What made Harry Potter such a phenomenon was that it turned around a trend where fewer and fewer children were reading books.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone changed all that.
There are seven books in the main series of Harry Potter. These are the books that were first published and then turned into movies. Later on, the eighth story about Harry Potter was published to complete the series.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s stone depending on where you live)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
There are then three other books that relate to the Harry Potter “Potterverse”.
These books are not directly related to Harry Potter.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them
- Quidditch through the Ages
- Tales of Beedle the Bard
Table of Contents
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the USA and India.
The book was the first of the Harry Potter novels to be published (1997). The book was written by British author J.K. Rowling. The book was Rowling’s debut novel.
The story follows the life of Harry Potter who on his eleventh birthday discovers he has a magical lineage when he is sent a letter of acceptance to a strange-sounding school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.
This novel covers Harry Potter’s first year at the school, during which he is instrumental in halting a return of the Dark Wizard named Voldemort.
Voldemort was the wizard that had previously killed Harry’s parents, so there were obviously personal issues involved.
Harry had also been the subject of the attack that killed his parents when he was 15 months old, leaving him with a recognizable scar.
The book was first published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom. (26th June 1997).
It was published in the USA by the scholastic Corporation as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The USA Publication date was one year later than the UK.
The book met with great response and won most of the appropriate British awards in the UK, and several in the USA.
By August 1999 it had reached number one position in the New York Times Bestsellers List.
It stayed at number one for 1999 and much of 2000 as well.
The book has been translated into 73 languages and has been a truly international hit.
When Rowling submitted the book to Bloomsbury and they accepted it, they paid the author £2,500 in advance.
They sent the book off to chosen authors and critics to gain quotes to put in the publicity material.
The main concern was that it felt like a boy’s book and boys prefer to read titles that are written by males, so Rowling used the Nom-de-plume J.K.Rowling instead of Joanne Rowling.
Initial print run of 500 copies – Eventual worldwide sales 120 million copies (and growing)
251 Pages in the UK Edition and 341 in the USA Edition
At this point, you may be wondering why USA Editions always have more pages. This is because the USA editions have more space between the lines with a maximum of 29 lines on each page.
In case of interest, you can listen to full free Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audiobook simply by playing the video below:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The second novel in the Harry Potter series was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
This novel follows the second year Harry spent at Hogwarts school. In this book, messages appear on the walls of the school’s corridors.
The messages warn that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and that the heir of Slytherin would kill pupils that were not descended from 100% magical families.
Two students were found petrified and Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione investigate the attacks.
This novel was again first published in the UK (2nd July 1998) by Bloomsbury. Publication in the USA by Scholastic Inc followed (2nd June 1999).
The book stirred up religious controversy and also was seen to be tackling racism in a way that children would understand.
J.K.Rowling had trouble finishing this book.
After the phenomenal success of the first book, she was concerned that expectations for the second book would not be met.
Her fears were proved to be unnecessary and the book shot to No1 on the UK Bestsellers list. In the USA it went straight to No3.
The book made history as the first-ever author to win the British Book Awards Children’s Book Award two years running
77 million copies sold worldwide – 251 Pages in the UK edition and 341 in the USA edition
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is also available as a free audiobook – just play the video below.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The third novel by J.K.Rowling in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.J.Rowling was published in the UK on 8th July 1999.
This novel tells the story of Harry Potter in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
In this novel Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger investigate the case of Sirius Black, an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban.
He is supposedly one of Voldemort’s closest allies from the past.
The novel was published in the United Kingdom on 8th July 1999, by Bloomsbury, and then just two months later in the USA by Scholastic Inc.
This time just two months behind the UK, whereas previous books had been nearing a year later.
Rowling found this book less of an ordeal than Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as she was no doubt much more confident with two bestsellers already published.
The book, once again, won numerous prizes including the Hugo Award. In 2004 Rowling stated that writing this book was the best writing experience she ever had.
She had started on the book just one day after completing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
She went on to say that possibly the reason it was easier was that with the two previous successes, her financial worries were over, and at that stage, the attention of the media was not yet excessive.
65 million copies sold worldwide – 317 pages in the UK Edition and 435 in the USA Edition.
If you prefer listening to audiobooks, you can listen to the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook by playing the video below.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Written by British author J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire follows Harry potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
In this volume, Harry is forced into competing in the Triwizard Tournament and there is an attempt on his life.
The novel was first published in the UK by Bloomsbury and in the USA by Scolastica.
For the first time, the book was published simultaneously in both countries.
The publication date was 8th July 2000. The novel won a Hugo award.
This book is almost twice the number of pages as the previous books. Rowling said she always knew that the book would be longer as the plot was so complex it needed to be explained carefully.
This book was the most difficult one she had to write according to Rowland, as she noticed a massive hole in the plot when she was halfway through.
65 million copies sold worldwide – 636 pages in the UK Edition and 734 in the USA Edition
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire audiobook is available for free and you can listen to it by playing the video below.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The fifth book in the series by British author J.K.Rowland. Harry Potter’s fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tells the story of a difficult year at the school and Harry’s arch-enemy Lord Voldemort returns.
We also learn of the prophecy that someone will be born with the power to defeat Voldemort which resulted in the Dark Lord trying to kill Harry as a child. Harry loses his friend Sirius and grows sullen, despite the respect shown to him by the Wizarding community.
This book is even longer than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with a massive 766 pages in the UK Edition.
It was published three years after the fourth book, instead of the usual year.
Before this book was published Harry Potter was already a worldwide phenomenon with over 200 million books sold and published in a massive 55 languages in 200 countries.
Because of this massive interest in the book, there were large numbers of pre-orders, in fact, it was a record. People were waiting outside bookstores at midnight on 20th June 2003 in order to get one of the first copies.
The book was well received and a comment by one pundit was that “as Harry gets older, Rowling gets better.”
65 million worldwide sales – UK edition 766 Pages, and USA Edition 800 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is also available as an audiobook but since this book is so long, it is divided into several separate videos (chapters).
I’m including the first chapter below – other chapters can be found in a related playlist on YouTube.
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
Harry is now into his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in this novel by J.K.Rowland.
The novel is an exploration of the relationship between Harry and Lord Voldemort.
It covers Harry’s preparations for the ultimate final showdown between the two, with Harry receiving support from Dumbledore.
The book had a darker atmosphere than the previous novels in the series with Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione growing up.
The book was published simultaneously on 16th July 2005 in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
It broke records for the number of copies sold in its first 24 hours.
Rowling stated that she had the plot of this book planned for several years.
However, she took two months to review the plot before starting to write.
Rowling states that it would always probably be the favorite book for her, even though she was seriously upset about completion.
The book attracted a lot of controversies and legal action when a Canadian bookseller accidentally sold fourteen books before the official day for publication.
As usual, the book won a selection of awards and honors, including the British Book of the Year Award.
Worldwide Sales 65 million – 607 pages in the UK Edition and 652 in the USA Edition
The audiobook of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince is also available on YouTube for free.
It’s divided into several parts, I’m including the first chapter below – other chapters can be played in a related playlist.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The seventh book in the Harry Potter series continues directly where Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince finishes.
The main feature of the book is the final confrontation between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, the grand finale where the whole series has been leading.
On completing what was the final book of the series Rowling said that she had never felt such a mixture of emotions as she did at that point.
I was simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.
She then said that Deathly Hallows was the most wonderful way to finish the series.
The book was published simultaneously on 21 July 2007 in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury Publishing, in the United States by Scholastic, and in Canada by Raincoast Books.
The book shattered sales records for the most sales within 24 hours.
It holds the Guinness World Record for most novels sold within 24 hours of publication.
This book differed from previous ones in that the story was split when adapted into a movie into two movies, Part 1 and Part 2.
Worldwide sales 65 million. The UK Edition had 607 pages and the USA Edition had 759.
You can listen to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook for free on YouTube.
The video below is the first part of it, the other parts can be played in the related playlist.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows concluded the Harry Potter series of novels.
Perhaps the world’s most popular children’s book series (although read by many adults).
Many people had hoped that there would be more books but the story was really complete.
However, Jack Thorne wrote a stage play with permission from Rowling that featured an adult Harry Potter married to Ginny as he sends his son Albus Severus to school at Hogwarts for the first time.
The play premiered on 30th July 2016 at the Palace Theatre, London.
The play has been performed around the world. There are no current plans to turn the play into a movie.
Worldwide Sales 4 million. The UK Edition had 328 Pages. There is no USA Edition
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is available as an audiobook as well.
You can listen to them by playing the video below.
Despite pleas by fans, the Harry Potter novels have now finished and J.K.Rowling is now moved on to a new franchise Fantastic Beasts.
These are stories set in the same Potterverse, but years earlier and in the USA.
Not quite Harry Potter, but the next best thing.
All good things have to come to an end.