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What age for harry Potter?

22 replies

seeker · 30/07/2009 22:36

My ds seems to be devoting his summer holidays to ploughing through the Harry Potter books. He's halfway through The Prisoner of Azkherbahn now. Should I let him carry on with the scarier, darker ones, or move him on to something else - or should I just hope that the bigger books and more complex ideas and language will stop him? He's 8 and inclined to wimpiness when it comes to scary things.

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UndertheBoredwalk · 30/07/2009 22:38

DD is also 8 and has only the last book left to read, she's been fine with them, got very teary at the end of the half blood prince, but so did I!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad · 30/07/2009 22:41

The material in the latter ones is alot more mature, they seem to go through those puberty hormones very quickly, the triwizard tournement in the next one is rather sinister, especially at the end when he returns carrying the dead body. They also have some teenage (kissing etc) material, between Victor Krum and Hermione at the yule ball for example. There are alot of other books to steer him to, what about a classic like the Phantom Tolbooth (depending on whether you class this as a classic)?

seeker · 30/07/2009 22:57

I remember being quite freaked out myself by the later ones. Trouble is, I don't want to tell him he can't read them (he's got them stacked up ready in his room!). I think I'll just have to hope he gets bored by the grown-upness of things and goes back to Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the 111 - his previous favourites!

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FluffyBunnyGoneBad · 30/07/2009 23:00

Just tell him there's kissing in the book, this will put him off. Just be honest and tell him what's in them, then he can decide for himself. I'd say that it's OK to read the rest another time, there's no pressure then and there's no incentive for him to rebel and read them because he knows you don't want him to.

Ds liked the eragon books, I have heard on here that they are not written well though. How about some Horrible Histories for some light reading?
Philip Pullman wrote alot of really good books, as has Anthony Horowitz.

AlderTree · 31/07/2009 20:44

IMO 8 is too young for the later Harry Potter books. The original audience grew up with the books and so would have been 16-18 when the final books were published. How you go about stopping at the end of PoA I'm not sure Good Luck

LadyGlencoraPalliser · 02/08/2009 01:25

How old is your DS Seeker? DD1 started reading them at 8 and the last one was published on her 10th birthday. I am generally not a fan of children reading them prematurely because as others on this thread have said, some of the content is emotionally beyond younger children, but DD1 was certainly able to cope fine with the later at nine or ten. It's when people seem to think it is some test of advanced reading ability to have read them all at six that I start to worry about their sanity. I would let him plough on and trust him to stop if he starts to lose interest. DD2 certainly did - she is 9 and has only read the first two. However, she has just finished the Diary of Anne Frank which arguably requires considerably greater emotional maturity, so I'm not sure where my argument is heading there.

MANATEEequineOHARA · 02/08/2009 09:43

I have read the later ones to my ds when he was 6 and 7. We did them almost in reverse, I didn't realise they were quite so dark, but I was ok with it, I have read him His Dark Materials too. I wouldn't stop my dcs reading any book.

ZZZenAgain · 02/08/2009 09:46

dd is the same age as your ds. We read the early ones but I have put the rest on hold. Dd is ok with that though, she found them too scarey in parts. She actually asked me if they weren't too scarey to read and I read ahead and decided we'd shelf them for a bit. She has forgotten about them now.

If he actively wants to read them, I would not forbid it but I might read them myself to see what they contain IYSWIM

EyeballsintheSky · 02/08/2009 09:47

My niece has been showing some interest since the film came out. She is 6.10 and reads everything in sight. I thought of lending her just the first book but her mother isn't sure. I think anything is better than rainbow tossing fairies!

ZZZenAgain · 02/08/2009 09:48

omg those rainbow fairies books are dire

we had to read them twice even, in German and then in English. I really hated those.

seeker · 02/08/2009 21:25

He's 8. He has galloped through the first two this holidays, and is now reading the 3rd - and I have noticed that he is much slower with this one. I've told him that they get much more grown up and scary after this one, and also he might not understand what's going on, so it might be better to wait til he's older. He has said he wants to give it a try but he'll stop if it's too hard. I think the fact that he is a notorious wimp will mean that he'll stop after this one - and I'll be happy with that. He's got loads of time to read teen/pre-teen stuff, and there are lots of age appropriate books he'll miss if he gallops ahead.

Thanks all.

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boyngirl · 03/08/2009 22:45

My ds is 7.10, read first 2 books about 6 months ago.
He is now banned from reading any more! He loved them so much, read them obsessively. We were thrilled 'he's such a good reader, he's not asked about computer games for yonks' then he started not being able to sleep, crying for no reason etc.
Eventually (after long time of cajoling, sitting with him at night and yes I did ask about Harry Potter...was it scaring him etc) he bursts out 'I think I'm going mentally ill' and admits for weeks he's been muttering the spells and thinking constantly about the books and the characters. He was beside himself, wild eyed etc.
I actually did wonder if he was mentally ill for a moment as he seemed so distressed/disturbed.
Then we took book away, he was so relieved the decision had been taken away from him as obviously been battling with himself about whether to carry on reading (he's started 3rd book).
First night slept like a baby and ever since and asks half heartedly every now and then if he can read them again, seems delighted when we say no.
I feel such an idiot that I thought it was ok for such a young kid to read these books.
Obviously he was younger than your ds and all dc are different but for him, so wrong!

boyngirl · 03/08/2009 22:46

I meant by that point he HAD started 3rd book btw!

mimsum · 04/08/2009 17:01

there are so many other good books for an 8 year old to read without putting yet more pennies into JK Rowling's bank account! Look through some of the threads on the children's books topic for some ideas

thankfully, ds1 started reading the first one when he was about 9 and put it down in disgust about 1/4 of the way through, declared it "boring" and never bothered with any of the others (although he likes the films) - it is, for the record, the first book he has ever not finished (he's a voracious reader), but by that time he'd already read some thoroughly good books and was rather spoilt for the mediocreness of Ms Rowling's prose ....

seeker · 04/08/2009 22:25

Thank you - he's read lots of other books! And has a 'to read" pile almost as tall as mine.

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pranma · 05/08/2009 16:19

My dgd has now read and really enjoyed all the Harry Potter books.She also loved the Inkspell trilogy by Cornelia Funke.

seeker · 17/08/2009 07:31

Reviving this to say that he got half way through The Goblet of Fire and has decided to stop. He said "I think I'll like it more when I'm older" and is now re reading The Famous Five!

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roisin · 17/08/2009 08:15

That's great seeker! I think ds1 did something very similar at that age.

I tend to keep a very light touch wrt censoring of books. If I "ban" a book, that's just asking the boys to get it out of the library and read it secretly!

But generally I find inappropriate books just don't appeal to them and they stop reading.

seeker · 17/08/2009 09:01

I was just a bit worried that he would plough on regardless because he had set himself the target and he wanted to tell his friends he had read them all - he is a bloke, after all! ! should have had more faith in his common sense!

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MrsBarbaraKingstanding · 17/08/2009 09:10

My DS is 9 and has also just abandoned The Goblet of Fire (is that the fifth one?) He too whizzed through the others and then seemed to be taking an age with this one.

I told him to leave it for when he's a bit older and he finally abanoned it and has read numerous other books this holiday.

He's got into Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider series though so I don't know if it's out of the frying pan and into the fire, but he's really enjoyed them. I think he likes the fact they seem for older boys and takes pride in telling me 'it says bloody Hell in Alex Rider.'

He's also read a number of Anne Fine books which he whizs through in half a day but still enjoys. He seems to be at an inbetweeny stage.

lljkk · 17/08/2009 09:15

Alex Rider is tamer than HP, from what I read, there's only a hint of sexual interest and nothing truly scarey in A-Rider books (the ones I've read).

DS (age 9) managed to read The Aztec Code because it was misfiled in the Junior's section, now THAT was inappropriate -- although not ridiculously. We had a good laugh talking about the sex scenes, swearing and drug innuendos. It is a cracking good read, just not suitable for primary age.

MrsBarbaraKingstanding · 17/08/2009 10:13

Oh I'm glad to hear that lljkk. I know I should carefully vet the books first but it's just not practicle (I have my own books to read!) and I'm just glad he's reading.

He does love it when he hears swearing anywhere though, he gasps with pleasure and goes open mouthed with shock pointing and indicating to DH and I, who sensibly remind him he must never use that word, to which he replies 'yeah yeah' trying to quiten us down to look for or hear more forbidded words. (such as bloody or...Oh My God.)

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