What makes the Harry Potter series so successful? Maybe it's the fact that J.K. Rowling doesn't write children's books, she writes children's stories, more in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm than Dr. Seuss. The exploits of Harry and his friends captivate even the shortest attention spans by engaging the imagination with vivid characters and fast-moving action, instead of trying to merely catch the eye with colorful pictures or pop-up effects. Not surprisingly, the Potter tales sound wonderful read aloud, and adapt to the audiobook format extremely well. Broadway actor Jim Dale's impressive vocal range gives each character in the book its own distinctive voice--a considerable task, given the pantheon of witches, warlocks, ghosts, ghouls, dwarves, and elves that Harry encounters in his second outing. And thankfully, since the book is read unabridged, no one's favorite character is omitted. Engaging for children without being childish, the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
is worthy addition to the deservedly popular series. (Running time: 9 hours, 7 CDs) --Andrew Nieland
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-Harry Potter is even more eager to leave the Dursleys and return to Hogwarts now that he knows about witchcraft, wizardry, and magic and has friends like Hermione, Ron, and Hagrid. J.K. Rowling's bestseller is presented enthusiastically by Jim Dale. Each character's personality comes through in clear descriptive tones. Listeners will enjoy hearing all the difficult words pronounced easily and clearly. It is a plus for American children to hear a British actor read the book with proper pronunciations. This recording is a wonderful addition to library collections and will make the story accessible to youngsters who might be overwhelmed by the length of the book and the complexity of some of the words.Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
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