Harry Potter & Children

Here is a general question for the moms and dads. How old do you think a child should be before they start reading Harry Potter books?

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Imagine doing a search on Harry Potter and that popping up!

  2. Jack's Shack says

    MBM,

    Shavua Tov.

    Elie,

    That really is a sensible way of doing things. The big kid hasn’t really asked about the books, but he has mentioned Harry a few times.

    His dad gave it to him one night when I was at my book club (oh – there was a nice chat about that, believe me!)

    That sounds like good blog fodder.

    Anon,

    I don’t really know why people would take their kids to see the play.

  3. Anonymous says

    Sometimes there is just too much Harry Potter:

    Parental Guidance Suggested

  4. Another meshugannah mommy says

    You might remember I had a post where I was very concerned about letting him go on to Book 5. His dad gave it to him one night when I was at my book club (oh – there was a nice chat about that, believe me!), but he was really fine with it. If they’re ready, they’re ready…

  5. Another meshugannah mommy says

    My 8 year old has finished all six books. He did not find them too scary – and is eagerly awaiting the next book and movie. I say – if they can handle it, go for it.

  6. Anonymous says

    my family doctor told my mother not to let me read the existentialists i was consumed with at age 12….
    no one could stop my reading – and my choices varied greatly…i was educating myself

    It didn’t make me the most mainstream
    American Citizen…it may have influenced my choice to be an artist…it may be that reading mature level books influenced my “free thinking ways”

    then again, when i read the free thinkers, i simply felt re-assured.

    my point:
    allow you child to read those books
    your child can read and enjoys reading.

  7. I don’t think there’s a single answer – it depends on the individual kid’s reading comprehension level. But if a kid shows interest, I would let him try; I’d never tell him he wasn’t old enough.

  8. marallyn ben moshe says

    my kids were in the army…but that’s only because they were in the army when the books came out…if they can read it…and understand it…then they should have access to the library…we always did in our house…shabbat shalom jack

  9. Jack's Shack says

    Babka,

    I definitely planned on holding off on the movies for a while.

    Rav Sedley,

    I am a huge fan of Tolkien. I have played around with reading The Hobbit with my son.

    if h’s old enough to turn the pages without tearing them, he can read it.

    I can see the logic in that, but I want to be cautious about it. He has such an imagination I am concerned about nightmares. Still, it is not completely unreasonable.

    The kids in our community who started with the HP books earlier than this, (earlier than 3rd grade) seemed more interested in letting everyone know that they were at that reading level, than learning what happened to the characters.

    That is what I am thinking might happen with my son. He hasn’t really asked to read it, but I think that he is heading that direction.

  10. Juggling Frogs says

    I’m nodding in agreement here. My son clicked on them when he was 9.5 years old. He’s 15 now. He read them all with “cultural literacy” in mind: All of his friends were talking about the books. He felt he’d be at a disadvantage without having read them.

    My oldest daughter is now 11.5, and she discovered her older brother’s cache when she turned 10 years old. She has spent the past year and a half reading and reading and rereading the HP books. She has the 7th book on pre-order.

    My 9 and 7 year old daughters have no interest in reading the HP books, yet. They ask their older siblings questions about certain characters, mostly to understand older kids’ conversations.

    The kids in our community who started with the HP books earlier than this, (earlier than 3rd grade) seemed more interested in letting everyone know that they were at that reading level, than learning what happened to the characters.

  11. Kol Ra'ash Gadol says

    P.S. I agree about the movies – IMO, no tv for DS as long as I can prevent it, and movies, the same.

  12. Kol Ra'ash Gadol says

    My parents’ rule was that I could always read anything I wanted – in fact,to the extent that my mother got into a tussle with the local library when I was 6, because the rule then was that children couldn’t check out books from a certain section without a parent. My mother ended up getting me an “adult” library card, and I was flagged to take out anything I wanted. As long as I could carry it myself.
    I read the Fellowship of the rings at 8 – it also has death, and I don’t think I am too nutty as an adult, so I think I would do the same for my son.
    Barring a library pornography section opening up.
    IN other words, my answer is, if h’s old enough to turn the pages without tearing them, he can read it.

  13. rabbi sedley says

    At risk of sounding too conservative, and depending on the reading level/ maturity of the child, I would say the first books even from 8 or 9. Book 6 I wouldn’t let them read until 11 or 12.
    The movies (apart from being terrible, and nobody should watch them anyway) – are not for kids, especially little ones who may get nightmares.
    My son who is now 11 and has read the first 5 books several times will disagree with me and say that the movies aren’t scary, and there is nothing wrong with book 6 except for one chapter.
    Why not give the kids lord of the rings instead. Much better books in my opinion (and whatever age you want – you can go straight from ‘the phantom tollbooth’ to ‘fellowship of the ring’.

    Rabbi Sedley

  14. The Babka Nosher says

    Older than most of my friends have their kids start. I remember my daughter being in preschool and one of her classmates watched the movie over and over on DVD. That’s just WRONG! I think these book are appropriate for children (and adults) who are capable of reading it on their own, handling both content and length of the book. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say close to 10 is when the content is actually appropriate, but about half of the kids in my daughter’s 2nd grade class (8 yo) have read a book or seen a movie already. No word on nightmares, though…

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