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


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

This book is even better than the first, in plot and story.
Sen Peng Eu
Voldemort is the evil character in the book, Hermione and Ron, Harry's best friends, Draco Malfoy, Harry's rival, and Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts school.
KH
The characters are well developed and the story line has a lot of great twists and turns.
Jerilea Hendrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 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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69 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry, a twelve year old boy is continuing another fascinating year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. This second book in the J.K. Rowling series is a must read! Not only do the main characters Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger set out to solve a new problem but, they realize that somebody has opened the Chamber of Secrets. Through trial and error our heroes search for clues to save one of their friends. Again Harry must put his life in danger to save others who are important to him. J.K. Rowling has introduced us to some new characters in book two. We meet a magical elf, Dobby, a new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart and finally Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister who joins the famous trio. I liked this book because it was a true page turner. As the reader you can search for possible clues along with Harry, Ron and Hermione. I would recommend this book to anyone over seven years old. J.K. Rowling did an excellent job on this book because it's exciting and full of adventure. I have learned from this book that life is full of tough challenges and problems. No matter how hard it is you have to be brave and trust in yourself to do the right thing.
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18 of 18 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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152 of 182 people found the following review helpful By CPN on May 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After reading the original of the recent hits and chart-topping Harry Potter series, I just had to read the second. It once again begins over summer vacation and takes Harry to his second year at Hogwarts, the best wizarding school of the day. But for some reason, people begin to be attacked by someone - or something. Harry, Ron, and Hermione start on another slew of detective work to find out what's going on, and how to save the students of Hogwarts...it's hard to give a plot summary without exposing the secrets of the ending, which, by the way, was a total surprise!
This book is truly engrossing, more intense and frightening than the first. I loved it! It was both fun and funny, much like the other two in the series. It is interesting to read, and I honestly think it appeals to all ages. Even older readers will enjoy being taken back to the days when the line between fantasy and reality was blurred, and all the books would keep any modern teenager enthralled. Harry Potter No. 2 actually kept me laughing throughout. At some points in the middle, the story may get slightly bland, but don't worry: the best part is yet to come. I love children's stories, have read many, and these are the best, most modern works out there. There's a reason they are so hot right now, and all these other 5-star reviews are deserved! This series breaks the ordinary mold of children's books which are not always written with the same flair J.K. Rowling successfully incorporates into the plot, and they each possess their own sense of magic, not allowing the reader to put the book down! The Harry Potter books are highly recommended! Other children's authors I enjoy are Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, and E.B. White.
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