The aim of this thesis is to show that the Harry Potter novels have something in common with traditional children's literature as well as they are innovative. Joanne Rowling's novels have been accused of being derivative. In my thesis, I try to show that there is an intertextual relationship between the Harry Potter novels and previously released works. Rowling uses the recognition effect and shows that she is well aware of what has been written before. She uses elements from previously released works not only from the fantsy genre, but also from detective novels, boarding school novels and the Bildungsroman to mention some. But she also manages to create something fresh and new when she writes. Social criticism and serious subjects like death are seldom themes of children's novels, but Rowling manages to create an amazing mixture of seriousness and fun. Among her merits is her imagination and her ability to create fun magical items and devices.