If you’re like me then the age range of a book has nothing to do with whether or not I pick it up, and with the books listed below I’m glad this was the case!
Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Now I will admit to reading these books for the first time as a child, however, I had read them nearly once a year since and im now 28! These are books for all ages, I know people who have read them as children, as adults and later to their own children.
The first few books might be a struggle if you are reading for the first time as an adult simply because Rowling wrote them for an age range of around 9-12, however, as the books progress the writing ages with the reader so that by the last book you are reading a novel that could easily be described as YA.
J K Rowling writes a world so intricately woven into this one that you almost believe, and wish, that Hogwarts exists! Her plot and foreshadowing is amazing, and sometimes I just have to go back to previous books to try and work out how I missed something. I cannot recommend this series enough and I’m sure most people would agree with me.
Percy Jackson and The Olympians series by Rick Riordan
“Safety from what? Who’s after me?”
Oh, nobody much,” Grover said, obviously still miffed about the donkey comment. “Just the Lord of the Dead and a few of his blood-thirstiest minions.”
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
I only read this series for the first time last year after picking up my cousins copy of the lightening thief on a particularly long journey. Boy am I glad I did. These book are Hilarious! Riordan writes characters filled with wit and sarcasm, so utterly relatable and ridiculously easy to fall in love with.
Rick Riordan fits the world of the Greek God’s so seamlessly into modern day America. Using popular tourist locations and places people like me, who don’t live in America, might never have heard of he weaves a magnificent adventure of a young boy trying to find out where he belongs. Percy is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read, using sarcasm and sometime just pure luck to get him out of most situations, despite being the Son of Poseidon.
I’ve since read the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows on from Percy Jackson and can also highly recommend this, in fact I would pick up pretty much anything Rick Riordan writes after laughing and crying my way through his previous novels. I can recommend this for all age ranges!
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
“So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky.”
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want–but what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other.
I did read this series for the first time around 15 years ago and picked it up again when I heard Philip Pullman was writing a prequel. After reading them a second time I wondered why I hadn’t picked these books up more often over the years! The story is written beautifully and the characters exquisite, I forgot how easy it was to fall in love with Lyra and Pan. Pullman weaves Lyras Oxford into the modern world so easily that I wanted to find the Subtle Knife and go for a visit myself.
This is definitely a coming of age story, as we get to see Lyra mature throughout the Novels, with the help of some of the best minor characters; Iorek Byrnison, Serafina Pekkala and Lee Scorsby I could go on. All the characters add something pivotal to the plot and you feel an emotional bond with all of them. I seriously want a Daemon of my own and cant wait for the BBC version of the series to be aired! Highly recommend.