40 Best Books Like Harry Potter (Read Alikes!)
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If you love Harry Potter, and you’ve read the Harry Potter books more than once, you need more middle grade books like Harry Potter, aka, read alike books!
Do your kids love the Harry Potter book series? Most fans read and reread the books. I think my oldest daughter read the series three times. And, we read aloud the series to both our kids separately twice.
But is there reading life after the Harry Potter series?
Harry Potter Books in Order
Read the complete Harry Potter books in order. Here’s the 7-set book series in order.
Book 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Book 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
When Was Harry Potter First Published?
I vividly remember my sweet 5th-grade student Lindsey telling me about a newly published book way back in September 1998. She loved it and thought that I would like it too. That book was the first Harry Potter book! I read it and soon read aloud (most of) the book aloud to the entire class. (Before it was banned because of magic–I had to abruptly stop just before the end. But, the ban only lasted a few years. Read my reasons for NOT banning Harry Potter books and for reading the books here.)
More Harry Potter Related Ideas:
If you want more Harry Potter book learning activities, why not try your hand at writing fanfiction? It’s an engaging way to get kids staying in the world and writing.
Make your own Harry Potter potions with these ideas.
Make your own wands.
Get ready for what to read next!
Find good books like Harry Potter that include magic, schools of magic, magical creatures, flawed heroes, hero’s journey, interesting world-building, exceptional writing, interesting plots, and relatable characters.
40 Favorite Middle Grade Books Like Harry Potter
The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice by John A. Flanagan
Will isn’t thrilled to be apprenticed as Ranger, a job he’s unsure about. But as he develops a relationship with his master and learns what being a Ranger is all about (spying for the kingdom,) Will begins to embrace his new life. When an old enemy of the kingdom sends out dangerous beasts to attack Will’s master, Will is instrumental in getting help and killing the creatures. Action, fantasy, adventure, friendship, excellent writing — this book series has it all! This is a top choice for books like Harry Potter!
The Adventurers Guild by Zach Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
Get ready for your new favorite fantasy adventure series. Zed and Brock don’t want to be chosen for the Adventurers Guild. Nobody does. Unlike the mages or merchants guild, the adventurers have to leave the safety of the walled city to fight the monsters. Before they can finish training as Adventurers, Zed, Brock, and other trainees are sent outside the city on a fact-finding mission that uncovers treachery, fiendish beasts, and Zed’s unexpected and untapped magic. Imaginative world-building, intriguing plot twists, and complex characters kept me enthralled from the beginning.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Fairy tales come alive when Alex and Conner (brother and sister) find themselves entering INTO the fairy tale book given to them by their grandmother. Their only way home from this magical world is to make a Wishing Spell. So they embark on a dangerous, mysterious, and life-changing journey to find the spell’s ingredients. This is a wonderful, addictive fantasy adventure series with every book superbly imagined and written which Harry Potter fans love, too.
Dragon Slippers trilogy by Jessica Day George
Young, brave Creel wants to own her own seamstress shop. In her pursuit of this dream, she encounters and befriends dragons who will change the course of her life. Especially after a pair of magical slippers help her speak and even control her most esteemed dragon friend. Although she’d never use the slippers for evil purposes, she’s not the only one who knows and wants their power…This entire series is absolutely enthralling with the best elements of fantasy, adventure, and a hint of romance.
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
When I think about books like Harry Potter, I think about fantasy adventures. If your child hasn’t learned about Nordic mythology, this will be a great intro in an exciting adventure. To end the long winter, Odd must journey to find Asgard, a city under siege from the Frost Giants. It’s a wonderful, nail-biting adventure!
The Familiars series by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
We’re big fans of this series. Do you know about familiars? They are the magical animal companions to wizards. In this first story, the familiars must save the world when their wizards’ powers are taken away. Great for kids who love animals and magical adventures.
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Every Tuesday, the castle where Princess Celie and her family live, adds on a new room or area. Celie loves her castle and it’s living ways. When robbers attack her parents’ carriage and they are never seen again, Celie takes comfort that her parent’s room stays exactly the same. Then the Royal Council and the foreign prince try to take over the kingdom and it’s up to Celie and the castle to stop them. My kids and I LOVE this unique and imaginative series; Harry Potter fans will, too.
Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When his older brother dies, Theo inherits his spirit companion fox Kai (who doesn’t like him) and learns that his brother’s death wasn’t an accident. In a mystery filled with magic, growing into yourself, and heritage, Theo investigates the Reapling Corp by posing as a talented magic user who wants to connect to his Chinese heritage. But he’s not very magical and doesn’t know Chinese words very well so he needs Kai’s help so they can stay at the summer camp and look for clues. Exciting and interesting!
The Iron Trial (Magisterium) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Even though Callum tries to fail the entrance trials, he is admitted into the school that his dad says is evil. But the Magisterium school is not as bad as he expects. In fact, Call learns about his elemental powers and forges bonds of friendship with his teammates. Things get complicated when he rescues a wolf puppy who is infused with the dark magic of Chaos. This fantasy chapter book like Harry Potter is a perfect choice for readers who love fantasy, adventure, and magical elements.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (series)
Fantastic fantasy world-building, excellent writing, a strong female heroine of color, and a surprise plot twist ending are just a few of the reasons you’ll love this book. On top of that, you’ll find an exciting action-packed, suspenseful story about Amari whose brother vanishes mysteriously. He sends her a message that she’s a magician and should attend a special school. There, she discovers she’s a magician with outlawed dark magic but she’s determined to stay in the school and find her brother. If you want to read another great story about a school for magic, read this book next!
Hither and Nigh by Ellen Potter (series)
Masterful storytelling and wildly inventive world-building, Hither and Nigh draws you into a magical, multi-layered story. Nell is forced to join the Last Chance Club or be expelled from school. The teacher surprises the students with lessons in magic! This begins Nell’s search for her missing brother in the magical world of Hither. She hopes to track the poachers who kidnap non-magical children with big imaginations like her brother. One of my favorite fantasy books like Harry Potter, and ever!
Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis (series)
Fast-paced, this exciting middle-grade book with Celtic mythology is about a foster child attending a magical school while searching for answers about her mysterious heritage. Kelcie leaves the human world for the magical world’s Academy. She discovers that she’s a Saiga, a mistrusted elemental but she makes friends who help her learn about her unique powers and together they fight the monsters who continue to attack the school.
Nevermoor The Trial of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (series)
Morrigan escapes her birthday’s death curse when she’s whisked away to another realm by a mysterious man named Jupiter North to compete in four trials to join the Wundrous Society. Morrigan is worried because she doesn’t have a magical “nack” like the hundreds of other kids. She befriends a mischievous boy named Hawthorne with the nack for flying dragons. In between the trials, they try to figure out if the elusive Mr. Jones is connected to the dangerous Wundersmith named Ezra Squall.
Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull
Brandon Mull has outdone himself with an inventive world and interesting characters. Cole, a regular kid, is trick-or-treating with his friends when they all get kidnapped. He manages to hide but follows the kidnappers — to another world of five kingdoms, slavery, and magic — where he’s captured and sold to slavers on the dreaded Outskirts. There he’ll battle mysterious beings living on cloud castles, discover an exiled princess, escape from slavery, and have unimaginable adventures trying to rescue his friends. A great book like Harry Potter!
Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
These are wonderfully engaging fantasy read alike adventures about a world of magic and good and evil. In this story, four siblings accidentally stumble into Narnia, a world of magical beings controlled by an evil witch. We recently listened to the series on audiobook which was even more fun to hear it read in a British accent. (Since we’re American.)
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Twelve-year-old telepathic Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t connect with the older kids at school; she’s not comfortable with her family either. When she meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns that she’s not alone. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth of who she really is and almost instantly she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known. But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
Did you know that Greek gods exist still? And that sometimes they have kids with humans? And those kids are half-bloods with unique powers? Unfortunately for these demigod kids, monsters are out to kill them –not to mention that they are the only ones who can save the world from a war between the gods. This compelling fantasy adventure introduces readers to Greek mythology in a creative way.
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman
In Skandar’s world with bloodthirsty unicorns and unicorn riders, he’s denied as a unicorn rider until a mysterious woman sneaks him in. He learns he and his unicorn have the forbidden 5th spirit element like the evil Weaver whose been wreaking destruction and stealing unicorns. His new friends help him hide the magic and control his unicorn who hates pretending to be a water elemental. But he and his unicorn’s elemental magic may be the only ones who can stop the Weaver.
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Magic and color are closely linked in her world. Only Alice has no color in her skin or hair. And her father has been missing for years making her even sadder. Alice travels with a boy named Oliver to a different magical land in order to find and rescue her Father. But the rules are wildly different and the inhabitants eat people for their magic. Even though Oliver and Alice start their quest at odds, the many challenges join them in a solid friendship. Like Harry Potter, Furthermore is a uniquely creative plot, dense with description and beautiful language.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
A strong female princess named Cimorene doesn’t want to be a damsel in distressed who is rescued and married off. So she leaves her home to apprentice herself to a dragon. Just for fun. No rescuing needed, thank you very much. In her new role, she must save her dragon from a group of evil wizards. We LOVE and highly recommend this fantasy series. (See more excellent chapter books with dragons here.)
The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani Dasgupta
This story pulls you in from the start when Kiranmala discovers on her 12th birthday that she’s a princess from another realm and her real parents are trapped in a black hole-type place. But there’s a lot more she’ll learn — like who her real parents are (it’s not good!) and that demons can be your friends. Kiranmala’s adoptive parents are super awesome, too. If you want a book like Harry Potter, you’ll every second of this entertaining, Indian mythology adventure.
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
The compelling, well-written story jumps into the action immediately when Nizhoni, from the Diné (Navajo) people, sees a monster (disguised as a human) at her basketball game. Making matters worse, it’s her dad’s new boss who kidnaps her dad and wants her little brother, too. She escapes with her brother and best friend to ask the Spider Woman for help, learning that she and her brothers are the descendants of the Hero Twins. Her journey challenges her with heroic trials in order to meet the Sun who will give her weapons to fight the monsters and culminating in a fierce battle between the good guys and the monsters.
Lightcasters by Janelle McCurdy (series)
After the Reaper King’s soldiers attack her forever dark city and capture her parents, Mia, her brother Lucas, plus two other friends flee the nefarious soldiers toward her grandparent’s in the capital city. To make it through the dangerous Nightmare Plains, Mia reluctantly bonds with not one but two wild umbras, creatures made of shadows and starlight, and learns she’s one of the mythical Lightkeepers, foretold to defeat the Reaper King. Unique, super cool world-building, fantastic storytelling.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Wonderfully crafted and imagined, this is a fairy tale of sorts about a good witch who rescues a town’s abandoned (sacrificed) babies and gives them to another town to love. Except for one baby whom she adopts for her own; a special baby named Luna who is accidentally infused with moon magic. It’s also the story of the baby’s magical, bereaved mother, a wicked witch who feeds off sorrow, a woodcarver who wants justice, and most of all, Luna. Winner of the Newbery Award.
Snow Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
This isn’t the same Snow White and Red Rose story from Disney, it’s something closer to the original Grimm story and it’s marvelous. Sisters Snow and Rose live in the woods with their mother because when their father disappeared, they lost their bigger, fancy home. When exploring, they befriend a young boy from a mushrooming family named Ivo as well as a large bear who they nurse back to health during the long winter. They become attached to the bear, fearing that the woodsman will find and kill him. Plus, there’s a sinister Little Man who wants to enchant the sisters or kill them. Surprisingly, this is one Grimm story with a happy ending . . .
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Not only is this story compelling and interesting, but so are the symbolism and life lessons. Charlie’s dad has remarried and moved Charlie and his younger brother into the stepmother’s frightening purple mansion. There Charlie begins to have the most horrible nightmares — nightmares that blur between reality and dream. And when the witches steal Charlie’s brother into the nightmare world, he must enter that world to rescue his brother. Charlie and his friends must learn to face their fears in order for the nightmare world not to have access to the real world.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
I’ve read this book so many times, I can’t count — many times with my classes as a read aloud — and every time it’s just as fantastic. (That doesn’t always happen with books.) A Wrinkle in Time is a remarkable, well-written adventure in space that deals with the overarching theme of good vs. evil. Meg and her brother, Charles Wallace, and friend, Calvin, set off to find her scientist father who disappeared while researching tesseracts. A must-read for Harry Potter fans.
Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman (series)
For books like Harry Potter with adventure and fantasy elements and unique plots, this book fits the bill. Homeless, orphaned 12-year old twins, Anders and Rayna, unexpectedly discover that they are elementals. But that’s not the worst of it because they’re meant to be enemies… Anders is an Ice Wolf and can attend the academy but Rayna is a rare scorch dragon, a feared, child-stealing creature.
Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty
Set in the time of early American settlers, this is a beautiful story about a night-spirit connected to the powerful wood magic of her ancestors. Willa accidentally discovers that her clan is keeping human captives as well as forbidden technology. Because of her discovery, her clan leader wants her dead. Alone and hunted, Willa finds shelter with a kind human man whom she learns to trust. When she realizes that one of his children was one of the human captives, Willa knows she must go back and rescue the humans. The author deftly explores the meaning of family, as well as the themes of prejudice and caring for the natural world.
The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
I highly recommend this epic fantasy series about rabbits, wolves, and birds, lost kingdoms, good vs. evil, friendship, betrayal, and hope for a better world. This is an enthralling book series you won’t be able to put down.
Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler
Voyage of the Frosthart is a fantastic, illustrated adventure story about an orphan boy with forbidden musical powers. After Ash’s Pathfinder parents disappear, Ash moves in with a strict guardian Yeti named Tobu. Unfortunately, they’re banished from their home when Ash uses his forbidden Song Weaver magic. They leave the village with a Pathfinder crew, a ship that sails over the snow. On their journey, Ash realizes that he can find his parents using the words in his childhood lullaby. But he’ll be tried, tested, and tricked. Who will he trust?
Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland
A group of dragonets leaves their hidden safe home only to be captured by a malicious dragon faction. One thing’s for sure: when the dragonets are captured, things don’t look good for their future. Are these the long-awaited dragonets of the prophecy that will end the dragon wars for good? And how will they survive captivity? (See more excellent chapter books with dragons here.)
The Unwanteds by Lissa McMann
In this society, you are sorted as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Alex is declared an Unwanted and sent to die. But instead of death, he is rescued by a magician who has created a secret, magical haven for the Unwanteds where they live and train to use their magical power. (The magical characters in this world like Alex’s art teacher — an octagator — are so inventive, just wait until you meet them all!) But Alex risks the safety of his new home to see his Wanted twin in the old world.
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Dangerous ghosts and spirits are appearing everywhere in Victorian London. Since kids are the only ones who can see them, teens Lucy, Anthony, and George earn money at their ghost-hunting agency. In this first story, they take a perilous job that may just be their last. The writing and creative storytelling in this series will blow your mind.
Impyrium by Henry H. Neff (series)
Hazel is the third granddaughter, a princess who resembles no one else in the family except the most dangerous magician ruler the kingdom ever knew. She, like her ancestor, is gifted at magic and her grandmother wants to use Hazel’s magic to protect the kingdom. But it’s an unjust kingdom and Hob, a young spy and commoner boy in her service, wants things to change. Hazel will face a choice to follow in the dark magic footsteps of her ancestor. Hob will face doing what he’s ordered or following his heart. Plots within plots, twists and turns, make this a wonderful, enthralling fantasy adventure like Harry Potter.
Quest for the Crystal Crown by Story Pirates, Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White
The Quest for the Crystal Crown is a funny, entertaining fantasy adventure that, believe it or not, also teaches kids how to write fantasy stories. Laura and her friend Millie leave the safety of their walled village in order to save their village from the evil Hexors who will attack if they don’t get the missing Crystal Crown. With the help of a mage, they meet in the first village, Dead End, the three kids embark on the quest of a lifetime. I loved the story, the writing, and the writing guide. If you’re looking to write books like Harry Potter, read this next.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Throne, and John Tiffany
Even though it’s not as good as the original books, this original screenplay is such a treat for us who love Harry Potter — it’s one more trip to this beloved world this time about Harry’s son Albus. We follow Harry’s second son, Albus, and his best friend, Scorpius who is Draco’s son. The boys decide to change history and steal an illegal time-turner from the Ministry of Magic. As you can imagine, messing with history is disastrous. Revisit your favorite places and characters with this new HP story.
The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody (series)
A fantastic, magical journey of self-acceptance, a bewitching plotline, and irresistible characters. When gathering mushrooms in his latest apprenticeship, Barclay accidentally becomes his worst fear — a Lore Keeper bonded with a mythical beast. Even though he doesn’t want to be a Lore Keeper, Barclay is forced out of his villagers. He travels with another Lore Keeper named Violet to a town searching for ways to get rid of his mark. He’ll soon have to make a choice — cut out the Beast or embrace his new life. It’s one of the books like Harry Potter with a hero’s journey.
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
Another must-own book for Harry Potter fans. This is what Dumbledore left to Hermione in his will that helped the friends figure out the Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter Schoolbooks by J.K. Rowling
Pretend you’re at Hogwarts and study Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages!
Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley
My kids love this book! It’s a new Harry Potter book filled with beautiful photos and details from behind the scenes of the movies.
A Pop Up Guide to Hogwarts by Matthew Reinhart
If your kids are like mine, they love all the possible books they can own about their favorite series. Impressive pop-ups will transport readers to Hogwarts.
Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide to Diagon Alley and Beyond by Matthew Reinhart, illustrated by Kevin M. Wilson
The coolness factor of this pop-up book is beyond words –because it’s a complete sensory experience. Open the pages and Diagon Alley pops out in three dimensions. See Ollivanders, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and the Leaky Cauldron plus more locations like the Ministry of Magic. Lift flaps, pull levers, read the information, look at the nuanced details, and smell the fresh book smell. What an amazing book!
The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook by Rita Mock Pike
Got a Harry Potter fan? Beautiful, full-color photographs accompany clear step-by-step recipes of HP-inspired foods that kids will enjoy making and eating including pumpkin tarts, chocolate frogs, rice pudding, strawberry trifle, crumpets, chipolatas, goulash, and citrus glazed ham. Discover recipes for fall, winter, spring, and summer marked with holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. The only challenge will be which to make first!
Enjoy these books similar to Harry Potter!
And let me know which books your kids are loving!
I’ve added each of these books to my new master book lists by age.
Early Reader Books for 5- and 6- year olds
Check out 15 Chapter Book Series That Should Be More Popular.
Science Fiction Books for Kids
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I’m so happy to see The Green Ember on your list!!!
Books for Teens
Daughter of smoke and bone,The Magisterium by Holly Black, Dragon Kin, Elder Races , Our chemical hearts, Lux Series,Zecharia Sitchin books,The Chronicles of Ixia Series,Kingdom by the Sea by Kathryn Le Veque,THE SWEET TRILOGY BY WENDY HIGGINS,Hush Hush by Becca fitzpatrick,Eurona Duology – Wendy Higgins,Penryn & the End of Days Series,Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid,Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh,The Dark Elements Series by Jennifer L Armentrout,Traveler’s Gate Series will wight,Cradle Series by Will Wight, The Iron Teeth by Scott Straughan,Witchy World by Jamie McFarlane
Two books written in the sixties that deserve to be on the list are The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner and The Giant Under the Snow by John Gordon and soon to be a new film too.
Excellent stories both of them.
I didn’t read through all of the comments, but I’ve read many lists of this type and haven’t seen the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. I began reading it when I was waiting for the next Harry Potter (years ago), and really enjoyed all seven books. The series is similar to Harry Potter but not as deep and not as dark. And I’ve recently discovered that there is a second series focusing on new characters but with the old characters as background.
I lost interest after a few books so that’s why I didn’t include it here. However, yes, it’s a good choice for many! Thanks for the comment.