The Harry Potter book series causes plenty of debate, but this definitive ranking finally settles the best and worst of the lot.

It should come as no surprise that the Harry Potter books and series are very near and dear to my heart. This series is literally my life. I picked up the first book when I was in 4th grade and picked up the last when I graduated High School. Growing up alongside these characters has made an indelible mark on my life.

I know that everyone has a different impression of Harry Potter and what it means. The permanent mark the stories have left for me is that friendship, bravery and love can always bring you to light even in the middle of darkness.

The infamous trio of Ron, Hermione and Harry represented countless friendships I’ve had across the years. Harry was always the brave yet naive ring leader. Hermione acted as the wise and loving one. And Ron, while hilarious, was the glue and safety for the group.

Of course we met so many other amazing characters along the way: Dobby the house elf, Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore, Mad Eye Moody, Professor McGonagall, and don’t forget the more evil characters like Draco Malfoy, Peter Pettigrew, and Voldemort himself!

The twists, turns and revelations in these books kept me hooked the entire time. I was always ready for the next book and sad I had to wait years for it to be released. I remember crying buckets as I read about the Battle of Hogwarts in book 7 and lost some of my favorite characters. My heart ached and I grieved for them as if they were my real friends.

But that right there is the power of reading. The world we so easily dive into and become attached to. The characters we love and feel for. The plots we are captivated by. That is why I love the Harry Potter books so deeply. That is why I come back over and over again to read the books.

  • The Sorcerer's Stone

    This is our first introduction to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. We meet so many central characters to the book. We meet our famous trio and learn about Hogwarts. The first book is truly the kickoff and the nostalgia alone makes it my number 1 choice.

    President And Mrs. Obama Host Easter Egg Roll On White House Lawn

    British author J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, points to the place on her forehead where her title character has a scar while reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 5, 2010 in Washington, DC.

  • The Prisoner of Azkaban

    The 3rd installment in the series is my favorite movie interpretation! I only ranked the book in my 2nd position on the list because it’s hard to deny that the first book is what sets up the story and gets us hooked in the first place. I love the characters we meet that connect Harry to his parents and the storyline is one of my favorites.

    AFI Salute To Jack Valenti

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was one of the better adaptations from book to movie as well.

  • The Deathly Hallows

    Again, the 7th book is high on my list because of the storyline. So many of our questions are answered. This is the closing of our story. The book is massive but I remember reading through it like a breeze!

    Publication Of The Final Installment Of Harry Potter Series

    Harry Potter fans rush to read the opening lines of the new and final novel by author J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” during a fans day at The Carriage Works on July 21, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.

  • The Half-Blood Prince

    The 6th book offered up a little more humor after some darker moments in the series. It was a really nice break for the brain and made me smile. Other memorable moments include learning about Voldemort’s younger years, meeting Professor Slughorn, and the setup that would lead us into the last book!

    Sixth "Harry Potter" Book Goes On Sale

    Shane Culver, dressed as Harry Potter, waited six hours to purchase the new Harry Potter book at Barnes and Noble in Union Square July 15, 2005 in New York City.

  • The Chamber of Secrets

    Harry’s second year at Hogwarts is causing even more trouble! I love that he becomes a little more accustomed to what to expect from Hogwarts and the wizarding world around him. His friendships continue to solidify. And oh yeah, he can hear and talk to snakes!

    Borders At Time Warner Center Celebrate The Release Of Harry Potter

    Excited Harry Potter fan Sarah Smith holds a copy of “Harry Potter And The Chambers of Secrets” at Borders inside the Time Warner Center to celebrate the release of the book “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” on July 20, 2007 in New York City.

  • The Goblet of Fire

    Ok hear me out… this book was LARGE! As a kid, holding a brick of a book in my hand for the first time seemed daunting. Even though I loved Harry Potter more than anything, the book took me forever to read at the time. As an adult, I’m a lot more lenient of the size of the books as they progress. That said, my only joy in this particular book came from meeting kids from other wizarding schools.

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire released in El Paso, Texas.

    Andrew De Villier, 9, who could not wait to get home to begin reading the new “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” book, reads, July 8, 2000, in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in El Paso, Texas.


  • The Order of the Phoenix

    Ah book 5. My absolute least favorite book. Harry Potter was just the worst kind of human in this book (we later find out for good reason…) He constantly had attitude and was just a moody teenager. It made it hard to be in his corner and root for him. Reading this book was like pulling teeth for me. Definitely my least favorite of the 7 books in the series.

    'Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix' Is Launched Around The World

    A passenger on the London underground reads the new Harry Potter book ‘Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix’ on June 23, 2003 in London, England.

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