Looking for Harry Potter readalikes is an endless quest, and one thing that makes it so difficult is that everyone gets something different out of the series. Who’s to say a Neville Longbottom fan is going to go for the same story as a Severus Snape defender? So some of us Rioters have put together recommendations tailored to you, based on your favorite Harry Potter character. Enjoy!
Hermione has always been the character that I identified with the most in the Harry Potter books, mostly because of how much she loves to hang out in the library and how she’s so eager to jump into social justice even if she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. She’s also really good at reading people, clues, and other things that are not books. So I’m thinking that people who love her and also think like her are going to like fun, thinking books that work those brain muscles, but that also are about books and libraries, Hermione’s true loves. The Invisible Library has been described Doctor Who with librarian spies, so I think it’s pretty obvious why it should appeal to Hermione lovers. I’d also recommend The Unquiet Dead, which is the first book in a literary mystery series about Esa Khattak, an older Muslim Canadian police investigator who works on the minority-sensitive cases team with Rachel Getty, a loyal younger detective. It should appeal to people who love well-plotted mysteries with diverse, authentic characters like in Walter Mosley’s books. – Casey Stepaniuk
Harry could have done so much more if he had gotten out of the Dursleys ages ago. The prose implies that he is a good student, just one specifically raised to be better than anyone. As someone who likes Quidditch, and sports with flying, I’d probably recommend The Shepherd’s Crown, the last Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. In it, Tiffany Aching deals with new responsibilities, including an abused young man that wants to be a witch. Geoffrey is kind, polite, and firm, thus not the typical witch candidate. The book also deals with filling legacy characters’ shoes, the world changing, and elves choosing good or evil. This would totally be my go-to for an abused hero like Harry. – Priya Sridhar
Is Ron my favorite character largely because I had a crush on him (and Rupert Grint, of course) for most of the series? Yes, partly. But he’s also my favorite character because I’m all about the comic relief, and because I love a good flawed, dimensional character. Ron isn’t perfect, but he’s a good friend to Harry and a great balance to Hermione’s seriousness (I will ship Ron and Hermione forever and always). My recommendation to the Ron lovers of the world might seem a little counterintuitive at first, but I promise it makes sense. Mindy Kaling’s strikes a tone that reminds me of what Ron does for the Harry Potter series: she’s funny, she’s likeable, and there’s plenty about eating copious amounts of food and being a little bit bratty, but in an endearing way. If you like to laugh and not take yourself too seriously, you’ll probably love this book just like you love Ron Weasley. – Amanda Kay Oaks
I’m not ashamed to say that Harry’s owl is my favorite character in the series. She’s loving, supportive, and very important to Harry. She also has a little bit of an attitude and will give you the cold shoulder if she thinks she’s been neglected, or peck your fingers if you haven’t been writing Harry enough during the summer. So my pick for fellow Hedwig fans is The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce, starting with . It doesn’t have an animal main character, but it does have talking animal companions in it! Including sassy horses. I think Cloud and Hedwig would get along quite well. – Danika Ellis
Neville Longbottom is my boy. Brave, tragic, shy, and badass, he struggles to find his place and skillset over the course of the books. If you love Neville the way that I do, you might also enjoy Arrows of the Queen, the first in the Arrows trilogy (part of the larger Valdemar series) by Mercedes Lackey. Like Neville, Talia finds herself navigating a new group of friends and challenges, while discovering her own bravery and talents. She also inspires loyalty among her fellow students and rebels against tyranny in all forms. Sound familiar? – Keri Crist-Wagner
Honestly, I can’t really pick a favorite HP character. I love ‘em all too much. But when I think of a favorite character I’d like to read more about, it’s Professor Minerva McGonagall. I mean, she’s such an awesome witch, and we need more awesome witches in the world, am I right? And especially novels that feature awesome older magical women. So let me introduce you to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. These amazing witches were my introduction into Discworld, and like Minerva, they’re no-nonsense, get-things-done kind of witches. And hilarious too. I recommend starting with Witches Abroad. No, it’s not the very first book the witches star in, but it’s my favorite, and one of the joys of reading the Discworld series is you can start anywhere you please. – Margaret Kingsbury
If you’re picking Narcissa out of all of the characters in the HP universe, you must really like complex, contained, ruthlessly self-preserving characters. Narcissa is a villain, but she’s not so easy to hate. Everything she does is to protect her family, at all costs. She doesn’t care if other people get killed in that pursuit. She’s quick to betray Voldemort if it means protecting her son. It’s not exactly noble, but it sure makes for an interesting character. If you like that kind of complexity and discomfort in characters, you’d probably like Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. Dark, violent, and nuanced: it should be a good match. – Danika Ellis
Hagrid does have a way with dangerous beasts. He certainly tamed Fluffy enough to house him in the school, as well as Buckbeak. We all wish he could have kept Norbert the dragon, but that would never happen. I would recommend Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley. In it, a young boy saves a baby dragon after its mother dies fighting a poacher and killing the awful man. This is a world where many want dragons extinct, including the poacher’s family, and the boy’s family wants to keep them alive in a reservation. So Jake runs to live in the reservation’s wilderness, raising the baby dragon and breaking the law. This is totally up Hagrid’s alley. – Priya Sridhar
Luna fully embraces the whimsy surrounding her. She also appreciates the wonderfully weird nature of her world. Look in her eyes and you see someone who spends her time looking for the magic in everyday life… for the beauty in the ordinary. Luna has also spent her life looking past the stares of other people and allows herself to be exactly who she is, peculiarities and all. So, for Miss Lovegood (and her fans), I would recommend Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. – Elizabeth Allen
If you’re a fan of badass, under-appreciated Ginny Weasley, you probably have lamented multiple times that she doesn’t get enough attention in the books. So why not pick up Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older, which stars a take-no-shit protagonist dealing with family secrets and magic she doesn’t yet know how to deal with. Plus, there are queer women side characters, which I’m sure bisexual Ginny Weasley would approve of (shh it’s canon shh). Also, speaking of bisexual women, I think Ginny would be into reading the Revolutionary Girl Utena manga (even though the anime is better). A badass swordfighting lady protagonist ready to revolutionize the world? I think she’s be on board. – Danika Ellis
I hope you found some recommendations worth pursuing! Obviously, we couldn’t cover everyone’s favorite Harry Potter characters, because that would be a monster list. But let us know if you have any more recommendations based on favorite characters!