In honour of the 2020 Magical Readathon, I’m doing something many a book-blogger have done before me: recommending books based on your Hogwarts house. I know it’s not the most original idea, but I’ve always liked these kind of ideas, and I love hearing peoples rationalisations for placing a certain book in a certain place. This year, I’ll be doing my own version, in which I recommend 10 books that I feel fit a certain house well, including my reasons for that, ánd the 2020 O.W.L. prompts they will fulfil. Each list will be as varied as possible: including different genre’s and age demographics, and I will try to match as many O.W.L. prompts as I can for those of you looking for last-minute recommendations. Sidenote: as the prompts for Astronomy (read the majority of this book at night) and Divinations (pick a book using a random generator) can work for any of these, I won’t be mentioning them.
Hufflepuff values hard work, loyalty, friendship and patience. It has also been the house that I’ve always associated with a kind of “homey” feeling of safety. For that reason, many of the books on this list were feelgood reads for me, as well as carrying themes that match the Hufflepuff House values. This was the hardest list for me to put together, mostly because these are not my “usual” kind of books. I did my best to create a varied list concerning genres and target audiences, as well as include some books that you might not have seen on everybody else’s list already.
What it’s about: We all know the stories of children slipping through rabbit holes or wardrobes into different worlds. But what happens when they are ejected from their magical world and have to learn to adapt to the real world again? This is what has happened to all the children in Mrs West’s home for Wayward Children. Some of them try to reacclimate back to reality, others will do anything it takes to find a way back to their fantasy world.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: technically none of them, although you could probably fit this in somewhere.
Why Hufflepuff? For multiple reasons, this was the first book-series that came to mind when I thought about Hufflepuff. Maybe it’s the friendships and sense of “community” that Mrs Wests Home for Wayward Children holds, maybe it’s the message of diversity and acceptance, or maybe it’s the absolute whimsey of the entire thing. No matter the reasons, this series is beloved enough that it’s worth a read, no matter what your Hogwarts House might be.
What it’s about: The friendship between a cursed girl from a family of clairvoyants and a group of from a local prepschool, as they embark on a mystical adventure along ley lines to find a dead Welch king.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: charms, Care of Magical Creatures, History of Magic
Why Hufflepuff? Another very famous magical story about friendship and acceptance. The Ravencycle is one of the most beloved YA-series in the book-community, mostly for its wonderful characters and their beautiful friendship that Hufflepuffs will be sure to relate to.
What it’s about: A magical realism story about a girl staying in a deserted summercamp in Maine over the wintertime, as she’s dealing with the emotional aftermath of an accident that happened the year prior.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Defence Against the Dark Arts, Mugglestudies
Why Hufflepuff? Not only does this novel feature some beautiful friendships, it also offers an important message about kindness to yourself and others.
What it’s about: A magical realist family saga of three generations of Roux-women, ending with Ava Lavender; a girl inexplicably born with wings…
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Mugglestudies
Why Hufflepuff? Hufflepuff has always seemed the most homely and warm house to me. For that reason, I associate books that give me that warm and cosy feeling with them as well. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, with its extraordinary writing gave me just that feeling. In addition, like many of the other books on this list, it deals with themes of family and acceptance of differences, making it even more fitting.
What it’s about: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Mugglestudies
Why Hufflepuff? Not only is it one of my favourite books of all time, that is simultaneously heartbreakingly sad as ultimately hopeful, We Are Okay is about learning the values that many Hufflepuffs possess naturally. It’s about found family, friendship, learning to trust again after heartbreak, and most importantly compassion towards others but also yourself.
What it’s about: The adventures of a young orphan girl who mistakenly comes to the Prince Edward Island home.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Arithmancy (if classics intimidate you), Mugglestudies
Why Hufflepuff? I had to put a classic on this list, and this story about friendship, love and family just screamed Hufflepuff to me.
What it’s about: We all know the story of the chosen ones: the hero’s with extraordinary powers who were destined to save the world. But what if you’re the guy next door to him. Whilst the hero’s fight their loud battles somewhere else, The Rest of Us Just live here tells the story of the other people, quietly changing the world in their own ways.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Mugglestudies
Why Hufflepuff? One of my favourite things about Hufflepuffs is their quiet power; where Gryffindors and Slytherins have to be in the limelight all the time, Hufflepuffs are perfectly content shining from the shadows with their own silent powers. They don’t have to strive for the extraordinary in order to feel fulfilled, instead making a difference with their every-day-acts of kindness and hard work. This story is about people like that: not the hero’s but the quiet hard working people in the shadow, and the way they can make even more of a difference in the long run.
What it’s about: 12-year old Carolina expects her summerplans to be completely ruined after she learns she has to spend her vacation with her grandpa, whom she’s never met, whilst her parents help him move into a home for people with dementia. She soon develops a remarkable bond with her grandpa however, and realises that his home is a more magical place than she could ever imagine.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Arithmancy, Charms, Muggle studies
Why Hufflepuff? Because this middle grade novel is all about friendship and family, and a young girls conviction to stay true to her grandpa through thick and thin.
What it’s about: It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her. When her best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty is willing to do whatever it takes to find her and get her back.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfigurations
Why Hufflepuff? Although somewhat of a left turn from the feel-good books on this list, I wanted to include some very different genres here as well. This YA horror novel was a perfect match, as although it might be darker in tone, it still features some wonderful loyal friendships and acceptance towards each other. although the world around them might be nightmarish, these characters add a feel good element that’s quite rare but very welcome in horror.
What it’s about: A non-fiction love letter to the power and strengths of introverts in a world that seems to value our louder counterparts.
Matching O.W.L. prompts: arithmancy, charms.
Why Hufflepuff? Being Hufflepuff and introvert often go hand in hand. If you’ve ever felt undervalued by the people that simply talk louder than you do, or just wanted to read about the great strengths and benefits that being an introvert brings: this non-fiction book is the perfect place to start. Because we introverts all need a little more appreciation sometimes.
That concludes my mini-series on Hogwarts House Recommendations, just in time for the start of the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon. I hope you’ve enjoyed and perhaps have gotten some inspirations for what to read during your quarantine at home. If you have any suggestions for books you would have added to any of these lists, I would love to hear them. To anyone participating in the O.W.L.s, I wish you the best of luck and above all: a lot of fun. To all the rest of you, until next time: happy reading and stay safe!