What to Read Next – Harry Potter Edition


The film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hit theaters last week and it made me nostalgic for the days of reading the books for the first time. If you are like me and want to read another great series, here is a list of books that might help fill the void left by Harry Potter. Both children and adults can enjoy most of these books. Many have themes similar to Harry Potter, such as a child who doesn’t fit in finding out that he or she is somehow special or different from most kids.


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl, a twelve-year-old boy genius and criminal mastermind, has uncovered the secret world of fairies and plots to steal their gold. These are not traditional fairies, however, as they are heavily armed and equipped with advanced technology. The Artemis Fowl series is often compared to Harry Potter because the books feature a variety of magical creatures and an independent young boy, but that’s where the similarities end. The Artemis Fowl books are very witty and funny and they have a unique cast of characters.


Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon is probably more like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars than Harry Potter, but they do share many of the same fans. It tells the story of a young boy who bonds with a dragon and discovers his special role as the last of the Dragon Riders. Eragon and his world of magic, elves, dwarves, and dragons will appeal to fans of fantasy of all ages.


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson is an average eleven-year-old boy with ADHD until he discovers that his father is Greek god Poseidon, making Percy a demigod. Percy travels to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp that protects the children of gods from forces who want to harm them. There are blatant similarities to Harry Potter, but Percy and his friends are more modern, hip, and sometimes just plain hilarious.


The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
The first book in an amazing trilogy, The Golden Compass tells the story of spunky Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon (read our full review here). In Lyra’s world, each individual’s soul physically manifests itself into animal form, called a daemon. She is an orphan who embarks on a quest to save her friend. This is much more than just a children’s book and will appeal to adults who can appreciate the mature themes.


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Meggie is a 12 year-old girl whose father, Mo, has a strange ability. When she was younger, he read aloud from the book Inkheart and the evil characters came alive into their world and Meggie’s mother went into the book. Now evil forces want to use Mo’s ability for their own purposes. The magical and fairy tale aspects of Inkheart should appeal to Harry Potter fans.


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
If you like the love connections and teenage angst in the Harry Potter books, you might like the Twilight saga. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that it’s about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire who can read everyone’s mind but hers. Sure it’s cheesy at times, but I bet you’ll be hooked by the character-driven story.

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  • Sandie

    Great list Kristen. These are all books that I had my eye on except, Artemis Fowl, which I now want to read. I have read a few of them except The Golden Compass, Inkheart (which I actually own) and Artemis Fowl.

    But unfortunately, nothing will ever equal Harry Potter, ha! :-(

  • Kristen

    Sandie – I agree, Harry Potter is in a league of its own. I can’t imagine there will be another book that I will wait in line for at midnight!

  • David

    WOW great list Kristen, I just need to read Inkheart and Artemis Fowl to complete the list. Artemis Fowl sounds really good, how could a kid planning to steal from fairies not grab your imagination.

    Twiligh, I read them and I am ashamed to say all four books in less than a month. Thinking back I thought they sucked, nothing really happened, yet I couldn’t stop reading!

    Another suggestion would be the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, I think there are 11 books in all but I’m around 8 books in and it still has my interest.

  • Maureen

    I also highly recommend “The Magickers” series by Emily Drake and “The Four Forges” by Jenna Rhodes

  • Kirbyderbygirl

    Great list, blah blah blah, ditto ditto. The first three are utterly FANTASTIC, I just finished the amazing Artemis Fowl series… well, actually I finished it a while ago, but I’ve been rereading the seven books for a month or two- yes, they’re really that good! 
    Twilight, well, it’s an awful book, but of course I couldn’t stop reading them. I’m serious. They STINK. Anyhow, I have yet to read Inkheart, but want to, in case you care for some reason, lol, can’t see why you would. 
    I think I read the Golden Compass a while ago. Honestly, I thought it was terrible, though I cannot remember why. Perhaps I thought it overly confusing and unbelievable. In conclusion- did I really write that? I’ve been writing too many English essays- Artemis Fowl is awesome. I LOVE IT!!! OH MY GOD, IT IS SO EXTREMELY AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE!!!
    Wow, I probably just convinced you not to read it, lol.