Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was published on July 2, 1998 in the United Kingdom, then again on June 2, 1999 in the United States. Author J.K. Rowling has admitted that she found it difficult to finish this book because she was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the expectations set by the first book. 
Fortunately, Rowling's fears proved to be baseless because the second book in the Harry Potter series was loved from the day it was published. Chamber of Secrets went on to win a huge number of awards, including these:
- 2000 Notable Children's Books by The American Library Association
- 1999 Editor's Choices by Booklist
1999 Top Ten Fantasy Novels for Youth by Booklists
- 1998 Children's Book of the Year British Book Award
In this book Harry meets Dobby the house elf, finds out there is a Chamber of Secrets that has a terrible beast within that wants to kill Muggle born students. Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger do their best to learn the secret of the Chamber to stop the attacks that have been taking place at Hogwarts through-out their second year.
This book is often paired up with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and for good reason. There are several important events that take place in this book that set up things that happen in the sixth book, including Peeves the poltergeist breaking the Vanishing Cabinet (Draco fixed the cabinet in the sixth story), the cursed opal necklace and Hand of Glory for sale in Borgin and Burkes (Draco bought and used both items in the sixth story), Tom Riddle's diary (which Harry learned was a Horcrux in the sixth story), and Ginny showing how much she likes Harry (Harry finally realized that she was the love of his life in the sixth story).
You can buy all formats of this book on Amazon except for the hardcover version. That seems really strange to me and I don't understand why it isn't sold there, but it's not. Instead, Amazon has a library binding listed, which is just like the paperback books but with a slightly sturdier cover. So, I've turned to eBay to help you find this book if you want the hardcover version.
Do you live outside the United States?
Although some items on Amazon can be shipped world wide, you will probably have the best luck with eBay and Etsy. Click here to see how to know if an item from those three sites can be shipped outside the U.S.A., as well as how you can buy items found and have them shipped to you even if the store you buy from doesn't ship to your country.(Clicking this will open a new window so you won't lose the page you are currently on.)
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