Saturday, February 03, 2007

Harry Potter: The Book, The Knitting

The final Harry Potter book is now up for sale and will be out in late July. David and I bought the first Harry Potter on my first outing after the birth of our son. We've been reading them aloud to each other before bed. When Son turned six, he read the first book in the series. He read the second when he turned seven. Needless to say, Son can't wait until his eighth birthday, just so he can read the third book.

How have the rest of you dealt with your youngsters reading the later books in the series? Son has definitely grown up a lot in the last two years and could probably deal with many of the more frightening scenes--but he is fundamentally a very sensitive child with an extremely active imagination that sometimes takes him further than he wants to be.

Just in time for the release of HP7, Alison Hansel (of Blue Blog fame) is coming out with Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter! I can't wait to see this book!


Amy O'Neill Houck said...

I used to read them as soon as they came out, but I still haven't read Half-blood prince. However, I tech-edited some projects in the Charmed book, and it's going to be a fun one!

Birdsong said...

I haven't read any of them, but was a voracious reader as a child. Remember, our imaginations are still based on our experiences, and what you and I imagine into a novel as adults will be more sophisticated and elaborate than a child. There is a self-control that doesn't exist in watching it as a movie, where we all see what has been created by someone else's imagination.

Elizabeth said...

My daughter (older) was very disturbed by the first book (1st grade) because she took the child abuse very seriously. I quit reading them to the kids. They could only read them when they were ready to. About two years later, she read them all to herself. My son (very much like your son sounds) read them all for the first time between 5th and 6th grades. At that point I had noticed a huge leap forward on his part in being able to separate himself from experiences he read about or watched. It's a growth spurt they go through and they all hit it at different times. If you notice yours going through such a growth spurt, you may be able to give him access to all kinds of things pretty much at once if you feel it suitable. On the other hand, I'm 48 and there are still things I can't read because my imagination is much too vivid.

Sue said...

I'd say that he will let you know if he's ready. Just let him know that just because he starts a book, doesn't mean he has to finish it if it's too scary or he doesn't like it. You could also read it together, giving the opportunity to stop and "talk out" the parts that are disturbing.

Having said all that, I think it's great that you're limiting him to one a year. Letting him grow up with the characters and maturity of the subject matter, as it were. The later books are definitely darker than the first three.

Sheepish Annie said...

It has been tricky with some kids and the more mature themes in the HP series. But they are such well-written books that I find many parents are reading them with their children and can help them process the more challenging parts.

I have purchased each one as an audio book. (which is unusual for me as an avid reader) Jim Dale is one of the best readers I've ever heard!!!

Devorah said...

My son started reading them at about 7.5 and plowed through all of them in order. He is a fairly sensitive child but I think what Birdsong says applies here. He did not have the experiences to make a lot of the situations real to him. As he rereads them with a greater maturity he now asks questions about what is meant in various situations and it sets the stage for good conversations and "teaching" moments. His sister started reading them about a month after he did and, at 2 years older, did not have any problems.

We have also listened to all of them on CD (working our way through half-blood now) and those also evoke questions as you often hear things that you miss when you read.

We are now debating who will get to read the new one first.

EGJ said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one reading these books aloud to another adult! ;-) Actually, T usually reads them to me while I (of course) knit. When I was in Scotland he read one chapter at a time over Skype...

I think your system with allowing your son to read a book for each birthday sounds really good. I too was a sensitive child with an overactive imagination at that age (I still am, at times), and I'm actually glad my parents protected both me an my imagination, not letting it be numbed down. Also, I think Rowling has intentionally written the books so that you can grow up with them. I wish more writers would dare to do this with their series, and more publishers would dare to publish them.

Ruth said...

We're eagerly awaiting the newest HP book ... although saddened because it will be the last.

I agree with those who say that when reading, I have found that my children's imaginations will usually only go as far as the child can handle. My daughter could read -- and even listen to (oh, I love the Jim Dale CDs!) -- the books long before she was old enough to see the movies.

Em said...

Hi Hannah!
You're added onto Knit Avalon; we're so pleased you joined!
What a cool Harry Potter tradition for you and your husband and now for your son. I love that you read out loud to each other!
I don't know what to recommend about Harry, but I'd definitely keep Mists of Avalon away from son until he's at least sixteen ;-).

terri said...

I've read 1 and 2 to my daughter who is now six, but that's as far as we'll go until she's older. I figure if you have to spend more time explaining what's happening than you do reading, it's too early.


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