Harry Potter (7 Book Series) by J. K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Of course Harry Potter gets a 5/5 for the whole series. This was a fantastic set of novels which follows Harry, who finds out he’s a wizard on his 11th birthday. He makes friends with Ron, a lower class redhead, and Hermione, a mudblood (someone with one full wizard parent and one full human parent [or muggle]). Each story has Harry one year older than the least, and each features an adventure that is relatively age appropriate for Harry, as well as age appropriate for the readers who started the book when they were eleven years old, following Harry as he ages and gains knowledge as well.
The order of the novels is as follows:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone which features Harry’s beginning adventures and the base for his path as a wizard. Harry, Ron, and Hermione know that someone is trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone to gain everlasting life, and Harry must stop them before his nemesis, Voldemort, finds physical form once more.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets bring in Ron’s little sister, Ginny, who is used as a scapegoat by Voldemort’s memory as Tom Marvolo Riddle to reopen the Chamber of Secrets and achieve Harry’s death with the basilisk that lay within.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban features Sirius Black, a prisoner at the wizard prison of Azkaban, and also, Harry’s godfather. While he is associated with Voldemort, Harry finds that his godfather just ants to be a part of his life and to help him bring down Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is by far my favorite of the seven novels. Wizards from other schools come to compete in the triwizard tournament, a wizarding tournament to show unity between the wizarding schools. Only upperclassmen are allowed to enter, but someone has placed Harry’s name in the cup to enter the tournament, and Harry comes face-to-face with a reborn Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix brings Harry and friends to form their own magical defense class and association called Dumbledore’s Army, where wizards can learn how to defend themselves with the looming threat of Voldemort’s resurrection. In this novel, the new defense against the dark arts teacher, Umbridge, is awful, and the Ministry of Magic is growing corrupt.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince features a potion book with full notes written by the half-blood prince, who happens to be Professor Snape. Snape has the appearance of a bad guy, but thankfully, Snape has always been on Harry’s side. This novel also introduces the horcruxes, items that Voldemort has split his soul into in order to avoid death. By destroying the horcruxes, Harry can thus destroy Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is the only one of the seven novels where Harry and friends are no longer in school. They basically ditch out on Hogwarts in order to find and destroy the Horcruzes. Many lives are lost in this novel, but it is an important read. This book also reflects on The Tale’s of Beedle the Bard, a collection of wizarding short stories.
I wasn’t originally going to review this series, but I had to, even if it was a very shortened view of the whole set, because DUH, you should read this. Sadly, I do know people who have neither read the books nor seen the movies (and once again, sadly, I know people who haven’t seen Star Wars!) This series is a wonderful read and it’s good to start this one when you are around the age of the protagonist. Also, as many of you may already know, J.K. Rowling has a new Harry Potter tie in coming out later this year, so brush up on your Harry Potter novels in preparation for her new installment!