Downstairs in our family room we have three bookshelves that consist of kids' books. The Harry Potter series, however, resides upstairs on our bookshelves in the living room where anyone can pass by and pick them up. (I should say, on our bookshelves upstairs there are any number of books that could be classified as children's lit. I love them so; I must keep them close.)
I came to the game just a tad late; the first three books had been published already. I enjoyed the first one, thought the second one was okay, but it was really The Prisoner of Azkaban that set me on course. When The Goblet of Fire came out I read it in a day. It was a rainy, cold, Fall Saturday. Ben was working and I sat in our small basement apartment on our semi-comforable but super cool couch and read, and read, and read. And then I had to re-read the end because it was so shocking!
Ranked in order of preference (not that it matters in the least- if you like them, you like them and if you don't, you don't):
1. The Deathly Hallows
2. The Goblet of Fire
3/4. The Sorcerer's Stone & The Half-Blood Prince
5. The Prisoner of Azkaban
6. The Order of the Phoenix
7. The Chamber of Secrets
Really, the middle books may shift around but I loved The Deathly Hallows, and The Chamber of Secrets is always my least favorite.
I love (dare I say it) the magic of the stories. I loved being so excited for the next book to come out.
I also love that Harry Potter is a great reading springboard for my kids. Because the story is interesting and the HP zeitgeist is still strong, my kids inevitably have been willing to plow through the first book even though it has been a little above their reading level. And without fail, this has launched them into a new world of reading because their ability jumps a level or two, and they know they can read longer books.
This isn't much by way of literary analysis, but what can I say? These are books that come off our bookshelves so often they are very well-worn and well-loved, and that's a decent analysis in itself.