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

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a fantasy novel, and the follow-up to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It is the second of the seven books which make up the original Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling. The story picks up where Sorcerer’s Stone left off and takes readers through another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Throughout the novel, Harry and his friends try to find out who is behind a set of violent attacks on students who do not come from all-magical families. The Chamber of Secrets introduced new characters into the Harry Potter universe, including Professor Gilderoy Lockhart and Dobby the house-elf. It also laid the foundation for the conflict that would define the entire series: the magical showdown between Harry and the Dark Lord Voldemort, which takes place in the Chamber of Secrets.

The book was published in the United States by Scholastic Inc. on June 2nd, 1999. The iconic cover art and chapter illustrations were drawn once again by Mary GrandPre, an American artist who illustrated all of the US book editions using pastels and paint. She was one of a select few readers who had access to the Harry Potter manuscripts before publication.

Like J.K. Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was wildly popular and well-received. In interviews, Rowling remarked how difficult it was for her to finish the story after the overwhelming success of the first Harry Potter book. However, the general critical reception praised Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for its thematic portrayal of personal identity and the way it tackled issues of discrimination. When the story was adapted into a film in 2002, it became the fifth-highest grossing movie ever made at the time. As the third film in history to gross $600 million, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets followed in the footsteps of other ’90s hits like Titanic and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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