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Happy October! I’ll get my September round-up posted soon, but this felt more urgent: we are nurturing a serious Harry Potter obsession around here and I’m looking for advice.
I feel like I am one of the few avid readers who has not read the full Harry Potter series. I read the first two on my own, years ago, and then I decided to wait to read the rest with my kids.
Well, that time has come. My oldest daughter is six, and we’ve just finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We also watched the first two movies in the past week. I think she was a little lost when we read the first book (I may have started too early), but she follows the story now and is a full-on superfan.
She spent the weekend constructing Hogwarts out of blocks and sorting all of her toys into their houses (Little People and My Little Ponies alike. Most My Little Ponies are Hufflepuffs, naturally.). She wants to be Hermione for Halloween.
Of course, I am loving this. I see Harry Potter doing for her what it’s done for so many young readers: create a love of story and a fascination with the worlds that can be opened by reading.
But here is my dilemma: we may have reached our limit of “scary” for right now. She loves the stories and the movies, but they do affect her and she needs reassurance that Voldemort isn’t in our basement.
She is still smiling when she asks this and I’m not too concerned about the depth of her fear, but I’ve heard that the books after the first two just get scarier. We’re reading the illustrated versions, and the third one happens to come out this week—good timing if we want to keep going, but I’m considering stretching it out—at least until Christmas. The illustrated versions seem to be coming out each year, so if we keep up with those we’ll naturally stretch out our reading.
Readers, what do you think? Do I keep the enthusiasm going and get the third book now? How about the books after that—is six too young?
Finally, any other books you recommend for read-alouds at this age? We’ve started reading The Land of Stories but I don’t know much about it yet. She enjoyed The Magic Treehouse series for a while, but I think they feel a little too formulaic after the rich world of Hogwarts.