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The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling is one of the most popular Kids Book Series of all time. The series follows the story of young British boy, Harry, who finds out he's actually a wizard and that there is a double world in England where wizards work, live, and go to school. Against his mean foster parent's wishes, he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to control his magic. At Hogwarts Harry meets his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. These two friends will accompany Harry on his adventures in the next seven books.
In each book Harry has to take on his arch enemy, the powerful dark wizard Lord Voldemort. Typically harry first has to deal with his horrible foster parents and escape them in order to attend a new year at Hogwarts. Once at Hogwarts, Harry has his friends but also his enemies; teachers and students who are secretly allied with Voldemort. Generally Harry gets some help from the powerful wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, but, in the end, Harry must face Voldemort on his own and figure out how to keep him at bay.
Major Characters in Harry Potter
- Harry Potter - The lead character and boy wizard. Has a lighting bolt scar on his forehead from a battle with Voldemort as a baby.
- Ron Weasley - Best friend to Harry. He's not the most skilled wizard, but Harry couldn't ask for a more loyal and good friend. His parents are poor, but loving.
- Hermione Granger - Hermione is the brain of the bunch. She's one of the smartest kids at Hogwarts. She likes Ron.
- Albus Dumbledore - Perhaps the most powerful wizard in the world except for Voldemort. Dumbledore always seems to be a step ahead of everyone else and guides Harry in the right direction.
- Lord Voldemort - The main source of evil in the book, he is a very powerful evil wizard. He is also called the Dark Lord or "he who shall not be named".
- Severus Snape - Snape is one of the more mysterious characters in the book. You are never quite sure which side he is on.
- Sirius Black - Harry's godfather and once a good friend to his parents, Sirius gets framed and sent to prison. Upon his escape he becomes Harry's ally.
- Draco Malfoy - Malfoy is the ringleader of the mean kids at Hogwarts. He hates Harry Potter and will do anything to bring him down.
- Rubeus Hagrid - Hagrid is a giant who is also an instructor at Hogwarts. Hagrid is loyal to Dumbledore and Harry no matter what.
- Fred and George Weasley - Ron's twin older brothers. They love to use their magic for fun and pranks. They even start up their own successful pranks store by the end of the series.
- Book 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)
- Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
- Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
- Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
- Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
- Book 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
- Book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
This series is very entertaining and most kids will have a tough time putting the books downs. The books do get progressively darker and more mature. Parents may want to supervise or read the stories, especially the last few, before letting young children read them. There is also a strong element of magic and evil.
Suggested Reading level: Ages 9-14
If you liked Harry Potter, you may also like:
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
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