Book Review

Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

My problem with series, in general, is that once I have started I need to know how it finishes. As a kid, I waited for years until I could finish the Harry Potter series. Now, that I had to reread the first book for my English Curriculum unit, I cannot stop myself from reading all the others too. 

Unfortunately, I have to say that the Harry Potter has lost its magic. When the new book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, came out it took me about 2 hours to finish the book. I was a bit disappointed and maybe slightly angry at J.K. Rowling for writing a book after an almost perfect ending to a great series.

Now that I have reread the second book too, I see that great may have been a bit overrated. When you compare the first and second book (and from my memory the rest of the books too, but I have to reread them in order to truly claim this), there are a lot of similarities. Harry is unhappy during the summer break. Something magical overcomes him and he will be taken to a magical place. In the first few months at Hogwarts (up until Christmas), rare things happen. In book 1, Harry became a Seeker, fought a troll and was desperately looking for Nicolas Flamel. In book 2, Harry hears strange voices, fellow students are petrified by the basilisk and he uses polyjuice potion.

After Christmas, there is a down time in both books, until it is time for their exams. Then the big ending happens and despite all the rules broken throughout the year, Harry and his friends will be awarded points for Gryffindor.

As I child, I completely did not catch up on these timelines. Now that I read the books through somewhat more critical eyes, it is undeniable. Since book 1 and 2 are so similar, as a teacher I would choose either one for in-class reading. The use of language and age of the students suits the most for year 7 and 8 students depending on their literacy level. Once you have used one book, I would not return to another Harry Potter book again. If you have raised students’ interest to finish the rest of the series, they can always do that in their spare time.

I feel a bit sad that I have found this timeline in both books since I have been a Harry Potter fan for such a long time. Maybe I did grow out of them after all… Luckily, I still have 6 books left to reread and prove me wrong.


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