All Harry Potter Books in Order

Harry Potter has been one of the biggest success stories in the children’s fantasy genre over the past two decades.

J.K. Rowling’s 8-novel series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide, becoming a cultural phenomenon in the process.

All the screen adaptations of the books have also been huge hits, grossing over 7 billion collectively.

With all this much success, comes a lot of fake stories and books that use the Harry Potter trademark to make money illicitly. Because of that, a lot of people do not know the exact number and order of Harry Potter books.

That is until they land on this post. Among other J.K. Rowling-related stuff, this post has all eight books of the Harry Potter series.

Let’s get started.

all harry potter books in order

Top 3 Harry Potter Books To Read

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)

Who is the author of the Harry Potter series?

The books were written by J.K. Rowling. She was born Joanne Rowling on July 31st, 1965, in England.

After graduating from the University of Exeter in 1987, she became a bilingual secretary and later worked for Amnesty International, documenting human rights cases in French-speaking Africa.

During this time, Rowling had already started writing adult novels, but she had no publishing deal. She first thought of Harry Potter in 1990 while waiting on a delayed train. Since the ideas came to her when she was least prepared, she let her imagination wander about and added more bits to the characters (Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley) that she had conceived.

jk rowling's harry potter book
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book.

She began writing Harry Potter, but when her mother died of multiple sclerosis in December of that year (1990), Rowling was heavily affected.

When she continued writing, she drew inspiration from her mother’s death and ended up having things like Mirror of Erised.

In November 1991, Rowling moved to Porto, Portugal to teach English. She’d teach night classes and write during the day. She later met Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes, whom she married on October 16, 1992.

The marriage didn’t last long, and as of November 18, 1993, Rowling and Arantes had separated.

After struggling with divorce, single motherhood, and unemployment, J.K. Rowling finished Philosopher’s Stone in a flat in Leith in June 1995. She might not have known it at the time, but finishing that book was a life-changing step.  

But before the success, came 12 heartbreaking rejections from 12 different publishers. When Bloomsbury Publishing bought and published the book in 1997, it was the genesis of a book series that would rake in billions of dollars, produce stories that would win a lot of awards, and be turned into the second-biggest film franchise of all time.

All 8 Harry Potter books in order

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
  8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016)
from harry potter and the sorcerer's stone to harry potter and the deadly hallows
From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to Harry Potter and the deadly hallows. (Image credit: “Harry Potter Book Collection” by ajay_suresh on Flickr CC BY 2.0)

5 Best Harry Potter Books

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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This is the book that introduced us to the story of Harry Potter. Harry is a young wizard who lives at number four in Privet Drive with his muggle (non-magical) family (Uncle Vernon Dursley, Aunt Petunia Dursley, and Cousin Dudley). 

But the Dursleys hated Harry, and they verbally abused, beat, and bullied him for most of his life.

So, when, on his eleventh birthday, Harry discovers that he is a wizard—something the Dursleys have tried to hide from him—, Vernon Dursley believes that Harry’s acceptance at Hogwarts is bad news.

However, for Harry, this discovery is the start of an adventure that will both be splendid and frightening at the same time. He receives a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry inviting him to attend classes there.

It is on the Hogwarts Express (his ride to Hogwarts) that he meets Ron and Hermione, people that will be with him throughout the story.

After he settles in at Hogwarts and the sorting hat allocates him to Gryffindor, he starts making himself some foes, most of whom are affiliated with the Slytherin house.

This is the genesis, the start of Harry’s friendships and his discovery of the circumstances surrounding his parents’ mysterious deaths.


2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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In this installment, Harry Potter and the rest of Hogwarts are back at the world’s best school of witchcraft and wizardry.

But this is after Dobby, a house-elf, warns Harry not to go back to Hogwarts.

And they haven’t returned in the most settled manner; they crash a flying Ford that Ron stole.

Hogwarts is filled with fear when “the Heir” starts petrifying students and animals alike.

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened!

Harry and his two friends quickly get on the case. They work to find solutions with the aid of potions, speaking spiders, and mysterious flashbacks.


3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we meet Sirius Black and the guards of the wizard prison of Azkaban: Dementors.

Black, a convicted murderer, has escaped from Azkaban and is going after Harry Potter. There were hints about Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but he became an important character in this book.

The Dementors swarm Hogwarts in search of Sirius Black. However, the arrival of dementors at Hogwarts is not particularly good news for Harry because he has a bad reaction to them.

In this story, Harry finds a father figure in his late father’s friend, Professor Remus Lupin. Harry’s friend Lupin, who is also the new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher, helps Harry learn a charm (Patronus Charm) that he can use to protect and fortify himself against dementors.

However, there seems to be a link between Sirius Black, Harry’s father, and Lupin. What could it be? Who is Sirius Black?


4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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The thing about the Harry Potter series is that as you move from one book/movie to the next, you watch Harry, Hermione, and Ron.

Just like that, the three best friends are in their fourth year at Hogwarts.

The story starts with the Quidditch World Cup, after which Harry goes back to Hogwarts to start his fourth year of school. There’s excitement because Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament: a competition in which students from several wizard schools will take part.

The tournament proved to be thrilling and with lots of challenges (as usual), but I quickly noticed that the story was transitioning. I’m not alone, I think the transition is so apparent. Although this book promises young adult fun at the beginning for Harry and his friends, the threat of you-know-who becomes more apparent. 

Harry’s story will transition from a relatively adventurous theme to a darker and somber theme in the end.


5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Harry’s cohort is in its Sixth-year and there is jealousy and romance brewing amid Harry’s war with Voldemort.

In this installment, the young wizard discovers Voldemort’s family tree. Harry is taught about Voldermot’s past by Professor Albus Dumbledore to get him ready for a major conflict with Voldemort.

At this point, Harry has accepted that his destiny is to be “The Chosen One.” He knows that his purpose is to kill Voldemort or die trying. 

So, Harry is focused on finding Voldermot’s only vulnerability.


Top 5 Harry Potter Characters

1. Harry Potter

boy in harry potter costume
Boy in Harry Potter costume.

Not putting Harry in the first spot is like not ranking Sherlock Holmes in his own story. Absurd.

But apart from the fact that the series is in Harry’s name, why is he first on this list?

Well, he is what most of us want/wanted to be. Someone who has tragedy pinned to their beginnings yet is humble and sympathetic.

On top of that, he has to face a Goliath that has already caused so much damage and is feared by everyone. This is a character that everyone claps for.

Those who’ve read the books will tell you that Harry is not a perfect kid; he makes mistakes just like the rest of us.

But… What can we expect from a young kid fighting the world’s most powerful evil lord? We can expect worse than how Harry carried himself.

2. Hermione Granger

Hermione was the smartest of the trio. She’s the daughter I’d like to have. In J.K. Rowling’s own words, Hermione is “a logical, upright, and good girl.”

You can see her morph from “smartypants” into a young woman with excellent reasoning, ready to do anything for the greater good.

3. Ron Weasley

Out of the three friends, I like Ron the most. I feel like I have met “a Ron” in my life, he’s so natural.

Rowling created a near-perfect best friend for Harry. He’s loyal and always ready to be Harry’s partner in crime.

Sometimes, jealousy got the best of him, but, in the end, he was always there for Harry.

He’s sort of a sidekick, but Ron isn’t satisfied with being just that. And in Deathly Hallows, we saw Ron abandon his two BFFs. But to our relief, he returned.

He might not be as great a wizard as Harry or as smart as Hermione, but he plays huge roles, including being a Quidditch hero and co-founding Dumbledore’s Army.

4. Albus Dumbledore

photograph of dumbledore in a pentagon shaped frame
Photograph of Dumbledore in a pentagon-shaped frame.

Dumbledore is in the same league as Gandalf. They even look similar and have the same wise-man role in their stories. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is the grandfather figure in the Harry Potter series.

He is also one of the most powerful wizards ever and the founding father of the Order of the Phoenix, an organization devoted to fighting “You Know Who.”

5. Severus Snape

You’d think that with the hype that Voldemort got in the first installment, he’d easily be in the top 5. No, the ever-present Snape narrowly edges him.

Snape isn’t the type you want to have in your class or school. Harry can’t avoid this bully, who hates Harry because of his father, James.

Like some of my despicable high school teachers, Snape had his favorite students, Draco Malfoy being one of them.

However, Snape is the most divisive figure in the Harry Potter series. Some think he is an evil person who tries to do some good now and then, while others think he is a good man with some evil traits.

I think it’s more complicated than that. Whatever you think of him, you cannot deny that he had a powerful impact on the series.

Harry Potter FAQs

harry potter character toys
Harry Potter character toys.

How many Harry Potter books are there?

There are eight Harry Potter books in total.

Do you have to read the Harry Potter books in order?

Yes. The books are not stand-alone, so you have to read them in the order they were published.

Is Harry Potter a true story?

Yes and no. The story is fictitious, and so is Harry Potter. However, the name Harry Potter was inspired by Ian Potter, one of Rowling’s neighbors when she was a child.

Does Harry Potter die in the movie series?

No, Harry Potter survives to the end. But, at a certain point in the story, he is sent to Limbo, a place where the souls of the departed go before moving on to the afterlife. Here, Harry met and spoke to Albus Dumbledore.

How many Harry Potter films have been officially released?

Eight Harry Potter films have been released.

Conclusion

Harry Potter is a fantasy series written by British author J.K. Rowling. It follows the adventures of a young wizard named Harry Potter, who—with his friends Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and others—fights against Lord Voldemort, the main antagonist of the series.

Harry Potter has become a household name since J.K. Rowling published her first book in 1997, and the series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide and spawned eight movies.

J.K. Rowling has won numerous awards and accolades for her writing and is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time.

In addition to being a writer, she is also a philanthropist and a patron of charities.

About Jessica Majewski

Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories.

She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.