Five Book Series to Check Out If You Love “Harry Potter”
Many of us Potter fans find re-reading the Harry Potter series a yearly, if not more frequent, activity. Here are some other series to check out if you’re looking for more of that Potter-like adventure in a book you won’t be able to put down.
A new classic, Townsend’s Nevermoor series is still being released, with the third installment, Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow set to come out this summer. In many ways, it shares some crossover themes with Harry Potter – it’s set at a school for gifted children, it takes place in a world the rest of society knows nothing about, and it features a protagonist who is neglected by her family. But beyond that, Nevermoor is a force of its own. Check it out for its Potter appeal, but stay for the whimsy, the magic, and the really, really good parties.
The point is – as far as the Society is concerned – if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.” (Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow 454)
Featuring another abandoned boy, The Mysterious Benedict Society follows young Reynie Muldoon as he passes a series of strange tests to join the Society – and find a family of his own along the way. While not featuring magic, exactly, The Mysterious Benedict Society has its own whimsical world where smarts come in many forms and adventures lie around every corner. Join Reynie and the gang as they infiltrate an academy and save the world.
Every person in the car, adult and child alike, realized just then that they trusted this eleven-year-old boy quite without reservation. If Reynie Muldoon asked them to do something, if he promised them something, they would do what he asked and believe every word.” (The Mysterious Benedict Society 470)
Do yourself a favor and slip inside the world of Kate Milford’s Greenglass House with the first cozy mystery where ghosts are just as real as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington – only they’ve got a much better sense of humor. Greenglass House is the first in a series of books set in Nagaspeake, a world as complete and layered as the wizarding world itself, where everyone has a secret family history, kids encounter wondrous happenings that are beyond explanation, and Old Iron has a will unto itself. While the portraits may not talk, the walls in the schools of Nagaspeake have just as many secrets as Hogwarts does.
He was just a kid who didn’t know where he came from and hadn’t had any say in where he’d ended up. But, he told himself, he did get to decide what he was going to do from here… He got to choose who and what he was going to be from now on.” (Greenglass House 344)
The only true YA book on this list, Fireborne is the first in a trilogy of political adventures reminiscent of the tensions that emerge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Like Rowling, Munda asks tough questions about the makeup of society, censorship, and whether it’s possible to carry out a successful rebellion, all through the lens of two main characters who, like Harry, have truly been through the wringer. Oh – and they also ride dragons, uncover professors who are not what they seem, and struggle with the politics of teen relationships.
The fires we walked through today were ones we’ve trained to walk since childhood. And today, the choices that began in childhood made us strong enough to defy two regimes, in the name of revolution.” (Fireborne 432)
Perhaps the closest read-alike of any of these to Harry Potter, Jenny Nimmo’s Charlie Bone series follows the adventures of Charlie and his friends at Bloor’s Academy, a school divided into houses of music, drama, and art. Filled with kid-geniuses of the arts, Bloor’s Academy is also for children descended from the mysterious Red King – who have magical powers. Full of dangerous mishaps, evil aunts, and Malfoy-esque arch-enemies, Charlie Bone is a classic in its own right.
Most of the people who lived at number nine complained about the large chestnut tree in front of it… how it would probably fall on the roof one day and kill them all in their beds. Needless to say no one at number nine did anything about it.” (Midnight for Charlie Bone 3)
So whether your TBR pile is already as high as the astronomy tower or you’re scouring the shelves for something to read, these books will satisfy your craving for something new and something Potter-ish all at once. Happy reading!