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For many kids (and adults, too!), the Harry Potter series is the best of the best when it comes to books. Suspense, action, a bit of romance ... it appeals to both diehard and casual readers. We know the feeling of reading your absolute favorite book can't necessarily be replicated, but we'll certainly give it a try! Here are some staff picks for Harry Potter read alikes.

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Book River Title
Harry Potter Read Alikes
Book River Items

The Magicians (2009)

by Lev Grossman

Often called "Harry Potter for adults," this trilogy centers on a young man who similarly finds himself removed from his normal, uninteresting life and admitted into an elusive and secretive college of modern sorcery. This coming of age tale has decidedly more mature content and themes than Harry Potter, which adults who grew up with the juggernaut series but whose reading tastes have matured may welcome. — Emily Vinci, Fiction Manager


Akata Witch (2011)

by Nnedi Okorafor

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria where she makes new friends who introduce her to a whole new world full of magic and magical creatures. This middle grade novel is not just a great choice for middle schoolers, but also for teens and adults who are fans of the Harry Potter series as it features magical training and an evil character that Sunny and her friends must defeat. — Allison Riggs, Teen Librarian


Aru Shah and the End of Time (2018)

by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is the first book in the Pandava series. Twelve-year-old Aru Shah lives at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture along with her mom, the curator of the museum.  Trying to impress her friends, Aru lights the cursed Lamp of Bharata, unleashing a demonic monster that makes time stand still.   This story features a mixture of Hindu mythology and folkore, creating a riveting adventure lead by a witty, strong, female protagonist. — Vicki Heller, Collection Development Librarian


The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2006)

by Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Based on C.S. Lewis’s work, The Chronicles of Narnia begins when four siblings travel through an old wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia. The siblings go on an adventurous journey together to fulfill an ancient prophecy by saving Narnia from the evil Ice Queen. If you like this movie, check out the other three movies in this series! — Dina Ragano, Fiction, Movies & Music Department Coordinator


Storm Front : of the Dresden Files (2007)

by Jim Butcher

Storm Front by Jim Butcher is volume one of The Dresden Files series and was published 20 years ago, but I always like to start a series with the first book! Harry Dresden is a wisecracking wizard-for-hire in Chicago with the worst luck you can imagine. He is contacted by a woman to investigate the disappearance of her husband, who it turns out has been dabbling in magic. Mature readers will enjoy this fun, light read that is crime noir detective story meets urban fantasy. If you like this one, the series keeps getting better with book 17 released last year and a planned span of 23-24 volumes. The series features an assortment of paranormal monsters - vampires, werewolves, ghosts, faeries, etc.  – and a flawed, but basically good main character. — Gail Tobin, Hanover Park Branch Manager


Carry on : the Rise and Fall of Simon Snow (2015)

by Rainbow Rowell

Often considered “gay Harry Potter,” it investigates and explores the “Chosen One” trope in a fun and interesting way. It follows two wizards, Simon and Baz, at Watford School of Magicks, where Simon is navigating being the “chosen one”, but not being very good at it. There’s a great enemies-to-lovers slow burn between Simon and Baz, as Simon tries to figure out what Baz is hiding. — Rachel Newlin, Cataloging Librarian