5. Do you think Harry should have been told that Sirius was his godfather and the events that led to his arrest before he overheard them being discussed? Should Hagrid and the others have been discussing this secret in such an open place as the Three Broomsticks? Would that knowledge have affected the way Harry acted after finding out about Sirius’s escape and when confronting everyone under the Whomping Willow?
6. Sirius’s ability to turn into a dog saved his life from the Dementors. Do you think he still would have been able to escape if he hadn’t had that ability? Do the animals that Sirius, Peter, and James turn into fit what you know about their personalities?
7. If you had the option of turning into an animal, what would you chose to become and why?
8. Sirius doesn’t deny killing Harry’s parents because he holds himself responsible for convincing them to change the secret keeper to Pettigrew. Who else in the story expresses regret in their role in how events played out? Do you think things would have changed?
9. Harry chooses not to kill Pettigrew, even though he was the one responsible for killing Harry’s parents by revealing their location to Voldemort. Why do you think he wanted to send Pettigrew to Azkaban instead? Would you have made the decision?
10. Sirius tells Harry that he is “truly his father’s son”. What does he mean by that? What are some similarities and differences between Harry and his father?