Anatol, Giselle Liza, ed. Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003. Fourteen scholarly essays examine the series through the lens of child development theory. Essays also explore the series as moral and social commentaries.
Colbert, David. The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter. New York: Berkley Books, 2008. Provides explanations of the allusions to historical events and myths that Rowling employs throughout the Harry Potter series.
Granger, John. Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader. Allentown, Pa.: Zosima, 2007. Presents analysis of the themes found in the Harry Potter series, particularly that of alchemy.
Heilman, Elizabeth E., ed. Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter. New York Routledge, 2008. Eighteen essays by scholars in four categories: moral values and Christian themes; social elements such as teachers, family, and animals; literary issues; and cultural studies, including film adaptations. Covers all seven novels.
Killinger, John. God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister’s Defense of the Beloved Novels. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004. Offers thoughtful arguments defending the books against charges that they are un-Christian.
Sexton, Colleen. J. K. Rowling. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2008. A brief, illustrated volume that offers biographical information on Rowling.
Thomas, Scott. The Making of the Potterverse: A Month-by-Month Look at Harry’s First Ten Years. Toronto, Ont.: ECW Press, 2007. Presents a history of the media coverage surrounding the Harry Potter series, with particular focus on the film adaptations. Includes interviews.
Whited, Lana, ed. The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2002. Seventeen critical essays by international literature scholars examine the series as epic, myth, and fantasy; its authority and moral values; the novels and gender; the series in translation; and the series in popular culture.
Wiener, Gary, ed. Readings on J. K. Rowling. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 2003. A collection of essays originally published in popular media. Includes William Safire’s notorious column on why the books are not for adults, critic Harold Bloom’s essay “The Harry Potter Books Are Not Classics,” and novelist Judy Blume’s “Why the Harry Potter Books Must Not Be Banned.”