Best Harry Potter Books: Top 5 Magical Stories Most Recommended By Experts

Pack your bags and grab your wands, we’re about to go on a magical adventure! As a literary masterpiece, the Harry Potter series follows the journey of a young Mr. Potter as he discovers he’s secretly one of the most famous wizards of all time. Filled with daring tales and heartwarming adventures, Harry Potter books are every bit as magical as they are terrific. For these reasons, the best Harry Potter books continue to crowd the bookshelves everywhere you go. 

For our children, the realer-than-life fantasy that is Harry Potter is important. Why is that? Because we live during a time when privacy concerns and political agendas are tightening censorship. As a result, more and more schools are shifting their curriculums while pulling books from the shelves. In fact, a recent study found that three in four Americans don’t believe books should be banned. Respondents viewed a list of ​​some of the most frequently banned books since 1990, according to the American Library Association, and were asked which ones they’ve ever read. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (31 percent) topped the list, with “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll and “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak in second and third, respectively.

On top of banning once must-read books in school, the oppression of our literacy doesn’t stop there. Let’s explain. According to a new study, it was found that “more than a third of children don’t feel represented in the books they read.” Of the 50 percent of girls who don’t feel represented, 39 percent of them say it’s because the lead role always seems to belong to a boy. Meanwhile, only 13 percent of parents have seen minority races represented in the books their children read. It also emerged that 62 percent think their child would be more inclined to read more often if the main characters represented similarities to them. 

Fortunately for us, the best Harry Potter books are timeless tales and they shouldn’t follow a similar suit. Totaling seven books in all, there’s much debate about which Harry Potter book is the best. All the same, we’ve set the record straight and compiled the list for you. To learn about the best Harry Potter films, we invite you to continue reading on. And for those of you who don’t happen to see your favorite – don’t fret. Feel free to drop us a comment below and share your top pick. 

Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter (Photo by Aditya Vyas on

The List: Best Harry Potter Books, According to Experts


1. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Prepare to dive into the murky depths of Voldemort’s dark art and hidden truths. As The Top Tens describes, “Every Harry Potter book has its own speciality and this just screams that with every word that Rowling writes…even though it is dark and sad, the sixth book in the Harry Potter series is both action packed and informative.”

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

The Half-Blood Prince is the sixth novel of the franchise and to many Dumbledore fan-favorites, it is widely considered the best Harry Potter book. How so? As Joseph Writer Anderson, writes, “Prince sets an almost impossibly high bar for the ending of the series, and introduces a lot of vital information about the Wizarding World we just didn’t know before.” Additionally, “this book is incredibly light in tone and is full of outrageously funny moments.” To thicken the stew, the “film also reveals a deeper side to the anti-hero, Severus Snape.” 

Within the opening pages, the Muggle world falls subject to dark wizards intent on causing harm and mayhem. And for readers, the adrenaline and action doesn’t stop there. As RT Book Reviews explains, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince often takes the number one spot for many fans because of its funny streaks.” But aside from the funny moments, “The Half Blood Prince also gives us a huge amount of detail about Severus Snape” while “showing us the friendship between Snape and Harry’s mother, Lily, along with his tense relationship with Harry’s father, James.”

2. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

Filled with danger, mystery, and excitement, the “Chamber of Secrets” is one of J.K. Rowlings best works and transports readers into the beloved series. From being chased by rogue bludgers to confronting the ghost of Lord Voldemort’s past, this book is full of highs and lows. As Winter is Coming explains, “In the book, Harry, Ron, and Hermione try to figure out who opened the Chamber of Secrets and unleashed a monster on the school.” After Hermoine becomes petrified, “Harry, Ron, and Professor Lockhart venture into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny Weasley,” who has been possessed by “the soul of Tom Riddle.”

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

Through an intricate narrative, Rowling’s masterful writing skills come to the front stage. From start to finish, this book is a real page turner. As Bro The Rice breaks down, “The Chamber of Secrets follows mostly the same formula as Sorcerer’s Stone.” Like the previous year, “Harry goes to Hogwarts, undertakes a quest to save the school from an evil being alongside his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and saves the day.” And while that’s drastically underselling the impact of the novel, this book is critically important as it really points out the “strong bond between Harry, Ron and Hermione that starts to form towards the end.”

The second book of the series, the Chamber of Secrets is undeniably one of the most beloved Harry Potter books. With the introduction of Dobby the house-elf, Tom Riddle’s diary, and the Polyjuice Potion, there’s so much for readers to grab ahold of when reading this book. Like Bookstr recalls, “The basilisk plot is terrifying and quite gripping and the loss of Hermione for numerous chapters hurts.” To add, “the plot twist of Tom Riddle gives a real bite near the end” while the novel does “advance the series forward some.” 

3. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” 

The Goblet of Fire is one of the most enthralling books of the series as it brings together three foreign magical schools to compete in a legendary event known as the Triwizard Tournament. With each turn of the page, the suspense, humor, and heartache build up for a truly immersive reading experience. As RT Book Reviews mentions, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire secures the number one spot because there’s so much going on.” As “the fourth book of the iconic series,” The Goblet of Fire possesses “a huge amount of character development.” 

"Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire"
“Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire”

Marking a turning point in the series, the “Goblet of Fire” does an outstanding job of creating a sense of foreboding that underscores the perils Harry and his friends must face. As the characters grow older, loyalty, identity, and the consequences of their actions must be faced. For backstory, Ranker explains how, “The Goblet of Fire follows Harry Potter during his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he is forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.” Through its popularity and success, the “novel won a Hugo Award” and “was later released worldwide as a movie and a video game.” 

The emotional depth is a standout feature of the “Goblet of Fire,” making it one of the best Harry Potter books. Through the journey of self-discovery and overwhelming courage, readers are transported into the Great Halls of Hogwarts for an unforgettable chapter in Harry’s life. As Bro The Rice claims, “This book is where the series really starts as Harry’s enemies begin to take shape and action against him.” As best described, “From the moment Harry is chosen for the Triwizard Tournament, readers know something is amiss.” 

4. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” 

Introducing readers to new allies and tragic loss, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” has an infusing narrative that’s backed with a sense of anxiety and urgency. In total, it is the fifth book of the series. As Attack of the Fan Boy writes, “Following the trauma of the Goblet of Fire, Harry’s time does not get much better for him as readers get a brooding, angsty, and noticeably more adult Harry as he begins to feel the weight of his apparent connection to Voldemort.” However, the “darker nature of Order of the Phoenix managed to play to its strengths well, and as a result, it has arguably the strongest ending out of all the Harry Potter books.” In the end, “Rowling also gave readers a peek at the more mystical, unexplainable side of magic.” 

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" 
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

From the formation of the Dumbledore army to the tragic loss of Sirius Black, the Order of the Phoenix is full of non-stop action, emotions, and resilience. With twists and turns, readers are never sure what to expect as Harry fights for his life and his friends. As Winter is Coming reports, “The fifth book continues to follow the story of Voldemort’s return, the murder of Cedric Diggory, and the other events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Published in 2003, the plot begins with “Harry being attacked by dementors while staying with the Dursleys.” From there, “Harry deals with the cruel Professor Dolores Umbridge, an absent Dumbledore, nightmares, and just overall unhappiness and unpredictability.” 

“The Order of the Phoenix” ushered the development and added depth to our understanding of characters like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Severus, Malfoy, and Voldemort. For these reasons, it’s one of the most important and best Harry Potter books. As Bro The Rice recites, “The Second Wizarding War has begun and the Order of the Phoenix has been assembled.” To sum up the book, “Harry becomes the leader people expected him to be, as he creates a secret organization of students training to fight Voldemort.” And just like the “Goblet of Fire,” “the ending is a catalyst for future events of the series with Voldemort back in the fray.” 

5. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Anyone who reads “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is still secretly awaiting their letter to Hogwarts. We know we are. As Joseph Writer Anderson breaks down, “The Sorcerer’s Stone is the best selling book in the series.” As the first novel of the series, “this book doesn’t contain nearly as much mouthwatering details as later books,” but it really “does stand up to the test of time.”

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone"
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

From cover to cover, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down. So before you start, make sure you ask yourself, are you ready to learn about the boy who lived? As Bookstr sums up, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will always remain a classic for its introduction to the world of the Potterverse and the characters within.” Shorter than the other books, “it’s a breezy read” as the world “feels less fleshed out and more childish than later books.” All the same, “this is the book that made our love for the series last forever.”

As the first book that introduced us to the Wizarding World, the “Sorcerer’s Stone” will always be among the best Harry Potter books – ever! No other book launches you into another world quite like this masterpiece. As Ranker describes, “The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage as he makes close friends and a few enemies in his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” Years after publishing, the book “has won the most of the British book awards and has been translated to several other languages.” 

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