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what age to read Harry Potter?

(25 Posts)
petitmaman Sun 01-Mar-09 11:17:14

My dd is cioming up for 7 and a very good reader.
However she does get frightened quite easily so I was wondering when would be a good time for her to start reading harry potter? (probably with me initially).
also obviously i want her to be able to understand the books properly to get the most out of them. any ideas? thanks

AllThreeWays Sun 01-Mar-09 11:23:51

HP gets a lot darker and heavier by book three, and four (goblet of fire) is positively frightening. I let my daughter start them at around 10 knowing that by the time she got through the first few she would be about 12/13. That being said, I love the books and the overall message, but think it's best for secondary school.

solidgoldbullet4myvalentine Sun 01-Mar-09 11:29:06

8/9 upwards, I would say. Depending on the DC in question and also on his/her reading speed. If she's going to take months or so per book then start early, otherwise leave it til 10/11 for a fast reader, as they do get, not only scarier, but more mature in theme generally (one of the interesting factors about the series was the way the first generation of kid readers kind of grew up along with HP in the books...)

ThatShittySmell Sun 01-Mar-09 12:16:34

My DS started reading them when he was about 9.

Jux Sun 01-Mar-09 12:26:07

DD started on them when she was about 3 because my mum adored them, had them on cd and they were always playing in the background. I asked her to hold off playing one of them while dd was around (can't remember which - 2nd or 3rd) because I thought it was too dark, but mum forgot and dd was actually fine with it. She was completely familiar with all of them almost the instant they came out as mum would get them delivered on the day and the cds always followed soon after.

She actually started reading them by herself when she was 6ish, though we'd had the Philosopher's Stone and the next two as bedtime stories, and then she ploughed through the rest thanks to Stephen Fry really.

At 7 dd loved the half blood prince and obviously when the last one came out she was fine with that too.

lucysmum Sun 01-Mar-09 12:27:54

my dd read the first two in xmas hols - age 8 and a bit. Coped well, understood them, loved them. But had nightmares after the second one, couldn't get to sleep, etc and decided not to read anymore. But also watched the film of the second one so not sure if it was book or film that scared her.

Jux Sun 01-Mar-09 12:30:09

Incidentally, is it really necessary to understand them 'properly' in order to enjoy them? I read Pride and Prejudice when I was given it as a birthday present by my godfather for my 7th. I skipped huge chunks of it which were way beyond me, and read the bits I 'liked'. I had seen the film (the old b&w) so had a vague idea of the story. Characterisation, plot, description, motivation were mainly lost on me. I still enjoyed it hugely and have read it regularly throughout my life (though by the time I was 13ish I wasn't missing bits out!).

RubberDuck Sun 01-Mar-09 12:33:32

Started to read them with Ds when he was about 6, we're just getting to the more frightening ones now (he's now 7, nearly 8). He is generally easily frightened, and I've said several times that if he wants to we can stop, yet he's had no problems as yet even with the very dark ending of the last book we read (Goblet of Fire).

However, we're currently on Order of the Phoenix - so that might change as we near the end of this one.

Personally, if she's keen, I'd start them. She'll soon let you know if it's too much for her.

itchyandscratchy Sun 01-Mar-09 12:35:20

Dh has been reading it to dd1 (7) then she re-reads chapters by herself. They're onto the 2nd one now and I have warned her it does get scarier and darker (she is easily spooked too) but so far she's so enjoying the plot, she's happy to carry on at the moment.

and no, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to appreciate every single word of a challenging book. With a book as good as P&P, you will get something different from it at every age you re-read it (as you've found).

armandaleg Sun 01-Mar-09 12:40:21

My dd read the 1st one at 7 but this was when it first came out, so often had to wait years for the next one, not getting the 7th until she 18. This was maybe best as as solid gold says they do get darker.
I know also the first couple of books confused her at times and bits didn't fall into place until about the 3rd reread but I think this was likely to be as she was a very good and fast reader so often got so wrapped up in the story that she rushed through too fast.
If she's easily frightened I'd maybe give it a year unless she's begging to read them.

alardi Sun 01-Mar-09 17:55:57

Depends lots on DC. Mine are good readers, but chickens -- they screamed (age 3 & 5) at us to turn off The Incredibles, it was too scarey. And couldn't really watch Dr. Who without losing it until recently (now age 7 & 9). I expect to hold off on HP until eldest is at least 10, maybe 11-12.

ChippyMinton Sun 01-Mar-09 18:08:25

DS1 is 7 and an excellent reader but he won't read HP, having caught a glimpse of one of the films on TV. It's on the bookshelf for when he decides to pick it up. He has plenty of choice without pushing him in any particular direction.

Sibble Sun 01-Mar-09 18:08:41

ds1 is an avid reader, has just turned 9 and has had the Harry Potter books for about a year. He's just not interested. We're now reading the famous 5 to be followed by the secret 7. Maybe those or something similar at age 7. Adventure without being too scary.

Crunchie Sun 01-Mar-09 18:31:03

My dd now nearly 8 started reading these at 6 3/4. She picked them up (we had them anyway) as someone at school said they were reading them. She is now 8 (in 9 days) and I 3/4 way through the last book. SHe loves them and is semi obsessed Not easily spooked though

Crunchie Sun 01-Mar-09 18:32:00

sorry meant to finish off, wait until she asks for them would be my advice. I would read other books like famous 5, secret 7 if she is easilty spooked

Blu Sun 01-Mar-09 18:36:12

DS, 7.5, and I are reading Philosopher's Stone together - he reads the first two pages of a chapter, I read the rest to him - and several times we have had to NOT read it at bedtime as he has found it too scary / thrilling /disturbing.

But we have had the same with Secret Seven!

NormaJeanBaker Thu 19-Mar-09 12:41:07

DD1 is having them read to her - she is 5 and we are up to The Prisoner of Azkaban but have said we might have a break after that since they are much darker. DS who is 3 and a half and shares a room hears them too and is obsessed with 'Serious Black' and leaping off chairs shouting 'Wingardium Leviosa!' If there is a very scary bit we read it during the day and not at bedtime - and I gloss over some parts like Harry hearing the voices of his dying mother (!!) but sadly they have had a lot of bereavements and seem to find some of the refs to that sort of thing positive rather than scary. They know I will stop any time it's scary but so far have been too entranced to want to.

pranma Mon 13-Apr-09 20:06:54

my 8yr old gdd has just finished them all not sure she really understood the last one though

mooseloose Wed 29-Apr-09 21:43:48

I am reading it to ds 7 and 9 in bed every night. On book two now and they love it. But there are a lot of words and descriptions they don't understand, and words they have not heard of. Ds9 is a great reader and he constantly stops me mid sentence and asks 'what does ..... mean' 'what is a ......?'
In a way i am pleased he is questioning what I am reading to make sure he knows what i am on about. I have no doubts he could read every word of the book, but whether he understands the descriptions is another matter. ds7 and (ds9 some of them) had never heard of a dormitory , a polterguist, a spectacle, monitors, bespectacled, chandeliers etc etc.

Baisey Fri 01-May-09 16:46:51

I cannot wait to start reading my son the HP books lol he's only 2.5. I remember being on holiday with my sister and she was reading them to my niece and nephew, their reactions were amazing!

mumeeee Sat 02-May-09 19:14:13

The first one is all right from about 8 if you don't have a child who gets easily frightend otherwise about 10plus. The books are set in a high school.

Tryharder Sat 02-May-09 20:23:39

DS1 (4) suddenly announced last week that he wanted to watch HP. i was delighted as i am a big HP fan. So I found a copy of the first film in a charity shop and let him watch it. I make him switch the ending off - where Quirrell gets all burned up and LV appears as I think it's probably too scary.

I havent let him watch any of the other films yet and dont intend to until he's a bit older. Obviously reading the book is beyond him as he's not started school yet but I intend to start reading it to him as soon as I think he's old enough to listen to it properly (hasnt got the concentration span as yet for chapters).

Anyway, he loves the film and does the magic spells with a stick - wingardium leviosa, occulus reparo (or whatever it is) and alohomora. Am dead chuffed really, would much rather DS1 be into HP than Power rangers or spiderman.

springsummer2001 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:20:53

Mt DD (12) just got into them when she was 10 when she borrowed the first book from her school library and she really enjoyed it after her friend who was about 8 at that time recommended to her she got the 8 film collection for her 11th birthday and has watched them all twice

EduCated Sat 30-Mar-13 18:17:24

Hello spring, I'm guessing you might be new, not sure if you've noticed but some of the threads you've posted on are quite old, so ou might not get much response. Can I suggest heading on over to Chat or Active Conversations? Oh, and welcome smile

EduCated Sat 30-Mar-13 18:19:23

Sorry, that made me sound like a massively pious twat blush just didn't want you to feel ignored and thought I'd try and be helpful. But yeah, Active Convos is where the party's at <friendly punch on the arm>

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