Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book #2 of the Harry Potter series) by J. K. Rowling

This book was published in the United Kingdom in July 1998 by Bloomsbury and in the United States in June 1999 by Scholastic, Inc.

The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" will kill all pupils who do not come from all-magical families. These threats are followed by attacks which leave Muggle-born students of the school "petrified" (that is, frozen). Throughout the year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger investigate the attacks, and Harry is confronted by Lord Voldemort, who is attempting to regain full power.

In this book we get to see much more of Ron's little sister, Ginny - she plays a major role in the plot of the story. We are also introduced to Moaning Myrtle - a ghost who lives in the girl's bathroom on the third floor. Gilderoy Lockhart is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but he is not a character I enjoyed very much - I was happy to see him get his "just reward" in the end.

We also learn the existence of house elves in the world of wizardry when we are introduced to Dobby. Dobby is the lovable house elf who tries to warn Harry not to return to Hogwarts for his 2nd year. Dobby will go on to play important roles in future books of the series, although he has been cut out of all but one movie.

By the time this book was released in the USA, people just beginning to read this series. It wouldn't be until after the release of book #3 that Harry Potter became a raging success in the USA.

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