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Please Tell me What Your Children Thought about "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"

16 replies

Rob1n · 20/10/2011 13:11

To help me with some research, I'd be interested to hear what your children thought about the first Harry Potter book. How old were they when they read it? Did you consider whether it was suitable for them first? Did the book lead them to raise questions?
Many Thanks

OP posts:
exexpat · 20/10/2011 13:20

Both mine loved it. We read it to DS when he was six, a chapter a night, he then started reading the rest of the series by himself from the middle of book two, got to number five (six and seven weren't out then), and went back and read them all again - all in the space of a few months, so he was about six and a half when he finished. Then read the next two as soon as they came out.

DD read the whole series in the space of about three months when she was eight, and also loved them all.

I read them all before the children, and I wasn't particularly worried about unsuitability, except for DS reading book five when he was so young - I thought the death of Sirius might upset him, but he took it in his stride.

No particular questions stand out - it just triggered a complete obsession with magic, Hogwarts etc in both of them. Oh, and DS was also intrigued with the talking to snakes thing, so it also led to a huge interest in snakes, and spending lots of time in the reptile house at the zoo (he never managed to get one to talk back, though).

TheGashlycrumbTinies · 20/10/2011 13:22

DD1 first read the book when she was 7, (she's now 8, and onto the final book).

She was desperate to see the film but we said that until she had read the book, she couldn't see the film.

She has long conversations with DH about all the books, and seems to have a photographic memory for it!

She now wants to see the 3rd film, but we are trying to hold off a little longer.

DD2 (just 6) also wants to read The Philosopher's Stone, but we have told her to wait until she is 7, as some parts may be a little difficult to understand.


AMumInScotland · 20/10/2011 13:23

DS enjoyed it - he was 5 1/2. We bought the first book at the time the second was coming out, as he hadn't really been old enough for it when the first one was published. I read it to him, as I wasn't sure whether the style and content would be suitable, and because he still liked having me read longer books to him rather than reading them himself.

I don't think it lead him to raise any particular questions, not that I can remember anyway!

AMumInScotland · 20/10/2011 13:25

Oh yes and then we bought the rest as they came out, and he read them all himself. I didn't have any concerns about the tone of the later ones, as he was getting older by then anyway.

DeWe · 21/10/2011 13:45

Dd1 read it about about 5yo and loved it and promptly read all the others then published. She re-read them age about 9-10 when a lot of her peers got really into them.

Dd2 read it at about the same age and scared herself and won't touch the others. She does scare easily on "magic" but likes WWII stories and autobiographies, some of which I would regard as scarier.

LauraShigihara · 21/10/2011 13:58

I'm currently reading them to my youngest, aged eight. We are on book five (? - the Order of the Pheonix), having started from book one at the start of the summer holidays.

He is a good age for them, imo, as the language is quite tricky for a smaller child and the ideas are quite complex and involve a level of sophistication that he didn't have, say, a year ago.

I think Jo Rowling suggested that they were read by the child when they were at the age that Harry was in the story, ie book one when the child was eleven and so on.

Actually, reading them is the highlight of my day as they are much better to read aloud than alone. Youngest won't let Dad have a turn as he doesn't do the voices properly mum's a frustrated actress [hgrin]

Snorbs · 21/10/2011 14:01

My DS read the lot between the ages of about 11-12. He absolutely inhaled them. My DD started reading them from 9yo but got to about the fifth book (when they started getting really thick) and lost interest. The first two or three books are pretty fast-paced with more action than talking but the plots get more involved and a lot slower from then on.

bruffin · 21/10/2011 14:28

My DS 16 started reading them when he was 9, he has dyslexic problmes and these were the only books he would read then. He read from 5 onwards as they came out.

My DD 14 didn't start the books until 11 then read the whole set 5 times in a term. She wasn't interested until then but has been slightly obsessed ever since.

Teetik · 21/10/2011 14:35

Can I ask why you want to know?

Rob1n · 22/10/2011 21:34

Thanks everyone. It's for a literature course i'm doing. Everything i've read about it so far is from an adult's point of view, so just trying to find out what children actually thought about it and whether there was general agreement about a certain age it was suitable from. Thanks

OP posts:
cory · 23/10/2011 23:31

Can't remember how old dd was: think she was about 7 when I read her the first two books; she later read the rest. She quite enjoyed them but didn't find them the most exciting thing she'd ever heard, there were other books she enjoyed more.

Sam100 · 23/10/2011 23:42

Our dd was 7 when she first read hp. She loved it and it motivated her to read more so that she could read the other books. She worked her way through all of them and regularly re-reads them. I was concerned about content so had to read all of them before she did!

VoldemortsNipple · 23/10/2011 23:56

I read the first 3 books when DD was 5. DD was bought the audio tapes read by Stephen fry when she was 6. She totally fell in love with HP as soon as she heard the description of Dudley looking like a pig in a wig. We have had the whole series in audio book and DSs (dyslexic) have also enjoyed them. They have grown up with them really, HP is part of our family. DD didn't start reading the books for herself until Half blood prince. Mainly because she enjoyed the audio tapes so much they began to snap from over use.

Discussions have been anything from how many pounds doyou get for a gallion, to where does sirius go when he falls through the veil, to who would win if Muggles went to war with wizards. Ds2 asks all manner of questions, and once he starts he can carry on for a whole hour or more.

nooka · 24/10/2011 05:40

I started to read the first HP to my children when they were I think 6 and 7, but we didn't get very far because we all found it a bit dull (I'd read whichever ones had been published at that point but found the writing very pedestrian to read aloud). ds I think did get through the first one a couple of years later but has shown no interest in reading the rest - he tells me that as he's watched the films he doesn't see the point. dd has never shown any interest in reading any of them although the series is in our family bookshelves (I suspect they have also both been influenced by me telling them that they just aren't very good).

spendthrift · 02/11/2011 12:05

DS loathed it. About 8. It wasn't so much the ideas but just like Nooka, he found the writing very pedestrian - the prose poorly put together and the plot handling not sufficiently brought together. He disliked the others more - he is dyslexic and they were longer. He wasn't influenced by me, certainly on no 1, because I thought it was quite good although the prose does not bear reading out loud. I'd thought he would enjoy because he really likes the Narnias.

ZZZenAgain · 02/11/2011 12:10

dd read them when she was 8 and enjoyed them. She has just turned 11 and she is reading them to me at night now. Specifically the first book: I cannot remember that it raised any particular questions, it did fire an interest in magic (although probably some interest was there anyway). I think she would have struggled wtih some of the content had she been younger. She is a very very sensitive dc. This is getting a bit better (my point of view) now but at 6 or 7, she would have been in floods of tears at the thought of Harry's parents having been killed etc

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