ISSUES: friendship, trust, magic, good vs evil, family, 'coming-of-age', choices, shouldering responsibility, child-adult mentor relationships
NOTES: a 7-book series, together with movie versions. Incredibly well-written and detailed.
PLOT: A young boy who sees himself through the eyes of his aunt, uncle and cousin as a nobody discovers that he is actually a wizard, and a famous one at that. As the character develops through each book, we discover that he has been destined practically from birth to battle the most evil wizard the world has ever known.
AGE: Read-aloud from age 8 (depending on child's maturity and ability to handle elements of terror). Children can read for themselves from as young as their reading ability allows them (generally about 10). The increased length of the later books naturally attracts an older reader.
GENRE: Fantasy, with elements of sci-fi, horror, and supernatural. RATING: 6 (out of 5) stars!!!