It’s About Time: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

It’s About Time: Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling
Illustrator: Mary GrandPré
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on July 1, 1999
Pages: 341
Source: I borrowed this book from my local library.
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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.


As you may remember, I’m finally reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. I read the first book in December, and the second book last month. Finally getting around to sharing some thoughts on the second book.

I found Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets most interesting for its continuation of world building. There were more glimpses of the culture, probably most importantly, the tensions that exist between wizards, Muggles, and half-bloods. I was impressed by how even subtle prejudices are clearly portrayed for a middle grade audience; condescension toward other races/classes isn’t always blatant, but is often veiled in curiosity or pity.

By the way, Gilderoy Lockhart cracked me up. I couldn’t help but be reminded of a couple of my former college professors… with (slight) exaggeration, of course!

But overall, the second book didn’t hold my interest quite as much as the first did. Something about it felt a teensy bit formulaic. That’s not necessary bad. In fact, I think later on I might appreciate that this foundation was set early on in the series. The positives in book two were definitely strong enough that I’m going to continuing reading, but I’m hoping for more out of book three.