In her 2005 of Book No. 6 – "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" – Monitor critic Yvonne Zipp wrote that "it's nice to see that Harry's turning out so well."
"His (admittedly justifiable) sullen anger from 'Order of the Phoenix' is gone," she noted, "and in its place is a determination to enjoy life."
"The first two-thirds of the novel focus mostly on life at Hogwarts," Zipp summarizes. "After the battle at the Ministry of Magic that ended 'Order of the Phoenix,' Harry, Ron, and Hermione try to resume lives as ordinary teenage wizards, albeit amid heightened security and a seemingly never-ending series of tragic headlines in the Daily Prophet.... It's hard to focus on Quidditch when you're convinced that there's at least one Death Eater among the student body."
Again, she warns, adults might want to be cautious about handing this one to very young readers."Several of the scenes are pretty tough going, and one of the characters killed is dearly loved," Zipp writes. "Parents might find it helpful to read the book first and make sure that their young reader can handle the material. (They'll also need to provide hugs at the end.)"
The film version of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" generally received positive reviews. Perhaps the most heartening for the film's director came from the author herself. J.K. Rowling said that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was her "favourite one" of the six film adaptations.