The Harry Potter series of seven fantasy novels was written by English author J. K. Rowling about an adolescent boy named Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The story is mostly set at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a school for young wizards and witches, and focuses on Harry Potter's fight against the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents as part of his plan to take over the wizarding world.
Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States) in 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, spawning films, video games and assorted merchandise. The seven books published to date have collectively sold more than 325 million copies and have been translated into more than 64 languages. The seventh and last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released on 21 July 2007. Publishers announced a record-breaking 12 million copies for the first print run in the U.S. alone.
The success of the novels has made Rowling the highest-earning novelist in literary history. English language versions of the books are published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic Press in the United States, Allen & Unwin in Australia and Raincoast Books in Canada.
The first five books have been made into highly successful motion pictures by Warner Bros. The sixth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is set to begin filming in September 2007, and has a scheduled release of 21 November 2008.