Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#15: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

on June 26, 2015

It’s official…..I’m addicted to the adventures of Harry Potter! I intentionally grabbed a rather large stack of novels on my last trip to the library to ensure that I stretched out my experience with these books a little longer.

I loved the humor found in this second installment of the series. From flying cars to the adventures in Hagrid’s hut while hiding under the invisibility cloak, Harry and Ron certainly had a lot of fun in this book. I also enjoyed meeting Almost Headless Nick and Moaning Myrtle. I was quite upset to discover who had actually opened the Chamber of Secrets and how she had been manipulated by Voldemort.

What I think I most appreciated about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the clarity of theme that Rowling wove throughout the book. I especially enjoyed the exchange between Dumbledore and Harry at the book’s conclusion as Harry was wrestling with the fear that he should have been in Slytherin hall. Reflect on the power of this statement for all of us as we face uncertainty:

‘Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue — resourcefulness — determination — a certain disregard for rules. . .Yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.’

‘It only put me in Gryffindor. . .because I asked not to go in Slytherin. . .’

‘Exactly. . .Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’ (Chamber of Secrets, 333)

Our successes or failures are not determined by happenstance, fate, or magic. We have the right to choose….and those choices determine our character and the path of our life. That’s a lesson that I want to remember on a daily basis. (Who would have guessed that a simply story about a boy wizard could make such a profound statement to this 43-year-old man?) I’m already looking forward to The Prisoner of Azkaban, but have to do a little more reading on my other projects first.

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