Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Those needing a hit of magic, morality and mystical worlds can do no better than opening Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets...Older readers will be able to bite into these meaty themes of racism and suspicion of stangers. But younger readers and those looking for the simple pleasures of a delightful read will be thrilled to be back at the fabulously witchy world of Hogwarts. —Cathy Hainer
USA Today


Harry Potter fans will be positively thrilled with this continuation of his trials and tribulations of growing up as a young wizard caught between the supernatural and muggle (real people) worlds. Whisked away in a flying car near the end of a confining, torturous summer with the Dursleys, Harry returns to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. He does this despite numerous warnings and obstacles from about his potential doom. The legend of the Chamber of Secrets appears to be a reality. Petrified school mates, a bathroom ghost named Moaning Myrtle, the reference library, a diary and super-sleuthing lead a familiar cast of characters through this fast-paced who-dunnit. New readers unfamiliar with the previous adventure will be just as enthralled with this fantasy-adventure-mystery tale.
Children's Literature


Fans of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Scholastic, 1998) won't be disappointed when they rejoin Harry, now on break after finishing his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Reluctantly spending the summer with the Dursleys, his mean relatives who fear and detest magic, Harry is soon whisked away by his friends Ron, Fred, and George Weasley, who appear at his window in a flying Ford Anglia to take him away to enjoy the rest of the holidays with their very wizardly family. Things don't go as well, though, when the school term begins. Someone, or something, is (literally) petrifying Hogwarts' residents one by one and leaving threatening messages referring to a Chamber of Secrets and an heir of Slytherin. Somehow, Harry is often around when the attacks happen and he is soon suspected of being the perpetrator. The climax has Harry looking very much like Indiana Jones, battling a giant serpent in the depths of the awesome and terrible Chamber of Secrets. Along with most of the teachers and students introduced in the previous book, Draco Malfoy has returned for his second year and is more despicable than ever. The novel is marked throughout by the same sly and sophisticated humor found in the first book, along with inventive, new, matter-of-fact uses of magic that will once again have readers longing to emulate Harry and his wizard friends. —Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
School Library Journal


With a year at Hogwarts School under his belt, Harry expects the new term to go smoothly, but a wizard's share of surprises and adventures await the likable lad and his friends. Rowling works her magic and leaves readers begging for more.
Library Journal


The mystery, zany humor, sense of a traditional British school (albeit with its share of ghosts, including Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom), student rivalry, and eccentric faculty, all surrounded by the magical foundation so necessary in good fantasy, are as expertly crafted here as in the first book. Fans who have been thirsting for this sequel will definitely not feel any disappointment. In fact, once they have read it, they will be lusting for the next. —Sally Estes
Booklist


This sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998) brings back the doughty young wizard-in-training to face suspicious adults, hostile classmates, fretful ghosts, rambunctious spells, giant spiders, and even an avatar of Lord Voldemort, the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, while saving the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a deadly, mysterious menace. Ignoring a most peculiar warning, Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a dreadful summer with his hateful guardians, the Dursleys, and is instantly cast into a whirlwind of magical pranks and misadventures, culminating in a visit to the hidden cavern where his friend Ron's little sister Ginny lies, barely alive, in a trap set by his worst enemy. Surrounded by a grand mix of wise and inept faculty, sneering or loyal peers—plus an array of supernatural creatures including Nearly Headless Nick and a huge, serpentine basilisk—Harry steadily rises to every challenge, and though he plays but one match of the gloriously chaotic field game Quidditch, he does get in plenty of magic and a bit of swordplay on his way to becoming a hero again. Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPre's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of broad boarding school farce and high fantasy.
Kirkus Reviews

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