Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #2
Published On: June 2, 1999
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
The Short, Sweet, and Spoiler-Free Blurb:
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the 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.
My favorite thing about this book is how we get to see that wizards and Muggles are much the same. Mr. Weasley actually thinks that Muggles are fasinating and even “magical” in their own way. It’s a nice little theme that I only picked up since it was my third time reading it. It’s a subtle contrast to the “Muggle-born” hate the goes along with the opening of the Chamber of Secrets.
And enter Lockhart – the fun, semi-villain. He’s fun to make fun of and laugh at but I think he represents a villan that we are more likely to encounter in real life or even become ourselves if we’re not careful. He’s selfish, vain and will do anything to get ahead including hurting others.
Honestly, this book gave me chills when I first read it. I was not expecting what I considered to be a “kids” book to be scary. I had to finish it in one night so I could sleep. If I didn’t find out how Harry got rid of the voices talking about blood and killing, my subconscious would have no way to fight back in my nightmares. I have nightmares about everything.
The magical world J.K. Rowling has built is so fantastic and unbelievably real that it makes me ask questions like, “Why is Peeves physical when ghosts are not and why is he afraid of the Bloody Baron?” And I seriously want an answer. There is no level of detail that is too much in my mind. I must know all the things about Hogwarts. And oh how I love Professor Binns. He’s the ultimate old and boring teacher (another thing that Muggles sadly have, too).
I really can’t get over how very relatable this book is to kids. It deals with the big and small struggles that kids go through every day. It shows how the characters deal with unfairness and how tedious and boring school can be. And Harry really acts like a kid - he doesn’t tell Dumbledore important things in the fashion of any kid who is afraid. Who as a kid didn’t tell their parents something even though they knew they should?
After reading it for the third time, it’s fun to pick up on the foreshadowing that I missed. I’m noticing that Ms. Rowling often disguises important things as jokes or just another detail to make the world more interesting and colorful. Ooh I just get chills when they figure out who Moaning Myrtle is. See? She’s important although at first she appeared to just be a colorful character to annoy them in the bathroom.
I can’t end this review without the best quote of the book:
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (p. 333)
Content Rating: Mild, for talk of killing and blood, some scary scenes, and some mild swearing.