This new volume in Greenhaven’s Social Issues in Literature series includes 11 engaging essays connecting the Harry Potter stories to the contemporary world. Among the most compelling of these is the first, in which law professor Benjamin Barton writes that the “most devastating criticism of the Ministry has little to do with Voldemort,” but with “what service in the Ministry of Magic has done to Percy Weasley,” namely, robbing him of his soul. Barton does a fine job unpacking Rowling’s critique of bureaucracy and the standard defenses bureaucrats throw up in response. Several essays connect the series to terrorism; one notes the increasingly dark tone of the series as global terrorism proliferated, while others draw parallels between the series and government and citizen responses to fear. The volume opens with two biographical sketches connecting Rowling’s work to her life. Following the middle chapter of literary criticisms, a final chapter includes six essays offering contemporary perspectives on political issues. These essays do not explicitly mention the Harry Potter series, but a set of questions for further discussion creates a framework for making such connections. This collection could be used by English teachers looking for model literary criticisms; students may also use this as a jumping-off point for a research project. Recommended for high school libraries.