J.K. Rowling will mesmerize you from the very first page. The witches and wizards in Harry Potter may be fantasy, but the magic within the pages is not. The series that has attracted both children and adults has become an acknowledged classic worldwide. Acclaimed author Stephen King said, "Harry Potter books will indeed stand time's test and wind up on a shelf where only the best books are kept; I think Harry will take his place with Alice, Huck, Frodo, and Dorothy, and this is one series not just for the decade, but for the ages."
The magic begins with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The book opens with Harry as a baby, orphaned when the evil wizard Voldemort kills his parents. Somehow Voldemort was unable to kill Harry and his power was broken in the attempt. Harry is left with a mysterious lightning bolt scar on his forehead, and to live with his bitter aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. Everything changes when Harry receives a letter telling him he has been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rescued from the Dursley's by Hagrid, Hogwart's giant groundskeeper, Harry leaves for a year full of magic. At Hogwarts, he finds himself and instant celebrity. He makes close friends in Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and an enduring enemy in Draco Malfoy. He also discovers his uncanny ability for Quidditch, the very bizarre wizarding sport. Harry also learns more about his mysterious past while solving a mystery that leads him to have his second encounter with a weak Voldemort. While Harry escapes once more, he grows closer to his immense destiny.
In the second installment Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry is visited at the Dursley's by a house elf who pleads with him not to go back to school because it is too dangerous for him. Harry refuses to stay and is saved by Ron and his brothers who take him back to their house. At Hogwarts Harry begins to hear voices that no one else can and frightening things begin to happen, all believed to be caused by the opening of the mythical Chamber of secrets. Harry reveals himself to be a parselmouth, a dark power that makes everyone think that he is behind all the terrible things. Harry and Ron find the location of the Chamber and enter it, Harry once again meets Voldemort, this time as a "memory" of the school Voldemort.
The third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry finds himself hunted my the supposed murderer and follower of Voldemort, Sirius Black. He learns more about his father and his father's close friends while finding that Black is also his godfather and was the one who betrayed his father to Voldemort. He meets up with Black at Hogwarts near the end of the book and learns that Black was never the one to turn his family over but it was actually his father's other friend. Harry tries to clear Blacks name but fails and must rescue him from a horrible fate.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts and everything is different with the famous Triwizard Tournament happening at Hogwarts. You are finally introduced to the fact that there are more magical schools than just Hogwarts. One champion is chosen from each school, but myseriously Harry is chosen as the fourth champion and must compete in three dangerous tasks. In the third and final task, Harry is transported by a magical portkey to a graveyard where he witnesses the return of Voldemort and narrowly escapes death one more.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the battle against Voldemort begins. A secret society called the Order of the Phoenix takes the lead while the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe Harry's revelation that Voldemort has returned. Harry once again returns to Hogwarts but finds that the students no longer hold him as a hero but believe the Ministry's story that Harry is unreliable and unstable. Voldemort finds a way to lure Harry to the Ministry to, as Harry believes, save his godfather Sirius Black. Harry goes and finds himself surrounded by Voldemort's supporters, the death eaters. The Order shows up to protect Harry and in the fight, Sirius is killed. Harry's destiny is finally reveled in a prophecy about Harry and Voldemort that says that Harry must be the one to rid the world of Voldemort or die trying.
The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the battle against Voldemort continues. Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts begins to have special lessons with Harry to prepare him for his now looming destiny. Harry learns about the existence of horcuxes, pieces of dark magic that Voldemort uses to never die. Harry must destroy all of the horcuxes to be able to destroy Voldemort. Harry and Dumbledore set off to find one of them and while they are away death eaters storm Hogwarts. Harry and Dumbledore return to find a battle raging inside the castle. They arrive on top of the tallest tower and are surrounded by death eaters. Harry is hidden and immobilized by Dumbledore and Dumbledore is murdered by Professor Snape.
In the final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort has taken over the Ministry and has put out a man hut for Harry. Harry cannot return to Hogwarts and must live on the run with his two closest friends, Ron and Hermione. While searching for the remaining horcuxes, they learn of the mythical deathly hallows and how the obtaining of all three make the owner the master of death. Their quest for the horcuxes take them all over the country and through many dangers. The story concludes where it all began, Hogwarts. Harry Returns to Hogwarts to find the final horcuxes and Voldemort learns he is there. There is a huge battle to defend Hogwarts and many of his friends are killed. The story ends with a huge twist and the eventual destruction of the evil Voldemort.
Harry is a character that many can bond with and believe in. He is brave, clever and daring, but he is also a humble, intelligent and a leader. People can connect with him because they are familiar with his experiences and trials. Harry Potter doesn't seem like fantasy. J.K Rowling uses excellent skill that makes Harry's world come out with amazing detail and world-like struggles. Harry's struggles with schoolwork and losses within his family and friends is something that almost every kid and adult in the world can relate to. How Harry gets through these struggles is what inspires people to get through their own battles.
Even though the story seems very real at points, you still need to use your imagination to get full enjoyment of the series. Some adults may have problems getting past the fact that the non-magic people, or muggles as they are referred to, don't notice the flying cars and motorcycles or people disappearing through a brick wall in the middle of a train station. But the magic is something that everyone can believe in.
One thing I always noticed was how apart from the final book, all the books follow the same main story line. Harry and his friends go to school, struggles through homework and Quidditch, get into trouble at some point for breaking the rules for some valiant reason, and have a big problem or mystery they must solve. It always includes the big conic scene, where Harry usually meets his mortal enemy, Voldemort, and always just narrowly escapes. Even through the predicable plot, Rowling uses her amazing ability to keep you reading until the end and always includes a twist that no one saw coming.
The Harry Potter series one of the best series in decades. It has a net worth of around $15 billion including the eight movies, and J.K. Rowling is now the second richest woman in entertainment according to Forbes Magazine. The books are full of moral lessons and qualities and have the magic to turn any child into an avid reader. Harry Potter has billions of fans world wide that have grew up reading these books, and I recommend that if you have not read this series that you do. These books have touched the hearts of many and will touch you too. J.K. Rowling said at the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, "The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back page by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997. Print
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2000. Print