What Age is Right for Harry Potter?

My six-year-old is loving stories about magic and strange creatures, and it occurred to me that we might be ready to wade into Potter-mania. Maybe. I think. Or maybe I should wait. Isn’t it too scary? Too violent? Too intense?

Fortunately I’ve come across this succinct bit of advice on Commonsense Media re. what ages are best for all the Harry Potter books, movies and games.

Here’s the gist of it… At age 6 or 7 it’s fine to read first book to them aloud (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), and maybe watch the first movie.

After that the books and movies ramp up pretty quickly, agewise. You should check out the link for greater detail, but the last book, and the movies from Goblet of Fire onward are more appropriate for age 11 or 12.

Also included in the article are recommended ages for the various Harry Potter video games.

There really shouldn’t be any rush to put HP into your child’s hands, after all there are many, many fantasy books and movies out there more suitable for ages 5, 6, or 7, titles that are tamer, less violent and scary, and just not so grim. I’m working on a list of these right now, to be posted soon, I hope!

Let me know if you have any suggestions!

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Boy: Tales of Childhood

Boy: Tales of Childhood

by Roald Dahl

London: Jonathan Cape, 1984

160 pp.

Age: 9+

Interests: biography, history, nonfiction, British boarding schools, family history

Next: Going Solo (the sequel to this book), also War Boy: A Country Childhood by Michael Foreman

Related Posts: A Roald Dahl Reading List

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A Little Princess

A Little Princess

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

first published in 1905 (prior to that the story appeared as a serialized novella and a play)

201 pp., 19 chapters

Ages: (to be read to) 6 +; (to read) 8 +

Interests: boarding schools, girls, history, class, hardship

Also by this author: The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy

Next: MOVIES – A Little Princess (1939) with Shirley Temple, A Little Princess (1995) both with significant plot changes. TV ADAPTATIONS – 1973 and 1986, both apparently very faithful to original book.

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.