As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter learns his true origin in the early hours of his eleventh birthday in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the novel that began it all – he is a wizard, famed in the mystical universe for having defeated the dark Lord Voldemort when he was just a kid.
This discovery, delivered by Hagrid, a gruff, hairy ogre, sends Harry on a fantastical adventure of a lifetime.
Bloomsbury published the novel for the first time in the United Kingdom on June 26, 1997. The next year, Scholastic Corporation released it in the United States under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The writing has been compared to that of Jane Austen, one of Rowling’s favorite authors; Roald Dahl, whose works ruled fictional books before Harry Potter; and Homer, the Ancient Greek storyteller.
Although some critics thought the novel harkened back to Victorian and Edwardian boarding school novels, others thought it strongly established the genre in the new era by addressing current ethical and social questions, as well as overcoming hurdles.
On October 6, 2015, an illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published, with illustrations by Jim Kay.
The book contains over 100 illustrations and will be accompanied by drawn versions of the series’ first seven books by the same author.
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry and his friends return to Hogwarts with a bang in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – the bang of a soaring Ford Anglia crashing into the Whomping Willow, that is.
Since being discovered by Muggles and barely escaping deportation, you’d imagine the remainder of Harry’s second year would be a breeze.
As with the previous novels in the book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sparked theological debates; some religious figures criticized the use of magical themes, whilst others lauded its focus on self-sacrifice and how one’s character is the product of one’s decisions.
The novel’s film adaptation, which was released in 2002, became the fifth highest-grossing film of all time and received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
A number of video games based on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were also launched for various platforms, with the majority receiving positive feedback.
In addition to ensuring that Harry’s personality is formed by his actions rather than any part of his birth, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets introduces opposing characters who attempt to hide their true personalities: Gilderoy Lockhart, as Tammy Nezol puts it, “lacks any actual identity” because he is nothing more than a charming liar.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Sirius Black, a mentally disturbed serial killer who has just fled from the wizard jail of Azkaban, is introduced in the third book of the series.
As a result, swarms of Dementors, evil, faceless creatures who “suck the spirit” out of their victims and act as Azkaban’s guards enter Hogwarts to patrol for Black, who is rumored to be after Harry next.
To complicate things worse, our usually steadfast hero has a negative reaction to the Dementors, causing him to pass out on a train and even lose a crucial Quidditch match.
However, it is not just inherently bad.
Professor Remus Lupin, the latest Protection Against the Dark Arts teacher and a school friend of Harry’s late father, also appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Lupin and Harry soon form a father-son bond, and Lupin shows Harry how to use the Patronus Charm (powered by one’s best memories) to shield himself from Dementors.
Aside from the pure genius of the plotting of this novel, Rowling provides some insightful commentary for the Dementors, who represent depression and compel Harry to confront his past trauma.
Bloomsbury has published an adult edition with a new cover design from the original, in paperback on July 10, 2004, and in hardcover in October 2004.
On July 8, 1999, a hardcover special edition with a green border and signature was issued. Bloomsbury published a Celebratory Edition with a blue and purple border in May 2004.
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year following an eventful Quidditch World Cup with Hermione and the Weasley family.
It’s sure to be a thrilling one, as Hogwarts will host the Triwizard Tournament, in which students from three major wizarding academies will participate.
However, only students aged seventeen and up are fit for the tournament, so Harry is safe for the time being – or so he hopes, before the ritual Goblet of Fire chooses him as the fourth Triwizard Champion for no discernible cause.
Bloomsbury published the book in the United Kingdom, and Scholastic published it in the United States.
The release date in both countries was July 8, 2000. This was the first time a book in the series was released simultaneously in both countries.
In 2001, the book was the first Harry Potter novel to win a Hugo Award, making it the first Harry Potter novel to do so.
The book was adapted into a film, which was released worldwide on November 18, 2005, and an Electronic Arts video game.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix becomes very political: after Voldemort’s resurrection at the end of GoF, the Ministry of Magic appears to refute any rumors and refuses to take action, fearful of upsetting the public.
This means that the actual adults must follow in the footsteps of Harry, Ron, to Hermione and begin battling him in an undercover vigilante organization known as the Order of the Phoenix.
Potter fans had to wait three years before the fourth and fifth books’ launches.
Before the fifth book was out, 200 million copies of the first four had been sold and translated into 55 languages in 200 countries.
Since the series was already a worldwide success, the book set new pre-order milestones, with thousands of people queuing outside bookstores on June 20, 2003, at midnight, to secure copies.
Thousands of copies were stolen from an Earlestown, Merseyside facility on June 15, 2003, despite the surveillance.
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Dumbledore teaches Harry these lessons in order to train him for a grand future war with Voldemort, possibly in order to hold his rivals closer.
What Harry doesn’t realize is that Dumbledore is plotting something much bigger — a plot that engulfs him more and more with each passing day.
Many issues arose both before and after its publication, including the freedom to read copies shipped before the release date in Canada.
The novel received mostly favorable reviews and went on to win many awards and honors, including the 2006 British Book of the Year award.
The novel took on a darker feel than its contemporaries, according to reviewers, but it did have some humor.
The key subjects, according to others, were passion, death, trust, and rebirth. The significant character growth of Harry and several other adolescent characters attracted notice as well.
Warner Bros. released the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on July 15, 2009.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry swears to personally kill all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes.
As we found in Half-Blood Prince, Horcruxes are artifacts that hold fragments of Voldemort’s soul, effectively making him invincible.
That means that if Harry is to have a chance of confronting Voldemort, he must first find and destroy the Horcruxes.
The book follows the events that occurred immediately after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the actual conflict between the wizards Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.
It retains the Guinness World Record for the most novels sold in the first 24 hours of publication, with 8.3 million sold in the United States and 2.65 million sold in the United Kingdom.
8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Cursed Child and the subsequent stage play, though not part of the original seven-book series, have been widely known additions to the Harry Potter canon.
This 336-page novel takes off where the Deathly Hallows epilogue left off, with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy sending their unfortunate-named children off to Hogwarts — this time, Harry’s son Albus and Malfoy’s son Scorpius act as our protagonists.
When the boys arrive at Hogwarts, they are all sorted into Slytherin and form an unexpected relationship, which inevitably creates friction between Albus and Harry over the course of the next few years.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be a little frustrating at times, thanks to the many timelines and different versions of the same characters — and its somewhat far-fetched plot points and dubious continuity with Rowling’s existing universe have prompted some Potter fans to criticize it.
Still, at the end of the day, it’s yet another piece of the elusive puzzle that we’ve always had so much fun piecing together: this once-in-a-lifetime reading opportunity that surpasses society and centuries.
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the ultimate compendium to the supernatural beasts that inhabit the wizarding universe, as detailed by J.K. Rowling, who writes as renowned Magizoologist Newt Scamander.
You’ll see some familiar characters, such as the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, and the Hungarian Horntail, but you’ll also see a slew of new ones.
This is the text that influenced the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film trilogy, so if you want to catch up on the source material, this is the place to start.
10. Quidditch Through the Ages
Quidditch Through the Ages is a book written by Kennilworthy Whisp, a renowned Quidditch expert, set in the fantasy world of Harry Potter.
It is the ultimate manual on the game’s past and intricacies in both the fantasy and physical worlds. It also acts as a directory of the various British Quidditch clubs.
When Severus Snape found Harry outside the school with this book in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, he made the rule that no library books should be taken outside the school and seized it.
Kennilworthy Whisp is a Quidditch expert and enthusiast who has published several books on the sport in the Harry Potter universe.
He lives in Nottinghamshire and splits his time between “wherever the Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week” and “wherever the Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week.”
Backgammon, vegetarian cooking, and collecting antique broomsticks are among his interests. Whisp considers the Firebolt to be the safest broomstick.
11. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard first appeared as a fantasy book in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, published in 2007.
Albus Dumbledore, the former headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, leaves the book to Hermione Granger.
It is represented as a classic compilation of Wizarding children’s fictional stories, so while Ron Weasley is acquainted with the stories, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger had not heard of them before due to their non-magical childhood.
Rowling began work on the book shortly after completing the seventh Harry Potter novel.
During a conversation with her fandom, she also confirmed that she drew inspiration for the stories from other novels.
More precisely, “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” the only story in The Deathly Hallows that is completely new, was influenced by Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Pardoner’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales.
12. Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide
Pottermore Presents is a compilation of J.K. Rowling’s writing from the Pottermore collections, consisting of short reads that were first published on pottermore.com.
These Pottermore-curated eBooks can take you past the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling shares her motivation, detailed descriptions of characters’ lives, and surprises from the wizarding universe.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: An Incomplete and Untrustworthy Guide leads you to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You’ll explore the Hogwarts gardens, get to know its more permanent inhabitants, learn more about lessons, and uncover castle secrets.
13. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
J. K. Rowling wrote the e-book Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists.
It was released simultaneously in multiple languages on September 6, 2016.
Dolores Umbridge, Horace Slughorn, Quirinus Quirrell, Peeves, the Ministry of Magic, and Azkaban are all included in this guide.
14. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
Pottermore Presents, a trio of eBooks, includes Short Stories by Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies.
These tales of heroism, suffering, and risky hobbies include two of the bravest and legendary characters from the Harry Potter series: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin.
J.K. Rowling even takes you through the locked doors of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and along the way, you’ll meet the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn.
15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Draft is an official book that contains J. K. Rowling’s original script for the film of the same name.
On September 1, 2016, Pottermore unveiled the final covers for the screenplay’s UK and US versions.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, the designers of MinaLima, designed the cover artwork and inner illustrations.
The book does not include Rowling’s original version but has been edited to correspond with the film’s final theatrical cut.
As a result, it has no deleted or expanded scenes and has been revised to include ad-libbed or edited dialogue.
Gellert Grindelwald arrives at a run-down chateau and kills five Aurors.
He strides by their bodies, his gaze fixed on the night sky. In 1926, a montage of newspaper articles from around the world depicts Grindelwald’s many cases of abuse.
Grindelwald is being sought all over the world. The last essay depicts the Statue of Liberty. Newt Scamander is perched on a bench on a submarine as it sails past the Statue of Liberty.
16. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — The Original Screenplay
The cover was planned to match the theme of the second film, with the Eiffel Tower portraying the film’s main location, Paris.
In line with the first film’s continuation, a Niffler and Bowtruckle emerge.
The Deathly Hallows symbol represents Gellert Grindelwald, and the significance of a locket with the letters “NF,” a piece of jewelry, and a skull is unknown.
The initials “NF” could stand for Nicolas Flamel. In the end, there’s even what seems to be Grindelwald’s skull-hookah.