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General Interest lists several non-fiction guides to the folklore, myths, and history used in the Harry Potter series, and several fiction titles that fans of Harry Potter may enjoy reading. Young readers are encouraged to ask public or school librarians for more suggestions. This selection is recommended for readers at middle-school or higher reading levels.

Analyses of Harry Potter lists books and articles that discuss the Harry Potter series from critical and multi-disciplinary perspectives, which are suggested for undergraduate and older readers.

History lists English translations of the primary source writings of several historical figures discussed in the Harry Potter's World exhibition, and several secondary source titles about the practices and perceptions of magic and science in Renaissance period. Additional primary and secondary sources are suggested in the “Things Most Strange and Wondrous”, a three-unit higher-education module developed in conjunction with the exhibition. The primary and secondary sources are appropriate for undergraduate or older readers.

General Interest


  • Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 3rd ed. Canada: New World Library, 2008.
  • Colbert, David. The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 2004.
  • Granger, John. Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader. Pennsylvania: Zossima Press, 2007.
  • Kronzek, Allen Zola, and Elizabeth Kronzek. The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter. 2nd ed. New York: Broadway Books, 2004.
  • Lackey, Mercedes., ed. Mapping the World of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2005.
  • Trevarthen, Geo Athena. The Seeker's Guide to Harry Potter. United Kingdom: O Books, 2008.
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  • Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. United Kingdom: Macmillan, 1865.
  • Hughes, Thomas. Tom Brown's Schooldays. United Kingdom: Macmillan, 1857.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. A Wizard of Earthsea. New York: Parnassus Press, 1968.
  • Pullman, Phillip. His Dark Materials. 3 vols. New York: Scholastic, 1995-2000.
  • Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter. 7 vols. New York: Scholastic, 1998-2008.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings. 3 vols. United Kingdom: George, Allen, and Unwin, 1954-55.
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Analyses of Harry Potter

  • Anatol, Giselle Liza., ed. Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays. Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2003.
  • Behr, Kate. “'Same-as-Difference': Narrative Transformations and Intersecting Cultures in Harry Potter.” JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory 35.1 (Winter 2005): 112-132.
  • Billone, Amy. “'The Boy Who Lived: From Carroll's Alice and Barrie's Peter Pan to Rowling's Harry Potter.” Children's Literature 32 (2004): 178-202.
  • Chevalier, Noel. “The Liberty Tree and the Whomping Willow: Political Justice, Magical Science, and Harry Potter.” The Lion and the Unicorn 29 (2005): 397-415.
  • Gupta, Suman. Re-reading Harry Potter. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
  • Heilman, Elizabeth E., ed. Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • Pennington, John. “From Elfland to Hogwarts, or the Aesthetic Trouble with Harry Potter.” The Lion and the Unicorn 26 (2002): 78-97.
  • Pugh, Tison and David L. Wallace. “Heteronormative Heroism and Queering the School Story in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series.” Children's Literature Association 31, no 3 (Fall 2006): 260-281.
  • Pugh, Tison, and David L. Wallace. “A Postscript to Heteronormative Heroism and Queering the School Story in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series.” Children's Literature Association 33, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 188-192.
  • Whited, Lana A., ed. The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon. Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2002.
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Primary Sources:

  • Flamel, Nicolas, John Frederick Houpreght, Trevirensis Bernardus, William Cooper, Ramon Llull, and George Ripley. Aurifontina chymica; or, A collection of fourteen small treatises concerning the first matter of philosophers. London: William Cooper, 1680.
  • Jacobi, Jolande., ed. Paracelsus: Selected Writings. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.
  • Paré, Ambroise. On Monsters and Marvels. Translated by Janis L. Pallister. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
  • Von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Translated by Donald Tyson and James Freake. Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 1993.
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Secondary Sources:

  • Ball, Philip. The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
  • Daston, Lorraine., and Katharine Park. Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750. New York: Zone Books, 1998.
  • Grafton, Anthony. Cardano's Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.
  • Lehrich, Christopher. The Occult Mind: Magic in Theory and Practice. New York: Cornell University Press, 2007.
  • Newman, William R. Promethean Ambitions: Alchemy and the Quest to Perfect Nature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • Smith, Pamela H., and Paula Findlen, eds. Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe. New York: Routledge, 2002.
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