Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Gr 3-8-With a year at Hogwarts School under his belt, Harry expects the new term to go smoothly, but a wizard's share of surprises and adventures await the likable lad and his friends. Rowling works her magic and leaves readers begging for more. (July) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 4^-8. Given the furor this book has already caused in the U.S., it seems almost redundant to review it; however. . . . Harry Potter's exploits during his second year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry completely live up to the bewitching measure of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a Booklist Editors' Choice, 1998. Harry's summer with the spiteful Dursleys is as dismal as his life with them before Hogwarts, and not only that, a neurotic house-elf suddenly appears to warn him against returning to school. Harry, of course, goes back to school. Once there, he finds himself in danger, as predicted by the house-elf. Strange things are happening. Why can only Harry hear an eerie voice talking about escaping and killing? Who or what has put several students into a petrified state? Harry and his sidekicks, Ron and Hermione, work furiously to get to the bottom of it all. It doesn't help that the rumor spreads that Harry is the long-dreaded heir of Slytherin, one of the school's founders, who purportedly created a Chamber of Secrets that houses a grotesque monster that can only be released by the heir. The mystery, zany humor, sense of a traditional British school (albeit with its share of ghosts, including Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom), student rivalry, and eccentric faculty, all surrounded by the magical foundation so necessary in good fantasy, are as expertly crafted here as in the first book. Fans who have been thirsting for this sequel will definitely not feel any disappointment. In fact, once they have read it, they will be lusting for the next. --Sally Estes
Horn Book Review
(Intermediate) In this sequel to the phenomenally popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (rev. 1/99), Harry returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year after a miserable summer with his Muggle (nonmagical) relatives. Once again, Harry's school experiences are colored by encounters with genial ghosts and antagonistic teachers, by the rivalry between good-guy Gryffindor House and slimy Slytherin House, and by an ominous mystery to be solved involving Harry's archenemy, the dark sorcerer Lord Voldemort. Once again, the attraction of Rowling's traditional British school story is magnified tenfold by the fantasy elements superimposed upon it. The atmosphere Rowling creates is unique; the story whizzes along; Harry is an unassuming and completely sympathetic hero. But, truth to tell, you may feel as if you've read it all before. Rowling clearly hit on a winning formula with the first Harry Potter book; the second book-though still great fun-feels a tad, well, formulaic. m.v.p. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
This sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998) brings back the doughty young wizard-in-training to face suspicious adults, hostile classmates, fretful ghosts, rambunctious spells, giant spiders, and even an avatar of Lord Voldemort, the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, while saving the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a deadly, mysterious menace. Ignoring a most peculiar warning, Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a dreadful summer with his hateful guardians, the Dursleys, and is instantly cast into a whirlwind of magical pranks and misadventures, culminating in a visit to the hidden cavern where his friend Ron's little sister Ginny lies, barely alive, in a trap set by his worst enemy. Surrounded by a grand mix of wise and inept faculty, sneering or loyal peers'plus an array of supernatural creatures including Nearly Headless Nick and a huge, serpentine basilisk'Harry steadily rises to every challenge, and though he plays but one match of the gloriously chaotic field game Quidditch, he does get in plenty of magic and a bit of swordplay on his way to becoming a hero again. Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPr's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of broad boarding school farce and high fantasy. (Fiction. 11-14)