REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry  Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Published: July 2, 1998

All Harry Potter wants is to get away from the Dursleys and go back to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby – who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone–or something–starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself.  -Goodreads

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not one of my favorites of the series, but it is not my least favorite. I struggle with the first two books, I think, because the characters are so young and I want the real action to start. I know there is action and adventure, but once you read the entire series, the first ones seem so minor in comparison. However, there are some of my favorite characters in this book and I believe it is an important book in the series because it gives you background on Lord Voldemort, Hagrid, Hermione, Draco, and the wizarding world as a whole. I will start by listing some of my favorite parts of the book and quotes. I do give this book FIVE STARS though because of JK Rowling’s amazing writing style, character development, descriptions, and overall storytelling.

What I love:

  • Dobby! He is a beloved favorite of most HP fans. He’s hilarious, innocent, and vulnerable. You can’t help but root for him.
  • One of the reasons I love Harry is because he is so kind to all of the people he comes across, unless given reason to not be nice, then he stands up for himself. He cared for Dobby, even though he kept getting hurt. Colin Creevey was a star-struck first year who was annoying, but Harry humored him. Rowling does a great job shaping Harry as a kind and brave character.
  • I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the inequalities and tension felt among “Muggle Born” and “Pureblood” wizards. I made a connection with America’s history with interracial marriages and how we face discrimination today. Rowling has a message about how to treat those “different” than ourselves and it is seen throughout the series. We are all equal. *steps off soap box*
  • Flying car!
  • Whomping Willow
  • Aragog
  • Ginny Weasley
  • Gilderoy Lockhart

Quotes:

  • “Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but of your goodness, Dobby never knew…”-Dobby, the house elf
  • “Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts.” -Dobby, the house elf
  • “…Harry looked out for the first time at Ron’s house. It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigpen, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several stories high and so crooked it looked as though it were held up by magic (which, Harry reminded himself, it probably was.) Four or five chimneys were perched on top of the red roof. A lopsided sign in the ground near the entrance read, THE BURROW. Around the front door lay a jumble of rubber boots and a very rusty cauldron. Several fat brown chickens were pecking their way around the yard. ‘It’s not much,’ said Ron. ‘It’s wonderful,’ said Harry happily, thinking of Privet Drive.”
  • “Of all the trees we could’ve hit, we had to get one that hits back.” -Ron
  • “‘Because that’s what Hermione does,’ said Ron, shrugging. ‘When in doubt, go to the library.'”-Ron
  • “‘Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”-Mr. Weasley
  • “‘However, said Dumbledore, speaking very slowly and clearly so that none of them could miss a word, ‘you will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.'”-Albus Dumbledore
  • “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”-Albus Dumbledore.

Recommendation

Obviously, this book is for those who loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I also believe those who love friendship, words of wisdom, humorous writing, magic, and mythical creatures will enjoy this book as well.

Have you read HP and the Chamber of Secrets? Who was your favorite character? What did you love? Do you struggle with any of these books in this series?

Happy Reading!

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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