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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Hardcover – July 1, 1999

6,459 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

It's hard to fall in love with an earnest, appealing young hero like Harry Potter and then to watch helplessly as he steps into terrible danger! And in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the much anticipated sequel to the award-winning Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, he is in terrible danger indeed. As if it's not bad enough that after a long summer with the horrid Dursleys he is thwarted in his attempts to hop the train to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his second year. But when his only transportation option is a magical flying car, it is just his luck to crash into a valuable (but clearly vexed) Whomping Willow. Still, all this seems like a day in the park compared to what happens that fall within the haunted halls of Hogwarts.

Chilling, malevolent voices whisper from the walls only to Harry, and it seems certain that his classmate Draco Malfoy is out to get him. Soon it's not just Harry who is worried about survival, as dreadful things begin to happen at Hogwarts. The mysteriously gleaming, foot-high words on the wall proclaim, "The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware." But what exactly does it mean? Harry, Hermione, and Ron do everything that is wizardly possible--including risking their own lives--to solve this 50-year-old, seemingly deadly mystery. This deliciously suspenseful novel is every bit as gripping, imaginative, and creepy as the first; familiar student concerns--fierce rivalry, blush-inducing crushes, pedantic professors--seamlessly intertwine with the bizarre, horrific, fantastical, or just plain funny. Once again, Rowling writes with a combination of wit, whimsy, and a touch of the macabre that will leave readers young and old desperate for the next installment. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-8-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
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Series: Harry Potter (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439064864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439064866
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6,459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Susan Emert on February 26, 2003
I'm a senior citizen who loves Harry Potter. I have read the first 3 books and will purchase "The Goblet of Fire" on books on tape.
I won't go into the plot. Suffice it to say it follows the book. The acting was wonderful by our 3 main stars. There is not enough of Alan Rickman, a truly wonderful actor. Kenneth Branagh was so-so and I don't know the man who played Lucious Malfoy but he was perfect. I hated him in "The Patriot" and hated him even more here. Richard Harris will be sorely missed. What a fine performance for his last film.
I never realized that the film was 2 3/4 hours. The time flew. The special effects are outstanding.
I liked the further character development. You see what a wonderful and loving family Ron Weesley comes from. You find out why Hagrid is the way he is. You also get to realzie why Draco Malfoy is the way he is when you get to see the father.
There was so much to see. So much to enjoy.
For the first movie, I saw the movie first and then read the book. For this story, I read the book first and then saw the movie. Either way, I was thrilled with both movies.
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward the the third movie.
If you haven't had the opportunity to see "The Chamber of Secrets", please go and see it. It's a treat for the eyes, mind and soul.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I think the Harry Potter books are really fascinating. They are full of suspense and irony. I wouldn't have read this book because I thought it was for younger kids ( I'm 13)but my friend was reading it so I gave it a try. I didn't put the book down until I finished it. It was that good! I don't want to be rude either but it really does not promote witchcraft. The whole time I read it, using black magic never crossed my mind. I know parents can be overprotective about that stuff but what about JRR Tolkien's Hobbit series and Disney movies with witches and wizards in them. SLeeping Beauty and Snow White and the 7 dwarves show this. Most stories or movies have a villian that is either a sorcerer or a witch. I thought this book was really awesome and even if you are above the age of the Reading Level read it anyway! I love Harry Potter: he is really responsible and smart. He is a good example. His friends are really funny and so are all the other characters. This is really good literature. Thank you so much Ms. Rowling for writing these books.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. McAdams VINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I made a much longer review about the Ultimate editions of the Harry Potter films in the review I posted for the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] so I am just going to go over the highlights concerning this specific film in this review. For full details on why I think the Ultimate Editions are awesome, see my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] review.

The HD video and sound are excellent in this version of the film on blu-ray, just like they were for the other Ultimate Edition release. Yes, they are double dipping on this release (which is one of the reasons I think the price is relatively low), but I think it is worth it considering the fact that we are getting the extended edition of the film in blu-ray HD, plus an hour's long documentary with never before seen behind the scenes stuff as well.

The blu-ray disc contains both the theatrical release, and the new extended version with cut scenes put back in. This film has 13 minutes of extra footage (most never seen before). The extra footage makes a *LOT* of scenes make more sense with those scenes back in! For instance, one of the new scenes shows Harry meeting Hagrid on the stairs on his way up to his dormitory. Hagrid is holding the dead chickens which were being killed in the book. Minutes later Harry stumbled upon the Hufflepuff boy who has been petrified by the basilisk.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Want to end the TV addiction in your family? Get a copy of the audio versions of the Harry Potter books and you'll never know what hit you!
Every kid who drives in our car wants to move to our house! My daughter and I have been listening to the first and second Harry Potter books (Sorceror's Stone and Chamber of Secrets) on both audiotape and CD for weeks and weeks now. By that, I mean, that once we finish one, we put the other one on, and have continued to go back and forth at her request.
I don't know how long this can last, but I agree that nothing else quite measures up afterwards! The reader, Jim Dale, is somehow able to communicate at least one or two DOZEN characters without any duplication and perfectly captures the style and personality of each of the characters without any loss of how you imagine them. What a treat!
Each character has a perfectly appropriate voice and tone and loses absolutely nothing from the book. Quite the contrary, we are both hearing new things that we must have missed the first time we read the books as we are endlessly entertained and amused.
We listen whenever we are driving in the car, or drawing or doing crafts, while laughing out loud, crying, and giving each other funny looks!
We have even found ourselves sitting outside the movies, lessons, and our own driveway, without being able to move until we come to the end of a chapter.
No matter how many times you have read the books, I guarantee the audio versions will give you a new perspective on the stories and/or reveal something which you didn't already know from your reading. Besides, it is a pleasure separate and apart from reading the books yourself. The art of reading out loud is not entirely lost--you only have to listen to these audiotapes to realize that the TV can never compete with this type of reading out loud! Share this with your family--YOU'LL NEVER LOOK BACK!
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