With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in theaters now, people are once again trading quotes from the most beloved YA series ever, Harry Potter. With that in mind, here are some of my best book recommendations for readers based on their Hogwarts house. (Not sure of your house? Find out on Pottermore.)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a perfect read for Gryffindors. The novel, the first in a trilogy, follows Katsa, an expertly trained assassin, a Graceling. Tasked with an impossible mission, she travels with the irresistibly sexy Prince Po, someone who beguiles her as much as he makes her feel more emboldened by her feminist mission than ever before.
The Jackaby series by William Ritter is about finding courage and relying on friends to help you when you are down. The main character, Jackaby, as he is known, is a supernatural detective who is a bit cerebral, like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. He and Abigail, his assistant, solve crimes together and often lean in and plow headfirst into danger, always helping each other out. This wildly entertaining series currently consists of three novels—and you’ll devour them all in a weekend.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is an adorable graphic novel fantasy story about the ever-eager Nimona, the token sidekick to an evil mastermind. This novel is cute, fun to read, and showcases uber-loyal Nimona’s tireless zest for breaking down barriers (literally and figuratively) without question. This is a novel that shows the strengths of companionship when you can do anything…even destroy your enemies.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is a terrific read for Ravenclaws. Frankie Landau-Banks is about to go to an elite prep school and navigate the world of misogyny and the “good old boys’ club,” or the Basset Hounds, as the exclusive secret society is known. Alongside discovering her budding romantic feelings and her struggle to fight against a culture where she, as a woman, is told to be quiet and complacent, Frankie outsmarts everyone with logic and strategy, just as a Ravenclaw Hogwarts House smarty-pants would do.
Ravenclaws are known for their wit and intellect, and The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson has all of those qualities. It is, after all, a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. In this novel, two enemies, Trixie and Ben are the ultimate enemies…partly because they are so alike, both are nerds with a razor-sharp wit, intelligence, and propensity for mind games. But when their best friends start dating each other, they are thrown together. With it’s super-smart, clever wordplay and the irresistible chemistry between the leads, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a brilliant romantic comedy of wit and wisdom…and wanting.
It’s a classic for a reason. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky immerses readers in the world of being a nerd in a non-nerd setting. All Ravenclaws know how this feels…being the awkward geek ten times smarter than everyone around you. Fortunately for the hero, Charlie, he finds a ragtag group of friends like him. And at the end of the day, high school, grammar school, elite magical boarding schools, it’s all about the friends you meet who inspire you and push you and help you grow intellectually.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley is a book about kindness and befriending those who need help. In this novel, ambitious Lisa is convinced that she will get into the psychology program of her choice if she becomes friends with a genuine agoraphobe, Solomon. When she brings her boyfriend, Clark, with her, all three friends find strength from each other, though Lisa’s secret mission looms over them all. Ultimately, the book ends on a positive note, promoting benevolence and helping others who are hurting.
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern is another novel that looks at the complications behind kindness. Amy, who has cerebral palsy, has never let it stop her from pursuing her hopes and dreams…which is not to say she doesn’t get frustrated at her limitations. In her senior year, she gets a new student assistant, Matthew, who helps her move from class to class and also assists in other ways. Matthew has some challenges of his own, like the OCD that debilitates him and his relationships. This pair of misfits become closer as the year goes on, finding that their own little world isolates them from some harsh and impending realities. This novel is a definite must-read for Hufflepuffs because it shows how compassion can get complicated, even if your heart and soul are in the right place.
Let’s face it. Hufflepuff is probably the most underestimated and misunderstood house in Hogwarts. That’s why Hufflepuffs stick together, like the protagonists of David Arnold’s acclaimed Kids of Appetite. In this novel, a band of outsider friends join forces against authority. Their motivation? Sticking together and supporting each other. The hero of this novel, Vic, is edgy and ready to find a new friend family when his mom is set to remarry after his father’s death, which puts him in touch with some counterculture types—and the magnetically amazing Madeline Falco. Many pranks ensue. I realize this might be the most out-there recommendation in here, but Hufflepuffs are very loyal, dedicated to each other, and stick together, just like these characters.
Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte, the first in a new series, is an interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes tales in present day. This novel about the aloof Charlotte Holmes and her trusty sidekick James “Jamie” Watson, could have gone in a couple of these Hogwarts house book recommendations, but I’m putting it here because so much of this delightful, suspenseful novel is about Charlotte teaching Jamie how to think cunningly, ruthlessly, and with ambition. Jamie’s fierce devotion—and brilliant attachment—to Charlotte is also a sort of apprenticeship, one in which he learns how to go to any means necessary to get results…in true Slytherin Hogwarts House fashion.
A book that fits Slytherins is Matthew Quick’s wonderful novel, Every Exquisite Thing. Slytherins are not afraid to go against the grain, and in this novel, two teens bond and fall in love by seeking out a favorite author, a recluse who wrote one and only one book that became a cult classic (kind of like J.D. Salinger and the cult classic status of The Catcher in the Rye). The two nonconformists are not afraid to fight for what they believe in to upend a culture of hypocrisy, even if it means risking their safety and livelihood.
Slytherins are definitely known for their ambition, just like Reshma, the heroine of Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia. Reshma is determined to get into Stanford, so determined that she would do anything, literally anything to get there, kind of like how Tracy Flick of the genius movie Election will stop at nothing to earn her dreams. Slytherins will admire the lengths Reshma will go to pursue her dreams and make it happen and will soak up her ambition.