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How can I lure DS1 away from Harry Potter?

(9 Posts)
ExpectoPatronum Tue 20-Sep-11 21:51:51

DS1 is 6yrs 8m (Y2 at school). He's a very competent reader with a wide vocabulary and a thoughtful approach to books, but he also has a slightly obsessive streak.

I read him and his older sister HP & the Philosopher's Stone, and he was absolutely captivated, which is great, isn't that what we want children to feel like about books?

Straight away, he wanted to read The Chamber of Secrets himself, and to give him his due, he persevered with it and got through the whole book, but it took him weeks. He's a really good reader for a 6 year old, but these are pretty substantial books. While he could read every word on the page, and follow fundamental plot events, e.g. at this point in the book, Hermione has been petrified, I think an awful lot of the subtleties of the plot were lost on him.

Having finished this one, he's now starting on The Prisoner of Azkaban. I know this is admirable in so many ways, but I'm just concerned that while he's battling through JK Rowling, whole weeks are going by in which he could be honing his comprehension skills on something more age appropriate.

Can anyone suggest anything that might lure him away from Hogwarts?

DeWe Wed 21-Sep-11 12:46:34

Dd1 is like that. She gets one book and wants to read everything in the series/by the same author. She then moves on and doesn't usually reread books for a long time.
When she was that age and reading Harry Potter they weren't all out at that point so she had to move on after book 5 or 6. She moved onto the Roman Mysteries. They can be a little goulish in places, particularly one (can't remember which one) which has a lot of gladiator/slave fighting. She hasn't read that one (I tended to read them first to check) but she read the others.
Charlie Moon books are similar to Harry Potter, as are Diane Wynne Jones. Not sure they're a lot easier though. DWJ are a lot shorter though.
Depends on how much easier you think he's enjoy. The Worst Witch are fun, but a lot simpler, and he might find them a bit tame after Harry. Does he read Horrible Histories? They seem to be very popular for the boys at that age.

She reread Harry Potter last year when several of her friends discovered reading them and she definitely got more out of them. She also found one or two bits more scary because she hadn't totally picked up the danger the first time.

ExpectoPatronum Wed 21-Sep-11 14:31:10

Thanks for your reply. I've just read the Amazon review for Howl's Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and now I want to read it myself!

Also discovered my own old copies of the Green Knowe books, so I might put those in his path - again, not sure they're easier, but they're definitely a bit shorter.

Takver Wed 21-Sep-11 14:35:36

I was going to suggest Charlie Bone - I think they possibly are a bit less complex than Harry Potter - and also not as dark as the later HP books.

Has he read the Narnia books? Again, you get as much depth of story as HP, but very much shorter books.

I also wonder if he would enjoy Harry Potter as an audio book? That way he could concentrate on the stories separately from the task of reading, IYKWIM.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 21-Sep-11 14:37:42

Why tempt him away from them?! I would be horrified if you tried to lure me away from something I was enjoying so much!

BlueChampagne Wed 21-Sep-11 15:54:24

Agree with BecauseImWorthIt. You may be picking a fight. It doesn't matter that he doesn't get all the subtleties first time round - it means he'll enjoy re-reading them when he's older. However, it's good to have some ideas of similar books to feed his enthusiasm for reading. How about:

anything by Joan Aiken (Wolves of Willoughby Chase etc)
Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series
Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthurian trilogy
The Hobbit

I loved the first of the Green Knowe books but, highly unusually, never finished the series. Still have them though - so it 's not too late.

ExpectoPatronum Wed 21-Sep-11 15:54:31

I know what you mean, BecauseImWorthIt, it's just he's making heavy weather of them and I'm not sure he's really ready to be doing it.

DeWe Fri 23-Sep-11 14:36:13

Some of the later Green Knowe books are nothing like as good. I think The Chimney's was nearly as good, but some of the others were disappointing.

beautifulbooks Mon 26-Sep-11 18:59:12

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