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Harry Potter books - what age appropriate for?

(11 Posts)
Solola Sat 08-Dec-12 09:14:54

Hi. I've just discovered the HP series and reading through them myself. I'm currently on book 4 the Goblet of Fire and finding it a lot darker and more graphic than the first three.

I'm mainly reading them because DS1 showed an interest and he is reading them too. He's just began the 3rd book. I initially told him he could read them all after me, but now I feel that as the series goes on the content is a bit too disturbing at times for him. (He's 6).

So my question is, for those who have read on, do they get more and more violent, dark, disturbing as they go on? And what age do you think the 2nd half of the series would be appropriate for?

I know he is going to be seriously gutted when I tell him he can't read the 4th one yet. And his first question will be 'when can I read them then?'. As I've moved the goalpost once, I don't want to do it again but have no idea what age to say. Thinking maybe 8 years?

3b1g Sat 08-Dec-12 09:23:50

I used the film classifications as a guide. The first few are a PG (parental guidance for under 8) and the last few are a 12. DS1 read books 1-3 in Y5 and Y6, then book 4 in the summer holidays between primary and secondary, then book 5 and 6 in Y7 and book 7 in Y8.
I didn't set rules in stone about this, it was partly the age that he felt ready to take on the giant tomes that the last few books are.

3b1g Sat 08-Dec-12 09:26:02

You could say that he can start a new one each school holiday, which would at least space them out a little and remove the expectation that he can start the next one as soon as he has finished the current one.

PandaG Sat 08-Dec-12 09:28:35

DS started them in Y4, (aged 9) and finished them all in 2 months. That was as early as I was happy for him to read them. I knew as soon as he started the books he would want to read the whole series, so waited until I was happy for him to read them all. He seems to cope ok with more graphic images and darker ideas in a book, - I think he imagines what he is able to cope with, but he did not watch the later films until he was nearly 12

Solola Sat 08-Dec-12 13:07:18

Thanks for your advice. Am annoyed at myself for not thinking this through sooner. Didn't know if I am being a bit overprotective about not letting him read them if he wants to, but I have to go with my instincts about this I think.

I like the idea of letting him read a new one each school holidays. That won't seem as far off as waiting until he is older but would mean that he can stagger them a bit. I think he will probably get much more out of them in a few years time anyhow.

Went to the library this morning and librarian recommended Spiderwick Chronicles, which I had not come across before. But DS seemed interested after looking at the cover and she said there is a film version which is good too.

mummytime Sat 08-Dec-12 13:18:02

I think he would probably find the later Harry Potters boring at his age. I would also recommend the Charlie Bone books if he is interested.

3b1g Sat 08-Dec-12 15:07:30

Spiderwick Chronicles are good, as is A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Takver Sat 08-Dec-12 17:08:48

I would say 9 plus for the later ones (ie Goblet of Fire onwards).

Agree that the Charlie Bone series is a good alternative that is less dark - more at the level of the early HP books throughout.

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 08-Dec-12 17:15:35

Yes, they get quite a lot darker.

DD1 read the first two in Year 2, then took a break until Year 4. I had read the whole series myself and was pretty certain she'd find it too disturbing. She wasn't 100% happy about stopping, but we found some other gripping stuff to take their place.

If I'm honest, I still thought she was a bit young when she read the rest, but she is a sensible girl and has previously stopped reading books that she found too heavy/scary.

I'm sure she enjoyed the later ones a lot more for being a bit older.

Startail Sat 08-Dec-12 17:29:34

8 or 9, at six he won't really understand the later ones.

DD2 didn't like the graveyard scene the first time she saw it at about 8, but reading isn´t quite the same.

10 is quite old enough for all the films, they aren't scary scary if you've read them.

The dementors are scary in the books to an adult, but far less so to DCs who don't understand emptiness and depression in the same way.

The film ones are very clever, they are just scary enough.

Solola Sun 09-Dec-12 07:41:37

Thanks people for your advice and recommendations. I am going to find out more about Charlie Bone and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I thought he'd be upset when I asked him to take a break from Harry Potter but he actually looked quite relieved! He's going to get so much more out of them when he's older.

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