"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author:  J.K. Rowling
Publisher:  Scholastic Press, a Division of Scholastic Inc.
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 341
ISBN  0-439-06486-4
Genre: Children's/YA/Fantasy
Source:  Personal Copy

From the publisher:  In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts has been his worst summer ever… the Dursleys more distant and horrible than ever before. But just as he’s packing his bags to return to school, a creature named Dobby the house-elf announces that if Harry goes back to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And it turns out, Dobby is right.  Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express, so they fly to school in a blue Ford Anglia, crash landing in the notorious Whomping Willow.  Soon other worries accumulate:  the outrageously stuck-up new professor Gilderoy Lockhart; a ghost named Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girls' bathroom; the strange behaviour of Ron's little sister, Ginny Weasley; rumours about the 'Chamber of Secrets', a cavern buried deep below Hogwarts; and a magical diary owned by Tom Riddle, a Hogwarts student of long ago.

Harry is also shocked to discover that he can speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes - a rare ability that Lord Voldemort also possessed - and that anti-Muggle prejudice exists in the Wizarding world, even affecting Harry's friend Hermione.

But all of these seem like minor concerns when someone starts turning Hogwarts students to stone; an evildoer said to the be fearsome Heir of Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of the school.  Could it be Draco Malfoy, Harry's most poisonous rival?  Could it be Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally told?  Or could it be the one person everyone at Hogwarts most suspects:  Harry Potter himself?

My review:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a re-read for me and as enjoyable again as it was first time round.  The story of the boy who could not be killed continues as Harry and his friends Hermione and Ron begin their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Amidst warnings from Dobby the house elf that Harry must not return to Hogwarts, Harry returns to the school that feels more like a home than his home of the previous 11 years.  Then mysterious messages, voices only Harry can hear, and petrified people occur.  Something sinister is at work in Hogwarts.  Harry must find the culprit, not only to save his friends, but to clear his own name.

J.K. Rowling is a master story teller, whipping you right along, as pages fly; the story envelops you and before you know it, it is done.  There is no wonder that the Harry Potter series has become such a bestseller and the movies take over the box office as they are released.  Young and old alike find something within the story that they can relate to and Harry Potter's world of magic is the vehicle that takes you beyond the real world to a world where anything can happen and does.  Is there another writer that can compare?  I think not.  
Favourite Quote:  "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we really are, far more than our abilities." (Dumbledore speaking to Harry, page 333) 
Rated: 5/5

I am joining the Harry Potter Read Along 2011 at Giraffe Days.


  1. I really must get on the Harry Potter bandwagon and read these books. I haven't even really given the movies a serious go (Shock horror I know) but in a way I'm glad, I am prefer a book over a movie anyday. Followed you over from my blog, thanks for commenting! :)


  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

    I'm also doing this read-along! Although I haven't started Chamber of Secrets yet due to time constraints :( I'll get around to it eventually -- Chamber of Secrets is one of my favourites in the series!

  3. Love the Dumbledore quote! Now you are encouraging to pick this book up again :)

  4. That quote from Dumbledore is one of my favs of the whole series. Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite book in the series, but I still love it. What's your favorite book? Mine is Prisoner of Azkaban.

  5. C.J., definitely start with the books, when you do foray into the world of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling's writing sweeps you along and there is no age restriction on her books. Young and old alike are sure to enjoy them.

  6. Jinny and Alison, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite of them all. Two of the most interesting characters, those of Sirius Black and Professor Lupin, are introduced in this novel as well as the art of producing a personal "patronus". They are all good but if I had to choose a favourite, it would be that one.

  7. Sheila, I thought you were joining the read along? The next book, for August, is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    For anyone wanting to join in the Read Along, check out the post at www.giraffedays.com. See my post for the link.


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