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How old is old enough for the first Harry Potter book?

30 replies

MrsWembley · 14/02/2016 20:08

A boy in DD's class (Yr2) has just finished the second and she is asking if she can read them too.

Now, I don't want to do the competitive parent thing but she is just as good a reader as he is (both got the pass to take books from the library at about the same time). However, I seem to remember something about them having been written for the age group that Harry was in each book (obviously with a year or two either side), so I'm not sure if she's really ready emotionally. It's been a while since I read them and they're all in store atm, so if anyone can tell me what they did, before I go searching for them, that would be fantastic.Smile

OP posts:
SellFridges · 14/02/2016 20:10

All the Y3's I know are well into the series, so I would expect a mature Y2 would be OK.

In fact, I know several Y1's who are reading the early books with parents which I will hope to do next year with DD.

MooPointCowsOpinion · 14/02/2016 20:12

If you're happy with the content, that it's not too scary, then I would never say no to a child asking to read. If it's slightly too difficult you can always offer to give her a break by reading a chapter to her every now and then.

Jamarama · 14/02/2016 20:12

I think the first two are fine maybe 3 as we'll but they do start to get a bit dark. Book 3 is about Sirius and dementors and can be scary for children. You should have a read yourself and then you can see how suitable it will be for dc

TannhauserGate · 14/02/2016 20:13

Y2 is probably okay, presuming you're reading it to him. Only the first one though. They get quite scary.

soapybox · 14/02/2016 20:14

A very wise teacher once said to me that by reading a book which you are too young for, a child loses out twice over. The first time when they read it and are too young to access the full meaning of it and the second time when they are old enough to understand it but having read it before it has lost its magic.

There is an abundance of age appropriate themes in books which are complex enough to stretch even the best young readers, that there really is no need to read books that have themes that are meant for older readers, other than of course the school gate vanity/kudos!

Leave HP until they are 10/11/12 and let them enjoy books much better suited to Y2!

Jamarama · 14/02/2016 20:14

Well not we'll

PerspicaciaTick · 14/02/2016 20:15

My 6yo read the first book, which was fine but he then wanted to read the rest and it was a real battle to ration them out so he had a chance to mature a bit.

Eigg · 14/02/2016 20:16

It depends on the child.

My two are pretty strong stomached but we read them together at bedtime a chapter a night and then you can discuss as necessary.

We read the first one at 5 yo and have stopped for now at book 4 at 8yo.

We're going to hold off on book 5 until next year I think.

EnolaAlone · 14/02/2016 20:18

Me and my DS are just reading the first book together now and really enjoying it. He's in year 3 and is a good reader. I'm wondering if we'll have to pace the books out a bit as I'm guessing they get more mature as Harry grows up.

Jamarama · 14/02/2016 20:19

Yes they defiantly get scarier as Harry grows up. I love harry potter and hoping my Dcs get the Harry potter bug.

Wanderingwondering · 14/02/2016 20:19

That makes a lot of sense soapy!
Nevertheless I have started reading he first one with my year 2 DD mainly because I couldn't wait much longer Grin. We are taking it slowly-one chapter each Saturday and Sunday and it's really nice. I wouldn't want her reading it alone though

ClaraBorne · 14/02/2016 20:23

A girl in DDs year who is 7 told DD she has finished the whole series! I was a bit Shock as the storylines are quite grown up.

vestandknickers · 14/02/2016 20:23

I'd wait. There are plenty of lovely books for year 2-3s. I'd wait until they can really appreciate Harry Potter and work their way through all the books. I'd say year 4-5 is the perfect age.

ClaraBorne · 14/02/2016 20:23

later storylines that is.

RueDeWakening · 14/02/2016 20:24

DD read the first at the end of year 2. She could have read it before, but we restricted it.

She's now reading one a year, at the start of the school summer holidays. It's definitely worked quite well for us - she's maturing in between reading each book, so is more able to cope with the content as it gets progressively darker.

We will let her finish the series before she starts high school though.

steppemum · 14/02/2016 20:28

I asked mine to wait until year 4. Then they read the whole series front to back without stopping.

I think having read one, it is a bit mean to stop them reading the others, but the later ones are quite scary.

I don't think year 2 are old enough for them.

MrsWembley · 14/02/2016 20:36

Thank-you for all your speedy responses!

Soapy, your comment makes sense and I think voices what I've been worried about.

I honestly feel my hackles rise when I hear about what this other child is readingBlush, and I really like his mum and get on very well with her and he's a lovely little boy, but it does make me wonder if I should be letting my DD read it too, just to keep up! And I don't want her to just yet!!

And as many have said, if I let her read the first two or three now, I will still make her wait a good few years for the last lot, so it doesn't seem to make sense. They are far too mature for a KS2 child! And I read some fairly mature books when I was her age, so I know of what I speak...Wink

OP posts:
WinterWinnie · 14/02/2016 20:40

I'd get your DC to read a couple of pages to you, then you'll know! :)

Wanderingwondering · 14/02/2016 20:42

Oh I'm worried I've done the wrong thing now. although I guess if we limited it to one a year from now on she'd be in secondary school (scary thought) by time she read the last couple.

DownstairsMixUp · 14/02/2016 20:44

Im doing a book a year till he wants to read it alone. He is im year 1 and we are reading the first one together.

vestandknickers · 14/02/2016 21:18

Year 1 is definitely too young. Couldn't possibly understand it or get anything from it.

PerspicaciaTick · 14/02/2016 21:26

My Y1 understood and enjoyed the books. He wouldn't have persisted reading them (on his own, in his head) if they made no sense or had no meaning. TBH the only long term impact seems to have been a tendency to cast spells...and a request for a Latin dictionary so he could invent his own spells. But I did slow him down and he finished the last book in the summer holiday before starting Y3.

WinterWinnie · 14/02/2016 21:32

I would probably wait until 9? So, Yr 4/5

WinterWinnie · 14/02/2016 21:33

Forgot to say, you all have some very talented DC! :)

LBOCS2 · 14/02/2016 21:46

DSS has just started on book 1 - he's a young y4, so he's 8.

We were watching tv earlier and we vetoed him watching the last two films as they're very dark - when he's read the book, which I suspect will be in about 18 months, then he can watch them. They definitely do get more adult in theme.

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