29 answers

Is Harry Potter Books Ok for My 8 Year Old?

I was thinking about reading these books together with her. Or do you think she needs to be older to start?

What can I do next?

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I think she's the perfect age! My oldest is six, and if I wasn't so keen on going through them with both him and his brother, we would start now. His brother will be 4 this year, so we're going to start next year. I may go ahead and let the oldest read the first one though, because he's wanting to. Remember, real life can be pretty scary and "dark" and it's actually very helpful for children to read through examples of that so they can discuss them without actually being in the middle of something themselves!

3 moms found this helpful

I'm in the process of reading them to my 6 year old. He loves them! (We're only in the middle of the second one at the moment)

3 moms found this helpful

both of my sons began the H.P books at an early age. They paced themselves. With my older son, he had to wait as each new book came out. I remember standing in line with him.....at 10pm for a midnite release! Fond "MOM" memories! With my younger son, 9 years later, he governed himself on the series. He did not finish the series until close to teenhood...by his choice.

At age 8, my older son read Goosebumps. At age 8, my younger son read The Magic Treehouse series....he adored it!

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every parent knows their own children best, and for a few the series might become too dark. but for most kids i think it's a brilliant idea.
not so many generations ago (before disney poured bleach all over them) nursery rhymes and fairy tales were very dark, and this was a good thing. it presented themes of real-world mortality to children in a form they could understand and begin to digest. but then parents decided that children are idiots and can't handle anything real and must be utterly sheltered from anything not sparkly.
it's always a good idea for parents of young children to preview material before their children see or read it, less to censor it than to prepare themselves for the inevitable fascinating questions and discussions that should follow.
and really, HP is just great reading.
enjoy!
khairete
S.

5 moms found this helpful

Perfect age!

Good time for you to read them too.

I used to read a bit of it at night to her at this age and then other times have her sit next to me while I did dishes or cook and have her read to me.

My husband got into the book and some afternoons we would all sit together while one of us read to the rest of us. We were hooked!

After we finished it, I purchased the book on tape so we could listen to it again in the car. This was when it first came out so we could not wait for the next book.

Never quit reading to your children no matter how old they get. We still read sometimes to each other. A Librarian friend told me that "the listening to a person read can be just as good as reading it to yourself and others, It heightens the listening skill that is needed for higher learning. "

4 moms found this helpful

I read all the books out loud to my whole family. It was a wonderful experience that I will forever cherish. If you read a chapter (or 2 or 3, it really is hard to put down) a night that would give you PLENTY of time for her to grow as you go!

*Reading them aloud gives you ample opportunity to discuss anything you might feel is too 'Dark' for your child...my children didn't have any issues with being scared really...maybe one or two parts that I remember and we were all together as a family and acknowledged how 'creepy' that would have been (in real life)...but I am also one of those parents who have tried to teach my kids to embrace the scary, not to always shy away from it (within reason and my own common sense OF COURSE) because after all, life is *scary* sometimes.

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I read the first book to my son when he was 8, and I read the next two to him the year he was 9. After that he read the rest of the series on his own.
The first book is pretty tame, and Harry is still pretty young, 11 I think, so I'm sure your daughter would love it! The books get progressively darker and more frightening as the characters get older but they are wonderful stories of good vs. evil, and the bonds of friendship and family. My son literally grew up alongside those characters, I think that's one of the reasons the books are so loved by his generation :)

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Hi Pixie-

My oldest son was 8 when the books came out...(next son was 7) and BOTH were avid readers. They each read the first one on their own...and when I got the next book when it came out, and they were FIGHTING over who would get to read it first...I began reading them! lol

Then...as the next books came out, I would read it first (trying not to crease the binding so I could wrap it as a gift...LOL) I found that as the books became 'darker'...they were getting older/more mature...and were 'ready' for the progression. And since I read them first, we could (and did) discuss...

They have always enjoyed the movies...but that 'series' taught them that a 'movie' is rarely as good as the book!

Best Luck!
michele/cat

4 moms found this helpful

Have you read the books? They really are good!!! This is one of those things that I cannot wait to share with my kids. They're still a little young (almost 3 and 5 1/2). They have seen scenes from all the movies, because I enjoy them so much. But I know the stories very well, and I make sure they don't see certain parts.

Keep in mind that each book is one year long. Harry and his friends are 11 in the first book, 12 in the second, etc. The books are all told through Harry's eyes, and the author did an amazing job of writing each book from the perspective of a child of that age. (In book 5 they are all 15 years old, and much of that book has to do with emotions of a 15 year old. Amazing!)

When the books first came out, I often heard people say that if the child were old enough to read it by him/herself, he/she was old enough to read it. That being said, I really can't wait for my kids to be old enough for me to read it to them!

At 8 years old, she's probably old enough to read it to herself, so she's probably fine. But I would read it with her or at the same time so you can talk about it with her and so you don't miss out on the fun!

3 moms found this helpful

I'm in the process of reading them to my 6 year old. He loves them! (We're only in the middle of the second one at the moment)

3 moms found this helpful

My son was 8 when he read the first one. I read it first just to make sure and that's what I recommend. As the series progesses it gets darker and more violent. It's not awful, it's still a book for juniors, but reading it first lets you determine whether or not she's ready for the next one and lets you know if there are things that will need to be explained. I loved them and my son loved them. For her age, I think reading them together is a perfect idea.

3 moms found this helpful

I think she's the perfect age! My oldest is six, and if I wasn't so keen on going through them with both him and his brother, we would start now. His brother will be 4 this year, so we're going to start next year. I may go ahead and let the oldest read the first one though, because he's wanting to. Remember, real life can be pretty scary and "dark" and it's actually very helpful for children to read through examples of that so they can discuss them without actually being in the middle of something themselves!

3 moms found this helpful

I was tempted to do this too because i enjoyed the books so much, but i know my son and he would want to read the next immediately all the way up and i'm not confortable with him reading the 4th book etc until he is older. I think there are so many ways my son could get his hands on the other books that it would be hard to tell him to wait and get him to agree.

I'd rather wait until he is maybe 10 and give him the first and let him go at it and enjoy it and then let him devour the others.

Reading it aloud would be a good compromise, At our house i would read a chapter and then during the afternoon he would get the book out and read 3 chapters and i would miss out on the continuity of the story and it bugged me.

2 moms found this helpful

both of my sons began the H.P books at an early age. They paced themselves. With my older son, he had to wait as each new book came out. I remember standing in line with him.....at 10pm for a midnite release! Fond "MOM" memories! With my younger son, 9 years later, he governed himself on the series. He did not finish the series until close to teenhood...by his choice.

At age 8, my older son read Goosebumps. At age 8, my younger son read The Magic Treehouse series....he adored it!

2 moms found this helpful

I think that Harry Potter IS wonderful to read to a child! I say go for it!

2 moms found this helpful

8 years old.
When my daughter was 8, she was in 3rd grade. MANY of the kids, were reading Harry Potter. Because it was their reading level.

My daughter, when she was 8... did not read Harry Potter? Why? Because the books did not interest her. But if she wanted to, she could read at that level and understand it.

Read a book to your daughter... that SHE will be interested in.
That is the bottom line and that is what the "joy" of reading is.... reading something that the reader... enjoys.

2 moms found this helpful

Yep ... both my boys started reading them at about 8, my daughter read the first one then had no other interest in them LOL Go ahead and start with the first one ... if it bores her to tears ... move on to something else :)

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on the child. Read them first and then decide.
LBC

1 mom found this helpful

Well, our 6 year old daughter has seen all 8 Harry Potter movies, including Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2.
And we have read the first few books aloud to her.
We will read the rest to her when we buy them.
She LOVES Harry Potter, she wants to be Hermione next Halloween.
We have been really good about teaching her the difference between real and pretend, for years now.
SO the parts I was kind of worried might be scary for her, she didn't even jump (or have nightmares, or anything).

But, that is ours, I would think that 8 is plenty old enough, but I don't know your child.

My exhusband had a 7 year old half brother who read ALL the books and had his room decorated floor to ceiling in Harry Potter :)

1 mom found this helpful

I read the Princess Bride aloud to a 7 year old years ago, and I "glossed over" some of the most intense parts. I know, I know, censorship is evil...but she was not my child, so I felt better sanitizing the few violent scenes. Example- reading about the sword fights, the clashing blades, etc, but maybe changing a sentence like "the sharp blade sank into his flesh, quickly followed by a torrent of hot red blood" to "and then x stabbed y" or poked with the sword, or hit with the sword, whatever you think is age-appropriate. They can always go back and read it on their own when they are older, sans edits :)

1 mom found this helpful

Our son is an avid reader and has the entire series. He started with one and then put it down. He's pretty sensitive and I have not let him see the movies, as they are a bit dark for me....so I don't need him up with nightmares. He just turned 9 and he'll be older soon enough, so I figure he can read them then.

You know your child best. Pull them out and see how she responds. If she's not interested, then do it later.

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The first 3 would probably be fine, but the later books get pretty dark. It might be ok if you're reading them together so you can explain things when they get pretty dark and scary.

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I would test the waters with the first book and see how it goes.

I have known 8 year olds who read the books, loved the books, but couldn't tell you a licking thing about them either. Their ability to digest the scope and content is rather undeveloped. They'll grasp the story line, good guy versus bad guy theme.

You know your daughters comprehension best.

1 mom found this helpful

Depending on how mature your child is, I say yes. As long as you are reading together that would be wonderful discussion material. Books 1-3 yes, book 4 is ??? because of the death scene at the end.

1 mom found this helpful

absolutely! i love them and have been trying to see if my 5 year old is ready for the (FIRST) movie but he's not yet. they do get darker and more grownup as they go on but the first one is lovely. enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful

I just started reading the series myself (sort of an unofficial New Years resolution) Anyway, I'm on the Third one and it is definitely darker than the first two. Maybe read a little bit of the first one yourself and see what you think. My daughter is 9 and I think she would enjoy the first two, the Third is starting to get where it might push her comfort zone as far as the scary factor (she calls it creepy)

I held them off until the kids were in 4th grade. It gave them something to look forward too.
THey do get darker as they progress. But reading the first 3 to her now is a great idea.

I started reading them to my granddaughter when she was 4. So did several of my friends. It takes some time for them to get through to the darker ones that are later on in the series. I think at age 8 she would enjoy the camaraderie in the first 4 books. After she has read them she may be old enough for the ones that follow, the last couple are pretty hard to follow for me and I am an exceptional reader and have great comprehension. I think those last one or two would be harder for her to follow at age 8, but she will be older by the time she gets to them.

It really depends on your child. Personally, I had my daughter wait until about age 10 when she began reading them on her own.

The first two books would probably be OK, but then the series turns darker and I would say no. My nephew and my sister began reading them when he was 7, he's an avid reader and loves "dark" stuff so he enjoyed them all. But my grandson who is 3 years older than him had a hard time getting through them, not because of the reading level but because of the content.

See where her interests lie, get some teacher and librarian recommendations along those lines and go from there. And you know her best, maybe HP would be a good fit for her.

The first one is ok but as you get farther along its for a more mature audience. I would start reading with him Magic School bus and Magic treehouse

she is old enough for the first one and probably the first 3 I would advise waiting a couple years for the 4th on up. you will get people who say oh my 6 year old read them themselves on cd. hello thats not reading thats listening lol sort of like giving a baby cereal in a bottle. they are not eating they are just swallowing whats being poured in. I think the 4th books on up are to old. people start dying in violent ways.

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