books similar to Harry Potter

The first Harry Potter book was released in 1997, and since then – the seven-part series has sold over 500 million copies.  This stat makes them the best selling book series in history, and they have been translated into seventy-three languages.  Each of the last four books set records for the fastest-selling books in history, with the final instalment selling roughly eleven million copies in the US within just 24 hours.  I read the Harry Potter books as a child, but am now re-reading the whole series, and the magic and nostalgia just fill me with joy every time I open the pages.  However, so many of us are familiar with the feeling of panic and dread that washes over us when we finish the series. What now? Why can’t we just stay at Hogwarts? We are suddenly faced with the boring and mundanity of our muggle world. So what books can we turn to? What are the best books similar to Harry Potter? There must be some! I have put together a panel of book lovers who have all faced this problem, and have some suggestions for the best books similar to Harry Potter, to save you from your muggle malaise.  So, get comfy, pour yourself a butterbeer and get ready to meet the panel who will be presenting the best books similar to Harry Potter…

alwyn hamilton interviewAlwyn Hamilton

Alwyn Hamilton is an author of books in the young adult genre, with her debut novel Rebel of the Sands having achieved an incredibly positive reception. Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto, but also lived in Europe and Canada whilst growing up, before her parents settled upon living in France. Following the success of her first novel, Alwyn Hamilton is planning to write two more books to complete a trilogy.

steve vander arkSteve Vander Ark (The Harry Potter Lexicon)

Steve Vander Ark is the creator, editor in chief, and webmaster of The Harry Potter Lexicon. He started the Lexicon back in 1999 as a tiny little website with a few lists on it. He’s the one who created the graphics and most of the writing on the 700+ pages of the current Lexicon is his. Steve is also a freelance writer, a theatre teacher and director, a library media specialist, and a public speaker.

emma pocockEmma Pocock (The Leaky Cauldron)

Emma Pocock was a fan of the series before she could read it herself, and like so many others knows the series has shaped her life. Emma is the Senior News Editor at The Leaky Cauldron, an all-purpose site for the Harry Potter enthusiast. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, has called Leaky “my favourite fan site” and “a wonderfully well-designed mine of accurate information on all things Harry Potter”.

Nathan McLewee (The Magic Alley)Nathan mclewee

Nathan’s Harry Potter adventure began back in July 2000, when his older brother bought the Goblet of Fire book. Within a week he’d finished the first three books and was waiting for his brother to get to the end of the Goblet of Fire so that he could read it. The aim of Magic Alley is to create an entirely Harry Potter focused store, stocking products and quirky items that aren’t usually found in many other places in the UK.

It’s now time to discover some of the best books similar to Harry Potter…


The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan

Nathan McLewee:

The Darren Shan series is twelve books in length and follows Darren Shan, who at a similar age to Harry Potter when he first received his Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, voluntarily become’s a vampire’s assistant in order to save his best friend Steve. Just like Harry Potter, it a great tale based around fantasy with lots of twists along the way, exploring the legends surrounding vampires and how they might live.

Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins

Alwyn Hamilton:

I’d recommend Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins.  Imagine Hogwarts, but in the American South and reserved for delinquent witches who have broken the law. Plus Sophie Mercer has sass to match Harry’s.

bartimaeusThe Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

Steve Vander Ark:

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is my first recommendation. The first book, The Amulet of Samarkand, was the first book I’d read after Harry Potter that gave me the same thrill. The stories are a bit darker than Potter but the alternate reality version of Britain in which they take place is as compelling as anything I’ve ever read. The second book, The Golem’s Eye, pulls you even further into magical London and the third book, Ptolemy’s Gate, brings it all home in a spectacular conclusion that will leave you breathless.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alwyn Hamilton:

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo – If you’re a fan of Chosen Ones who had no idea they had powers at all, and who have big expectations and powerful enemies, meet Alina Starkov.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

his dark materialsEmma Pocock:

J.K. Rowling’s ability to reflect our society in a world more magical than our own has made her a living legend. Similarly, Pullman’s creation of an enemy in power, layers of narrative which – often hidden from the protagonist – unfold to reveal a conspiracy much larger than the reader first expected, the existence of Dæmons (a manifestation of one’s soul in the form of an animal) and commentary on the relationship between science and religion make for a unique tale which continues to be relevant in today’s society – as evidenced by the mind-blowing popularity of the first instalment in Pullman’s newly released prequel series, La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One. In addition, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s playwright, Jack Thorne, will be adapting the trilogy for the BBC (with help from Philip Pullman himself!), so get reading before the adaptation arrives!

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Percy jacksonNathan McLewee:

The Percy Jackson series should be familiar to most Harry Potter fans, as the books are notable for having many similarities. Percy Jackson tries to live a normal life.. well as normal as normal can be, considering he’s a half god. Just like Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson books incorporate life as we know it with a fantasy twist, in this case inspired by ancient Greek stories and gods. The Percy Jackson series is well worth a read and we’d thoroughly recommend it.

Alwyn Hamilton

When Hogwarts lets out for the summer, head on over to Camp Halfblood! Percy, Annabeth and Grover rival the original Golden Trio too.


Divergent by Veronica Roth

Alwyn Hamilton:

I’d certainly recommend Divergent by Veronica Roth. Miss the Harry Potter Houses? Then come and check out the factions in this dystopian Chicago.

Artemis fowlArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Steve Vander Ark:

On a slightly lighter note, Eoin Colfer’s wonderful Artemis Fowl series immerses you in a world where fairytale characters are real – and usually a lot tougher than their cute names suggest. Holly Short, for example, is the most badass Fairy you’ll ever meet, and a Captain in the LEPrecon, which is the recon division of the Lower Elements Police. Yes, that’s LEPrecon, as in “leprechaun.” Artemis is not your average hero. He’s cold and ruthless and something of a criminal mastermind who just happens to be one of the good guys as well. There are eight books in the series along with graphic novels and The Artemis Fowl files, a guide to the world of the books which makes my Lexicon heart sing.


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Emma Pocock:

Inkheart is part of a series of three books, and often Meggie – like Harry – is in mortal danger. The focus on family and the bond between families seen in Harry Poter is equally prominent in Inkheart, and the magical element to the story is immersed within the ‘real’ world perfectly.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Alwyn Hamilton:

I’d recommend Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If what you loved about Harry Potter was solving mysteries, and puzzles, then I highly recommend this book! It is puzzle after puzzle on a long quest through a virtual reality.


a series of unfortunate eventsA Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Steve Vander Ark:

But for something a bit less, shall we say, uplifting, I always turn to the Series of Unfortunate Events. No one who has only seen the film can ever appreciate the intricate and delightful misery Daniel Handler –er, Lemony Snicket delivers starting with the Bad Beginning and wandering helplessly through the next twelve books. Yes, there are thirteen books altogether, not surprisingly, and by the end of the series, aptly named The End, we readers have been horrified, terrified, and satisfied in equal measure. Snicket may not be a world-builder on the level of Stroud, Colfer, or Rowling, but his plots are as delicious as theirs and at least three times as twisted.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

the immortal Nicholas flamelEmma Pocock:

If you’ve been keeping up with Fantastic Beasts updates, you’ll know that Nicholas Flamel – a real-world Alchemist – will be appearing in the second film, Crimes of Grindelwald, after featuring in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as both the creator of the Philosopher’s Stone (and the Elixir of Life), and Albus Dumbledore’s long-time friend.
This story (a series of six novels) also weaves a fictional tale about the infamous Alchemist (or Alchemyst, to Michael Scott), focusing on teen twins Sophie and Josh, who are told by Flamel that they – much like Harry – are part of prophecy, which says that using their dormant magical abilities, they will be able to save the world. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s work are sure to love the fantastical element in this series, and enjoy reading another take on Nicholas Flamel and his wife, Perrennelle – it’s just a shame there’s no Dumbledore!

The Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith

Nathan McLewee:

Unlike our other two suggestions, the Corman Strike series doesn’t revolve around a fantasy world, but they are written by J.K Rowling (under a different name) and are the only other ongoing series that she has written. Corman Strike is a struggling private detective in London, who along with his assistant Robin, is tasked with solving a wide range of puzzling situations. While it may lack the fantasy aspect that most people love Harry Potter for, it does have J.K Rowling’s incredible storytelling ability which can weave a wonderful plot line that will leave you unable to put the book down.

If you think our panel have missed the best books similar to Harry Potter, then comment below and let us know your nomination for the best books similar to Harry Potter…