The Harry Potter Series is today’s Monday Summer Reading Recommendation.
We’re fast approaching the end of July, which any Harry Potter fan knows is when Hogwarts letters arrive and also Harry’s Birthday (on July 31). This year July 31 is more special with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
My daughter loves the Harry Potter series. Last month, we attended Barnes & Noble’s Harry Potter night with trivia. I was very impressed with how much trivia my daughter knew, especially since much of the trivia was from the books and not the movies.
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Harry Potter Series
There are 7 main books in the Harry Potter Series. I definitely recommend reading the books in order. The Harry Potter books are timeless since they take place in the Wizard World so modern technology places a very small part in the books. The books build on each other, so it is definitely recommended to read them in order.
- The Sorcerer’s Stone
- The Chamber of Secrets
- The Prisoner of Azkaban
- The Goblet of Fire
- The Order of the Phoenix
- The Half Blood Prince
- The Deathly Hallows
We already own all 7 books. After a friend made us watch the first movie, we were hooked and bought a set of the first four books. The books are readily available for purchase either individually or as a set. Especially if you have multiple children, I definitely recommend purchasing the books for re-reading.
If you prefer ebooks, the Harry Potter series is currently available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Ad: Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial
After my daughter finished each book, we would watch the corresponding movie. We did cheat with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows since there are two movies for this book. We watched the first movie when she was about 3/4 through the book.
Age Range for Harry Potter
In the books Harry goes from an 11 year old boy to a 17 year old wizard with one book for each year of school. As Harry and friends grow up, so do the books with longer books and darker tone. In my opinion, there is a real pivot point in the last section of Goblet of Fire (the fourth book).
We originally exposed our daughter to Harry Potter as a preschooler. At that time, we watched the first three movies and the fourth stopping before the graveyard scene. We also read the first book as our daughter’s bedtime story.
I envy the parents whose children were reading Harry Potter as the books were released. They were able to start reading the books and grow up with Harry and did not have to decide if there child was old enough to read subsequent books. In the end, my daughter had seen all of the movies before she’s started reading the books herself at age 9. So she read all of the books in a row. She started reading them before our visit to Universal Studios which has Harry Potter sections in both of their parks.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is follow-up play that takes place after the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (19 years after the main action). The screenplay will be released in book format on Harry Potter’s birthday – Sunday, July 31.
There are several special events planned in Ann Arbor to celebrate the new release:
Extra Harry Potter Books
Beyond the 7 books in the series, JK Rowling has also released 3 books based on books referenced in the series.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Tales of Beedle Bard. My daughter loves the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch through the Ages. For most of the last school year, she alternated checking the two books out from the school library (my apologies if your child is at her school and couldn’t get a copy). I’ve offered to buy her the books, but she said that was silly since she could just check them out from school. I think she’s out of luck now since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out of print until a new edition is released this spring.
Experience Harry Potter
Of course for any Harry Potter, the ultimate experience is getting to live Harry Potter. Universal Studios just opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter land at their Hollywood amusement park. Universal Orlando offers two Wizarding World Of Harry Potter sections – their original offering of Hogsmeade including Hogwarts at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
We have visited Harry Potter at Universal Orlando twice – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure in 2013 and both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in 2015. The experience is definitely immersive from walking through Platform 9 3/4 to ride Hogwarts Express, to using your wand to do magic, to visiting Gringott’s bank the level of detail is amazing.