Ah, the last book. I'm sad that it is over. However, I read the book so quickly, in order to find out what happened, that I am already prepared to read it again. Next time I read, I will savor all the little details.
I'm curious about J.K. Rowling's next creation. I hope she will write again, even if it is a completely different world and characters. Of course it is unlikely that anything else will satisfy the Harry Potter fans, but that shouldn't stop her from trying.
For those who loved Harry Potter, I have the following recommendations:
The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis (my favorites are "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and "The Silver Chair," although "The Magician's Nephew" is pretty great too.)
The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper (loved these as a kid, except for the very end of the very last book)
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (loved the first two books as an adult, the last not so much. The first book, "The Golden Compass," is being made into a movie.)
"The Princess and the Goblin" by George McDonald (a childhood favorite - I should pick up a copy and read it to my daughter.)
"The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" (and the rest of the Wolves Chronicles) by Joan Aiken - not so much magic, but lots of Gothic drama and adventure. For older children or adults, "Midnight is a Place" is an amazing book.
"Half Magic" by Edgar Eager. My then six-year-old daughter loved this one.
"The Enchanted Castle" by E. Nesbit. I loved this author when I was a kid, and read loads of her books. However, my daughter found this book too slow when I tried to read it to her (at age six), and we quit after 30 or so pages. It is probably better for an older child or a faster reader.
And don't forget all the Oz books by L. Frank Baum or the Fairy books ("The Red Fairy Book," "The Blue Fairy Book" etc.) by Andrew Lang, or the Doctor Doolittle books by Hugh Lofting.
Since some of these are OLD books, I will try reading some to my very modern children and let you know how it goes. Personally, I always loved reading books written a hundred years before I was born, but then again I was an odd little child. Thankfully Harry Potter has made it fashionable for adults to read books written for children, so I can re-live my childhood without dragging my poor kids into it.