J.K. Rowling was a struggling single mother when she finished her first Harry Potter book with a grant from the Scottish Arts Council. That children's novel, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," earned the author a six-figure advance in the United States and quickly became a national bestseller.
About Book 3, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban": For 12 long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing 13 people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts ... he's at Hogwarts."
Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
Listen to an excerpt from "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" [Listening Library], read by Jim Dale.