Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 36
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Picture Books

2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
2002 Stand-outs
Previous Book
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers

About Me
Contact Me 
Make a Donation
Post on Bulletin Board
View Bulletin Board

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


*****Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by J. K. Rowling

Reviewed September 5, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002
(#3, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Rereads)
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2001 (#9, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Rereads)
Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.  341 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF ROW).

I’m carrying out a long-term project of reading the Harry Potter books in German, alternating with the English text.  It’s proving to be great fun, making me go slowly and savor each chapter.  These books definitely grow on you, not just standing up under re-reading, but becoming even more enjoyable.

When I read the first Harry Potter book, I enjoyed it, but I was feeling skeptical, looking for reasons that it didn’t deserve it’s wild popularity.  This second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, completely won me over.  One of J. K. Rowling’s strong points is her imaginative, humorous details.  Who else would think of a pimply girl ghost named Moaning Myrtle who haunts a girl’s bathroom?  Or rotting treats at a ghost’s Deathday party that the ghosts can almost taste?

One of the reason these books are such outstanding read-alouds is that they’re full of humor.  The author sees the funny side of the idea of a world of wizards, and keeps us laughing over funny little details all through the books.  In this book, she also pulls off a mystery story.  We don’t realize that several of the imaginative details are important clues until she pulls it all together at the end.

I love these books, and find they’re getting higher on my list of favorites every time I read them.  I’ve mentioned in an early issue why I don’t have much sympathy for those who want to ban them, and even feel sorry for those people’s kids.  These books are fully good-hearted, and I can think of many children’s books that I can’t say that about.  Yes, it makes my kids wish they were wizards, but they also know fully well that they aren’t--that they weren’t born able to do magic.  The author presents a magical fantasy world, and in that world has some important things to say about good and evil.  I think it’s fun that she can talk about prejudice in a way that makes every reader the target--Certain wizards despise non-magic folk.  Since every reader is in that category, it’s easy to see how wrong that prejudice is.

I have heard that the fifth book is going to be published in June of 2003.  If that’s true, we should have enough time to read all the books aloud one more time.  Or try the library’s recorded books.  We now have versions at Sembach Library both on cassette and CD.  The reader is outstanding!  It makes for quite a pleasant drive to school even for my child who is not a morning person.

Hogwarts Year One:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hogwarts Year Three:  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hogwarts Year Four:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hogwarts Year Five:  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hogwarts Year Six:  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Hogwarts Year Seven:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Tales of Beedle the Bard

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-