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The series has also had its share of criticism, including concern about the increasingly dark tone as the series progressed, as well as the often gruesome and graphic violence it depicts.
As of February 2018, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages.
The series was originally published in English by two major publishers, Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and Scholastic Press in the United States.
Most recently, themed attractions, collectively known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been built at several Universal Parks & Resorts amusement parks around the world.
The central character in the series is Harry Potter, a boy who lives in Surrey with his aunt, uncle, and cousin - the Dursleys - who discovers, at the age of eleven, that he is a wizard, though he lives in the ordinary world of non-magical people known as Muggles.
The full background to this event and Harry Potter's past is revealed gradually through the series.
After the introductory chapter, the book leaps forward to a time shortly before Harry Potter's eleventh birthday, and it is at this point that his magical background begins to be revealed.