The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts school for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does ...
"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"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.