17 Books To Read If You Like 'Harry Potter' & Miss The Wizarding World
While I am a huge advocate for re-reading the Harry Potter series as the rest of your library gathers dust, I can also admit that there are some other incredible books to read if you like Harry Potter and miss the series like crazy. The world of fantasy is not limited to the queen. J.K. Rowling, and there are plenty of epic series to try if you want to broaden your horizons while still enjoying the themes of Harry Potter.
You could actually make an entire library of books that are similar to Harry Potter, because the beloved series is so layered. It's not just a book about a young boy wizard. It's a book about friendship, adventure, magic, family, the healing powers of love, the importance of courage, and redemption. The stories are light and dark, with some seriously creepy moments and some incredibly tender ones. There's no word to describe the series other than compelling, and when you use that to find new favorite books, you open a lot of doors.
Because Harry Potter can fit into so many genres, there are many books that vill the void Harry and his friends left behind. Nearly all can be considered fantasy, but there are different qualities of fantasy evident in this list. Some are full of magic, some are nail-bitingly dark, but all have your favorite bits of Harry Potter woven right into their prose. Continue to visit Hogwarts, but take a look at some of these 17 books to read if you're missing Harry Potter.
1. 'The Magicians Trilogy' by Lev Grossman
If you're looking for a series that reminds you of the power of the magical world, you'll love The Magicians trilogy. Quentin Coldwater is a high school math genius that is in love with a series of fantasy novels, and is often disappointed by his reality when compared to the books. But after he's admitted to a secret school of magic, he assumes everything is perfect until he learns that magical worlds are not always as lovely as they seem.
2. 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs
One of my favorite parts in the Harry Potter series was the look into Tom Riddle's life in the orphanage. I so wish I could've had more of that story, which is why I'm including Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. An abandoned orphanage on a deserted island? What more could you want for a Tom Riddle-inspired book?
3. 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus doesn't feature your typical clowns riding on elephants. Two magicians, both trained since childhood, are caught in a battle where only one can survive. But when they fall in love, they put everyone in danger, including those eager to see the circus.
4. 'The Book Of Lost Things' by John Connolly
The death of Harry's mother plays a major part in the character and plot development of the series and the same theme is found in The Book of Lost Things. After the death of his mother, a 12-year-old boy has only his books to keep him company. But they soon begin to whisper to him, and the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred for him. It's a great coming-of-age story, like Harry Potter, with a hero you will root for until the end.
5. 'The Paper Magician' by Charlie N. Holmberg
A whimsical choice, The Paper Magician tells the story of Ceony, a recent graduate of the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined who wants to work with spells on metal, but is assigned to work with paper. What follows is a magical, wonderful story full of both dark and light.
6. 'The Aviary' by Kathleen O'Dell
Missing the bird theme of Harry Potter? You need to pick up a copy of The Aviary. A 12-year-old girl is the lead of this story and she has spent her entire life living in a crumbling house with the widow of a magician and a cage full of exotic birds. She's scared of the birds because of the way they screech every time she's around, but soon learns that they may be the key to discovering the mystery of her family and her past.
7. 'The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August' by Claire North
You don't need a time-turner to enjoy time travel in The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. The lovely story focuses on the lives of Harry August, a boy who reaches death and becomes a young boy again with all of the knowledge of the life he's already led time and time again. But when he's nearing the end of his 11th life, a new mystery begins.
8. 'The Queen Of The Tearling' by Erika Johansen
You need some girl power in this collection, so you need The Queen of the Tearling. A young girl with many similarities to our girl Hermione, Kelsea is returning to her kingdom from exile to take the throne after the death of her mother. But she's nothing like the previous queen and when it's time to defeat the Red Queen, she has to find the strength she didn't know she had.
9. 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is a master of telling stories about new worlds and Neverwhere is another one of his masterpieces. When Richard, the hero of the story, stops to help a girl on the sidewalk, his act of kindness catapults him into a world he could've never dreamed of. But if he wants to return to the London he knows, he'll have to survive in this new world.
10. 'The Mermaid's Sister' by Carrie Anne Noble
Missing those fanciful creatures? You'll love The Mermaid's Sister. When Clara discovers that her sister Maren is becoming a mermaid, she knows she has to get her to the sea before she dies. But danger continually falls in their path to saving Maren, including traveling performers.
11. 'The Thinking Woman's Guide To Real Magic' by Emily Croy Baker
More girl power! The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic tells the story of a woman named Nora who is having a hard time with life and finds herself in a new, magical world she knows nothing about. But we all know that magic isn't just full of lights and dreams, sometimes it's a total nightmare, too.
12. 'The Alchemyst: The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel' by Michael Scott
Oh, you've heard of Nicholas Flamel, I know. For more on the legends of the man, pick up The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.
13. 'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell
I know, a seemingly random choice, but you'll love it. Fangirl is the story of a girl named Cath and how she has let her fandom of Simon Snow, a series like Harry Potter, become her life. Using it to help herself through tragedies and changes in life, Cath has to learn to move on, even if it means leaving behind the world of Simon Snow. We can all relate, right?
14. 'Alice' by Christina Henry
Ever wondered if your favorite fairy tales had some seriously dark tones? That's what Alice explores with a young girl in a hospital who can remember nothing but a tea party, long ears, and a lot of blood. It's a dark, psychotic spin on a classic, but one that Harry Potter fans will love.
15. 'The Sleeper And The Spindle' by Neil Gaiman
Another Neil Gaiman story, The Sleeper and the Spindle is a fun spin on the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, so it definitely deserves to be on a list aimed at fantasy and adventure.
16. 'The Girl With All The Gifts' by M.R. Carey
Another novel reminding me of a young Tom Riddle, The Girl With All the Gifts is heartbreaking, compelling, and moving. A young, "very special" girl, Melanie doesn't understand why no one seems to like her and why she has to be strapped into a wheelchair with a gun pointed at her as she's moved from her cell. It's an emotional thriller, but one that has all of the same dark, misunderstood tone as Harry Potter.
17. 'The Lord Of The Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien
And obviously, one of the most epic series of all time had to make the list. If you've never read The Lord of the Rings, you're going to find so many plot and character similarities to Harry Potter. If J.K. Rowling wasn't heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien, then there's some serious witchcraft at play. Trust me, if you love Harry Potter, you'll love The Lord of the Rings.