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AIBU to want to read Harry Potter with DD?

(38 Posts)
WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Wed 21-Mar-18 20:06:45

DD is discovering Harry Potter, as am I. She is almost 8 and a very good reader. I had always said to her that I'd like to read them together for various reasons. She was reluctant at first and we read the first two separately. By the time we got to the third book I was aware that the subject matter would be getting darker so I insisted on reading it together. She agreed and we've loved it.

So now we've finished number three she's absolutely desperate and determined to read the fourth alone. She says she wasn't in the least bit alarmed or frightened by The Prisoner of Azkaban and that she prefers to read alone.

My reasons for reading together are:
1. I get to read it at the same time.
2. We really got into the third one together and loved all the suspense etc. Generally a really lovely reading experience that I'd like to repeat.
3. We need a story to read together as it's part of our bedtime routine and a non-negotiable.
4. There were times in the last book that I needed to clarify things that she didn't realise she didn't understand. It would be a shame for her to invest her time in reading a long book and end up not quite getting all of it.
5. I don't know what happens in the story and feel wary of her reading potentially dark subject matter without me going through it with her.

DD's reasons for reading alone:
1. She really wants to

I completely get why she wants to go it alone, but really really would so much rather we do it together.

So, AIBU to insist on it being a joint venture or should I back down and just let her get on with it?

CrispsForTea Wed 21-Mar-18 20:10:09

I don't know how much you already know about the story, but number 4 does get considerably darker, so I absolutely wouldn't let her read it alone. Personally, I wouldn't let her read number 4 at all til she's older as it's really aimed at young teenagers (some romantic themes and scarier bits), but obviously you know what she can cope with.

CrispsForTea Wed 21-Mar-18 20:11:06

If you haven't read it, then perhaps you could read it first so you can see if you think she would cope?

ShinyMe Wed 21-Mar-18 20:11:31

When I was about 8 I read Lord of the Rings with my dad. It was nearly 40 years ago and it's one of my favourite childhood memories. I can't see the films or read the books without remembering it fondly. I say go for it.

Mrsfs Wed 21-Mar-18 20:12:15

I would just let her get on with it. My daughter is 5, we have read all the Harry Potters, watched all the films, and she now listens to them on audio books. She is obsessed with them. She hasn't found them scary in the slightest or been bothered by any of the darker content. She regularly reminds me that it is just a story and not real.

TheHungryDonkey Wed 21-Mar-18 20:13:04

I would let her crack on with it. She’s enthusiastic. I watched year fours plough through the entire book series last academic year. Just tell her to speak to you if she comes across anything worrying or she needs help with.

windchimesabotage Wed 21-Mar-18 20:16:40

Id let her read it alone actually as I feel reading is such a personal experience. Perhaps she wants to have it for herself? I read those books at a similar age. I read them by myself and it was so exciting and absorbing. Id have found someone else being there quite invasive.

I think that is something to be encouraged as she clearly loves reading. Its great that she would get so much joy out of reading by herself as she will have that for the rest of her life. Getting joy out of reading alone is massively valuable I think.

You could read it before she does so you can discuss it together when she has finished reading it?

Ohyesiam Wed 21-Mar-18 20:18:33

Read it first, or slightly ahead of her if you are worried about content . It does get darker, and there is a bit of light romance, but the main reason she might need your input is because the plot gets complicated from the 4th book onwards.

Dangerousmonkey Wed 21-Mar-18 20:20:24

If the darker themes in 3 didn't bother her it sounds as though her reading comprehension doesn't quite match her ability. Which is no criticism, it's very common in readers about 6-9 years of age. Maybe just put it off for a while. Then again if she does read it, it might not bother her either I guess.

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Wed 21-Mar-18 20:20:57

Thanks everyone. Her suggestion was also that I should read it first. She's currently got three other books on the go and I'm buying time by telling her she should get those three out of the way before getting started on this.

I'm aware I'm being slightly selfish here. I love reading stories aloud and discovering them with her. I might just get started on it myself and see what I think. Books don't tend to scare her really. Films on the other hand.....

Mydoghatesthebath Wed 21-Mar-18 20:21:40

Our lads read the books as they came out. Think oldest was 6/7? He read the first to younger brothers aged 5/4?? They loved them. Yes they do get darker and much harder to understand so she may struggle with the concepts of the last 2.

However I would let her crack on. Don’t make your reading her chore and thank your lucky stars you have a good reader.

My older lads now 28/26/25.. they still love HP and they read the books to their little sisters.

You must take her to Harry Potter studios. grin

GinIsIn Wed 21-Mar-18 20:22:44

Why don’t you read it as a ‘book club’ - she reads it and you read it separately, then every time you both finish a chapter you can discuss it.

Mydoghatesthebath Wed 21-Mar-18 20:23:07

Yes the films are obviously darker.

Dh snd I cant wait to read them to the grandchildren in a few years wink

Quartz2208 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:23:29

Yes number 4 gets darker (there is a surprising death) and it gets far more complicated from there on in - 5,6 and 7 are less separate stories and more a combined one.

DD (just 9) is now on 5. She does like to talk through the plot with me and discuss it and I did prewarn her about the death (and from 4 onwards they do come in each book. She is coping fine with it.

I suggest that you read it at the same time if you can and keep ahead so you can talk it

I found 8 was the age I let DD read to herself its so much easier for her

Mydoghatesthebath Wed 21-Mar-18 20:23:38

Oh Fenella excellent idea

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Wed 21-Mar-18 20:24:38

I like that idea Fenella!
Dangerous she definitely understood it as we were discussing it all the way through. She just didn't find it bothered her at all.

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Wed 21-Mar-18 20:26:17

I really am grateful for everyone's input. She seems to be the first among her immediate friends to have got into the books so it's all a bit new to me.

DairyisClosed Wed 21-Mar-18 20:30:03

When I was 8 I was reading books about raping and pillaging (parents didn't check what I was reading and I was keen on vikings). The dark stuff went right over my head. Honestly I doubt she will be effected by it.

Tink2007 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:31:44

Personally I would let her read it alone, letting her know to come to you if there are things she doesn’t understand etc.

I echo what another poster said about not making her reading a chore.

Mydoghatesthebath Wed 21-Mar-18 20:37:31

Can I say I have read the books numerous times and seen the films hundreds of times over the years but still get confused over who was the true master of the elder wand.

And why didn’t ollivander not recognise the death stick when Harry showed it him at shell cottage. wink

I am 50!! grin

Glumglowworm Wed 21-Mar-18 20:37:32

I think the book club idea is great. It will feel more grown up to her than just being read to, but you still keep a close eye on her understanding of the content and how she’s handling it. I agree you should read it first or read ahead so you’re aware of any potentially problematic bits

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 21-Mar-18 20:43:08

If the darker themes in 3 didn't bother her it sounds as though her reading comprehension doesn't quite match her ability.

Or you know, she's mature enough to understand the difference between fiction and reality and be comfortable with the opportunity to experience darkness in the safety of fiction. Like everyone else who enjoys darker themes - which are still quite mild in HP.

goose1964 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:44:47

DD read them as they came out,she was 7 when the philosopher's stone was released. So she grew up as the books did too. They are great but the last one was really upsetting .It may be worth spacing them out a bit

NowtSalamander Wed 21-Mar-18 20:46:31

With DD1, I read her 1 and 2, she read me 3, but 4 onwards they get really long - it would take you yonks to read aloud and so she read from 4 onwards by herself as she got frustrated wanting to know what happened next.

Both DDs read the series at a young age and weren’t bothered at all, but it very much depends on the child - for example, neither of mine are at all bothered by fantasy world violence and death but get very distressed at something which could possibly happen to them - eg a book about a schoolchild losing a parent. You know your DD best on that one.

Love the book club idea!

Loonoon Wed 21-Mar-18 20:48:52

Fenella's idea is pure genius. I would also suggest that occasionally you agree to read the beginning of the next chapter together, either you to her or her to you. That will keep it a special shared activity and also keeps the doorways of communication open if things get too dark.
sheds a few tears because DCs are all grown up now and don't need me to read to them anymore

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