This article is about the Harry Potter books as a series. For a list of all books or for the article for a specific book, see Category:Books.
Harry Potter is a series of books written by J. K. Rowling. The main story is about what happens to a boy called Harry Potter after he discovers that he is really a wizard, with a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry Potter is a series of seven books which encompass the journey and adventures of the wizard, Harry Potter through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. Each book covers the length of an entire school year of Harry's life, typically beginning around his birthday on July 31st, and ending at the start of summer Holidays in June. The books encompass the wizarding battle of good versus evil, where evil is personified by the Dark Wizard Voldemort (also called "You-Know-Who" due to fear of saying his name).
The series begin with a tradegy that leaves Harry Potter an orphan and the Wizarding World in celebration of his achievement. At the age of one, Harry was somehow, mysteriously, able to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort - one of the most powerful wizards in existence. This mysterious defeat is a central point for the next seven novels. Orphaned, Harry was sent to live with his non-magical (or muggle) aunt and uncle for the first eleven years of his life. They treat him poorly, and he is often beatten up by his cousin. Harry soon learns that he is a wizard and goes to Hogwarts to study wizardry.
While at school, Harry discovers prejudices and enemies as well as friends and love. Although the series is dependent on all of the books, each novel is meant to stand separately as well. The entire series is often split into two parts, with the first three books being a sequence of seemingly unrelated adventures and solving dark mysteries that are happening at school. The 4th book is a transitional novel, with a tournament that culminates in a disasterous end and the rise of the Dark Lord Voldemort. Books 5-7 encompass the rise of Lord Voldemort, the fight against him, and his final downfall.
Currently, there are three supplementary novels which are based off of books that appear in the main series. Two of Harry's school books, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them and Quidditch Through the Ages, were published simultaneously. Fantastic Beasts provides insight into the categorization of beings and beasts in the wizarding world, some of the politics behind the dealings of sentient creatures with wizards, and descriptions of creatures that exist in the Potter Universe. "Quidditch" explains the rules and the history of the magical sport which is played in the Potter Universe. "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" appeared in the 7th book of the series as a large key in solving the mystery of the Deathly Hallows. The supplementary work provides several fairy tales of the wizarding world, with commentary by Albus Dumbledore.
All Suplementary works were published for charitable purposes.
Structure and genre
Harry Potter is classified as a Children's Fantasy novel. Though it is often argued that the last books of the series deal with matter that is far too serious for Children of certain ages.
Although the series is dependent on all seven of the books, each novel is meant to stand separately as well.
In general, the entire series is split into two distinct parts, with the first three books being a sequence of seemingly unrelated adventures and solving dark mysteries that are happing at school. Books 1-3 each have a finite mystery which is solved by the conclusion of the novel. Though there is still some bits of mystery left for the rest of series to answer.
The 4th book is a transitional novel. Though there is an overarching plot, The Triwizard Tournament, which concludes by the end of the novel, there is also a secondary story-line, the rise of Lord Voldemort, which is left unresolved. The second phase of the Potter series is covered in Books 5, 6, and 7, which encompass the rise of Lord Voldemort, the formation of a fight against him, and his final downfall respectively.
For more indepth discussion, see Major Themes.
Origins and publishing history
Completion of the series
Foreign Book Covers
Awards and honours
Criticism, praise, and controversy