At my library, we just finished hosting book discussions for each of the seven Harry Potter books. Upon searching the internet for discussion questions however, I really didn’t find that many that suited my purpose. So I crafted some of my own, and some I found on the Scholastic website, and I thought I’d share them with everyone. Our second book discussion maintained the momentum of the first, with myself and two parent volunteers leading the discussion with almost 30 young patrons ranging in age from eight to thirteen years old. EVERYONE had a blast, and I’ll post the rest of the questions for the remainder of the books soon. Man, where did the summer go?!
Did you miss the set of discussion questions for the first book? Then click here. Next up is the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
1. Why do you think the Dursley’s feel the way they do about magic? Do you think it would have been different if Dudley was the one with magic, but his parents still didn’t have any?
2. In The Chamber of Secrets, Dobby says he knew of Harry’s “greatness but not of his goodness” (page 15). What is the difference between greatness and goodness? Could Harry be the great wizard everyone thinks he is if he didn’t have this goodness?
3. Throughout the book, Dobby is conflicted by what he should do. Why do you think Dobby chose to help Harry to begin with? Does Dobby really help Harry? Did you like Dobby?
4. Malfoy gets blamed for a lot of the bad things that happen, from enchanting Bludgers to opening the Chamber of Secrets. Why do you think Harry and Ron are so quick to blame Malfoy, even when Hermione thinks otherwise? What could be the reason Malfoy acts the way he does?
5. In The Chamber of Secrets, we discover that Slytherin had wanted Hogwarts to be a school only for full bloods, with no mudbloods admitted. His prejudice against anyone different from himself creates all sorts of problems.Can you think of other instances where people have been treated differently because of something that was different? What happened in those cases? Do we still have those kinds of prejudices today?
6. If you had the opportunity to make and take Polyjuice Potion, who would you want to turn into and what would you do? Remember, you only have an hour, and you have to have access to a piece of them.
7. If you had to chose, who would you rather be like and why?
- Filch, who lives in a magical world but is unable to do magic
- Hermione, who is Muggle-born but can do magic
- Harry, who is a wizard but has to live amongst Muggles and can’t use his magic
8. Hagrid encourages Ron and Harry to “follow the spiders.” Should he have done that? Does Hagrid encourage them to break the rules on purpose or too often? What qualities make Hagrid a good or bad role model? Ron tells Harry that Hagrid “always thinks monsters aren’t as bad as they’re made out, and look where it’s got him! A cell in Azkaban” (280-281) Do you think the Ministry of Magic made the right decision when they took Hagrid away?
9. Why do you think Ron and Harry forced Professor Lockart to go with them into the Chamber of Secrets? Should they have gotten help before going down there? Should Hermione have gotten an adult when she figured out what was attacking the students? After talking about Professor Lockart and Hagrid, and with Professor Dumbledore out of the building, is there a teacher you think they could have gone to for help?
10. Tom Marvolo Riddle eventually reveals himself to Harry as Voldemort. He tells Harry “There are strange likenesses between us, after all. Even you must have noticed.” (page 317). What are the similarities between Tom Riddle and Harry? What does Harry think of these likenesses?
11. On page 333, Dumbledore says “”It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
- What do you think Dumbledore means? Do you agree with Dumbledore?
- How did Harry’s choices prove who he really was?
- Can you think of some instances in the book that people or things proved different than what they appeared? Do you think J.K. Rowling did this on purpose?