Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

J. K. Rowling
Illustrator:  Mary GrandPre 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic, 1999   ISBN: 978-0439064866

Harry is having a miserable time at the Dursley house. In fact it is possibly more miserable than the summer before because now Harry knows that he is part of a wonderful wizarding world where he belongs and where he has friends. It hasn’t helped that his friends Ron and Hermione haven’t written to him since they all left school. Matters get infinitely worse when a house elf called Dobby turns up and tells Harry that he must not on any account return to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When Harry refuses to comply the elf causes chaos and mayhem in the Dursley household. Thinking that he is going to be expelled from his beloved school for practicing magic inappropriately, Harry is contemplating a dreadful future when help arrives in a most remarkable form: Ron Weasley and his brother arrive at Harry’s bedroom window driving a car. What makes this even more remarkable is the fact that Harry’s bedroom is on the second floor and the car is flying.

Harry is rescued and his summer improves enormously when he goes to spend the remainder of the vacation at Ron’s house. Though there are difficulties, Harry is soon back at Hogwarts when the new school year begins. Unfortunately Dobby’s prediction that bad things are going to happen at Hogwarts comes true. First a cat and then a student are petrified. A message written on a wall warns everyone that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and "enemies of the heir beware"

Not surprisingly Ron, Hermione and Harry start to wonder about this heir and the Chamber of Secrets. When more people are attacked and petrified and as the atmosphere at Hogwarts gets grimmer and grimmer, Ron, Hermione, and Harry desperately try to find the answer to the puzzle before Hogwarts is closed down for good.

In this second book in the Harry Potter series J. K. Rowling weaves a baffling, sometimes funny, often thrilling, and not infrequently terrifying story. Harry is given clues about his own past and he comes to realize that a terrible bond ties him to that most evil of wizards, Voldemort.