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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

All Harry Potter wants is to get away from the Dursleys and go back to 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 Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself.


***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature***

While the excitement for the Harry Potter play just published is evident everywhere, I decided there was no better time to tackle book #2 in the Harry Potter series. I haven’t much to say to add to the conversation regarding this series—just that I can certainly see where it would be ideal to get reluctant readers engaged and excited about the reading process.

This book was certainly well structured, producing tension in all the right places and drawing the reader along quickly. The world building is definitely one of Rowling’s strong suits, as Hogwart’s school feels like a place that I could maybe find my way around now.

I also loved the fact that it made me think of other books—for example, the awful Dursleys reminded me strongly of Jane Eyre’s Aunt Reed and her family. And Harry’s distrust of adults actually brought my most recent read, The Goldfinch to mind, and Theo with his reluctance to tell anything at all to an adult, feeling that nothing good would come of it! But I would have to say that Harry Potter is far easier to read.

A charming tale. I was in my late 30s when Rowling published these books—how I would have loved them as a child!