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New Potter tome garners straight As

We asked four Portland area readers to give us their assessment of J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,' the fifth and latest book in the series. The book, released June 21, has made publishing history by already selling more than 5 million copies.

Name: Tate Murray

Age: 11

Job: Sixth-grader at Forest Hills Elementary, Lake Oswego

Your grade for the book: I give it an A; it's really good, really suspenseful.

How many pages have you read? I'm almost done; I'm on page 811.

Is the book worth $30? Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

How does the book compare with the other four books? I think it's the best one yet, because I really like adventure and suspense and it has both.

Your general comment: It's better because it's more suspenseful and it's scarier and there's a lot more action and adventure. Harry's also getting older and he's facing a lot more than he is in the other books. He's also trying to understand the girl that he likes, so he's having girl trouble.

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Name: Colleen Lawler

Age: 19

Job: Second-year student at University of Oregon

Your grade for the book: I give this book an A.

How many pages have you read? 598

Is the book worth $30? This book is definitely worth the $30.

How does the book compare with the other four books? With every book that Rowling writes, she steps it up a level in language and intensity. Rowling knows her audience can handle more, and she shows it. I do not think this book is any greater than the others; they are all spectacular in their own way. Book five is just a step up again, and it works.

Your general comment: Rowling has done it again with book five. I think this book exceeds expectations. Book five is just as compelling as the ones before it. Once again, this book is nearly impossible to put down. I cannot wait to finish.

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Name: Alex Williams

Age: 38

Job: President and founder of DecisionCast Inc.

Your grade for the book: A

How many pages have you read? Through Chapter 5

Is the book worth $30? Yes!

How does the book compare with the other four books? I find it just as magical, though a bit darker than the others, which is just fine.

Your general comment: As darkness falls over the world of muggles and wizards, the characters really come to light. Harry is angry and frustrated, ready to pick a fight. And although they are as horrible as always, J.K. Rowling is revealing the Dursleys, and especially Aunt Petunia, as people who care just as much for each other as any family does. Overall, the book is getting off to a great start.

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Name: Carolyn Tesar

Age: 46

Job: Letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service

Your grade for the book: I would rate this book an A, absolutely.

How many pages have you read? The whole thing. It took me two days to read the book when I could get it away from my daughter.

Is the book worth $30? The book is definitely worth $30.

How does the book compare with the other four books? In my opinion, each book has been better than the last and this is my favorite so far.

Your general comment: It's very entertaining. Rowling's character development offers a lot of new insight into the wizarding world. I was introduced to the books by my daughter and have been hooked ever since. You thought you knew the characters well already, and it's interesting to see the way the author has had them mature. Harry acts exactly like a teenager. It's definitely a lot darker and more suspenseful than any of the previous books.

Tribune staff