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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Paperback – Sep 11 2000


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Paperback, Sep 11 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Raincoast Books; 1st ed edition (Sept. 11 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155192370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551923703
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,046 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive. Mr. Vernon Durs-ley had been woken in the early hours of the morning by a loud, hooting noise from his nephew Harry's room. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darlene TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 28 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book aloud to my children. It was won a number of literary awards, including: 2008 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, 1999 British Book Award, 1999 Smarties Prize, and 1999 Booklist Editors' Choice.

At the start of the book, 12 year-old Harry is eagerly awaiting his return for his second year at Hogwarts. The Dursleys are hosting an important dinner for Mr. Dursley’s boss and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Mason, and Harry is supposed to remain out of sight so as not to embarrass them. Upon his return to his room, he finds a strange elf named Dobby who has come to warn Harry not to return to Hogwarts. When Harry finds out that Dobby has been stealing the letters from Ron and Hermione meant for Harry, he is furious. Dobby makes trouble for Harry and uses magic to send Mrs. Dursley’s dessert crashing to the floor and a furious Mr. Dursley forbids Harry from ever returning to Hogwarts. He installs iron grates over the window and takes away his magic books and wand and locks them up in the cupboard under the stairs. Poor Harry! Good thing that Ron and his twin brothers steal their father’s magical car and use it to tear the grate from the window and rescue Harry!

Harry stays with the Weasleys until school starts, and Dobby tries to prevent Harry from getting aboard the Hogwarts train by sealing the magical passageway to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. The quick-thinking boys use Mr. Weasley’s car again to get to Hogwarts, although not without consequences!

The newness of Hogwarts still hasn’t rubbed off for me. I found it just as magical as the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In this installment, we are introduced to the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart.
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Format: Hardcover
Cover:
I do like this cover, even though I find the flying car slightly weird.

Writing:
(1/5) I think this book's plot and content was sound, but it was ruined by the writing. I'm guessing, like the movie, it was supposed to be mysterious and full of suspense, but the writing was horrible and really didn't covey that. Where it was supposed to come off as creepy, I only felt it was laughable. There were so many pivotal moments and revelations ruined because of the poor writing. I think the movie did it way better, probably because it didn't have the poor writing. The second Harry Potter movie is probably my favourite out of all the movies.

Setting:
(5/5) Man I love Hogwarts. We learned a lot of new interesting ideas and stuff about the wizarding world like duelling. I also really loved the parselmouth and diary ideas. I know the book wasn't that great because of the writing, but the movie version was great. I don't why people underrate it so much.

Plot:
(5/5) I think this book's plot was actually better than the first book. For the first time in this series, I felt Harry actually had something at stake here. He was snooping and getting to the bottom of things because doing so actually meant something to him. Hogwarts was at stake and it was his home more than the Dursleys ever were. Next to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I felt this one had one of the best plots of the series. Too bad the bad writing was such a heavy blow though.

Main Character:
(1.5/5) Like I said above, I really like the parselmouth idea and that Harry had something personally at stake here. But Harry is still as flat and personality-less as ever.

Villain:
(5/5) Really liked the villain with this one, might be my favourite.
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Format: Hardcover
With one wand, I give J.K. a lot of credit, she upped the ante quite abit here. With the other wand, I have to declare this was my least favourite of the seven.

So begins my disjointed look at Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, the second book in the series. The one that I read that J.K. had some of the most stress over, worried it would not work another time. It does, but with some catches.

J.K. takes a big risk here by bringing the terror of racial lynching to our characters lives. For most books, just bringing up the topic by having a vile person spout slurs would be considered daring, with a dash of after school special morals thrown in to make it all better by the end. This does not happen here. The viciousness of the topic is brought up and permeates the entire book, and it's stench sticks around right to the bitter end of the series. No pat resolution is offered. And combined with the uncertain terror of these racial attacks, which are designed to kill, J.K. is telling her audience the awful truth. Hatred exists, no matter what special abilities you possess, nor how rich you are, this virulent strain of nastiness can infect anyone.

To push the issue further, J.K. subtly slides into the story the concept of slavery. Dobby's antics as an enslaved house elf are sometimes played with light comedic outcomes, but his self-torture because of perceived disobedience is heartbreaking. The hows and whys of the house elf's history is never explained but only partially referred to, but their power to topple their unjust wizard owners is obvious. But they stay subjugated. Of the uncounted multitudes of house elf's shown throughout the series, only one, our friend Dobby, is happy with being liberated.
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