I can still remember where I was when I first read the Harry Potter series with the release of each book: sitting on the back of a golf cart in Florida while reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; carrying Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with me when my older brother graduated high school; and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince kept me company during the summer before I started college. I can vividly picture sitting on my college boyfriend’s bed with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , refusing to get up until I had finished Harry’s journey. That says a lot, and although J.K. Rowling has been churning out new and exciting content at a pretty consistent basis now, the sad truth remains that for the time being, there won’t be any new books.
Short of a reread, what’s a dedicated Harryphile to do? Will we ever feel the joy that Harry felt upon seeing Diagon Alley for the first time? Will we ever feel what Hermione felt when Ron started dated Lavender Brown? Will we ever cry over the tragedy of Snape ever again? Probably not, but I’ve compiled a list of books you may enjoy if you love Harry as much as I do. From magical middle grade fiction to high fantasy epics, these 13 books try to take a little something from the entire range of the Harry Potter experience. Give them a try! They aren’t Harry, but they might come close!
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Do you love Harry's journey from normal kid to a fearless Voldemort-fighting Chosen One? Wizard's First Rule is another tale of the a regular guy becoming something more than himself. When Richard Cypher's father is brutally murdered in the forest where they both live, a mysterious woman named Kahlan appears looking for sanctuary. This sets off a loosely tied adventure series 15 books in the making. Ideal for those who love a good wizard, but don't mind a little high fantasy to go with it.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Reading The Bad Beginning is of course a bit of a commitment given the fact that it's the first book in a 13 book series. Do you love the whimsical world that Harry lives in, mixed with the tragedy of his life? The entire A Series of Unfortunate Events series could be the series for you. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire live a life of woe. Orphaned and trying to survive long enough to claim their vast inheritance, the Baudelaire siblings are facing down a life of woe, knowing that the only thing they have is each other. Told in uniquely crafted prose, this series is a non-magical Harry Potter... if the Dursleys kept trying to steal Harry's fortune.
The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
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Love the secret, hidden world of Wizards? In The Spiderwick Chronicles, three siblings move into their aunt's house and uncover a secret world of faeries lurking just underneath our own. With the help of the fictional guide Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, they meet a brownie named Thimbletack who acts as their guide through this world. A bit on the younger side of YA, this series is nevertheless a magical story.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Do you love the weird creepiness that lurks in the corners of the Harry Potter universe (Knockturn Alley, terrifying potions, Thestrals!) but wish it could be taken further? In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children , 16-year-old Jacob journeys to the a remote island off the coast of Wales after a family tragedy. Discovering the ruins of the Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob quickly uncovers that they might be a little more than peculiar, and he sets off to find them. Full of beautifully altered vintage photos, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the first in a trilogy.
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Love the humor and whimsy of the Harry Potter series? Set in the tremendous "Discworld," a magical land that rests on the back of a turtle, The Color of Magic follows the tale of the inept wizard Rincewind as he becomes a reluctant tour guide to a wealthy foreigner who goes by the name of Twoflower. The Discworld series is full of more characters and storylines than J.K. Rowling can shake a wand at, but its British humor and incredible ideas make this more than a worthy read.
Heap House by Edward Carey
Full of the same quirky darkness as the Harry Potter series and with a ton more mystery. Heap House centers on the Iremonger family, a dynasty that lives out in the Heaps, a giant sea compiled of the lost and discarded things from all over London. Each member of the Ironmonger family is given an object at birth to carry around for the rest of their life. Our protagonist, young Clod Ironmonger, possesses the strange ability to hear the objects speaking, although the only thing they ever seem to say are the names of other people. When Clod meets Lucy Pennant, a girl from outside the Heaps, she steals his heart and turns the very fabric of the Ironmongers inside out.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus begins when two very different magicians make a bet to see which school of magical thought is better. Each magician will choose and train a protegee, only to pit them against each other in a test of magical manipulation. The venue? Le Cirque des Reves, a beautiful and mysterious circus. As the students, Marco and Celia, become more and more obsessed winning, the slowly but surely fall into a deep, magical love. Ideal for those who love the heart-driven magic in the Harry Potter series such as Lily's sacrifice charm, Snape's patronus, and the power that Harry possesses that Voldemort can't understand.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Do you love Harry Potter, but are a little annoyed by the fact that all pure blooded children in the wizarding world don't start their education until they are 11, so technically might have never learned to read? In The Magicians , we are treated to a magical undergraduate education instead of an elementary one, centering on our hero Quentin Coldwater as he matriculates at the magical school of Brakebills. The first of a trilogy, The Magicians deconstructs the wonder of magic and the innocence of childhood. It's a grown-up Harry Potter, for sure!
So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Nita Callahan is tired of the bullies in her school until she finds a library book that promises her the chance to become a wizard. After taking the Wizard's Oath, she quickly meets Kit Rodriguez, another beginner-wizard. Since every wizard's career begins with an Ordeal where they are forced to confront the most evil power in the universe: the Long Power, inventor of death. Soon Kit and and Nita are set loose in an alternate version of New York City, where they must steal back a stolen book in order to save the world. Ideal for Harry Potter fans who want a darker and more American type of wizard.
The Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce
For those who loved the friendships portrayed in the Harry Potter universe, I give you the Circle of Magic quartet. Set in a magical medieval world, these books centers on Sandry, Briar, Tris, and Daja, four young mages from very different backgrounds who possess unusual and strong magical abilities. When the four arrive to study at The Winding Circle, a magical temple, they are quickly brought together due to the fact that their abilities don't fit into the usual Disciplines. When disaster threatens their way of life, Sandry must learn to harness her strange ability to weave magic and help to save the day. Full of intrigue, friendship, and loads of magic, the Circle of Magic quartet is a study on how differences can lead to an incredible bond.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Love the wizarding London of the Harry Potter universe? In A Darker Shade of Magic , we are treated to several different versions of London, each with its own quirky differences. Kell, our intrepid hero, is a Traveller, a rare type of magician able to contact these parallel worlds. Acting as the personal ambassador of the Prince of Red London, Kell acts not only as a diplomat, but also unofficially smuggles things on behalf of those interested in other worlds. Accidentally accused of treason, Kell disappears into Grey London to hide, only to meet Delilah Bard, a thief who is intent on giving him a "proper adventure."
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
When you were reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince , would you have been happy to read nothing but the trials and tribulations of witches and wizards falling in love? If so, Beautiful Creatures is the first installment of the series of your dreams. Ethan Wate is tired of living in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina and dreams of moving away one day. That is, until he meets the beautiful Lena Duchannes, the new girl at who who also happens to have a starring role in his dreams. It turns out that Lena is a Caster (i.e. a witch) and she's dealing with a countdown: on her sixteenth birthday, she's going to be claimed for either the Light or the Dark. Book one of four, Beautiful Creatures introduces a fascinating magical system and enough heartache to last a reader a lifetime.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
This may be cheating in many different ways, since Carry On is set to be published this coming Tuesday, and is technically based off of fanfiction written about Simon Snow, the homage to Harry Potter from Fangirl , but it's worth it. Simon Snow is heading into his final year at Watford School of Magicks, but already things are messing up his plan to just relax this time: his girlfriend has broken up with him, his mentor is trying to hide him away in the mountains somewhere, and to make matters even worse his roommate Baz has gone missing. Simon is the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, but how can he save the world when he's too busy worrying about his personal life?