Dolly: Harry Potter is awesome because it’s a long chapter book so I get to read a lot. The stories are exciting and there is always stuff happening. The stories are so interesting they make me want to read the next book immediately. My favorite character is Hermione because she’s smart and she loves reading, just like me. I like Ron because he has red hair like my Grandma. I like Harry because he’s good at magic and he’s brave.
Bub: I liked it because Harry Potter was surprised to find out he was a wizard. I like magic. I felt excited reading them. I liked all the characters. I don’t have a favorite.
Momma: Yep; we’re starting with something easy. Harry Potter was, from the beginning, bound to be a classic. It’s that good. Now, does that mean you should let your kids read it whenever they want? I say no. The first few books are pretty easy reads, but starting with the 4th, the stories get more intense. There are more mature subjects with scarier themes. Not anything totally inappropriate for kids, but I just encourage you to know your kid and what they can handle.
I started my kids about 2nd or 3rd grade and let them read the first three. I let Bub read the fourth book in 4th grade, but he struggled to get all the content. I’ll let him read the 5th book in 6th grade and go from there. Dolly has read the first three and I’ll let her read the fourth one in 4th grade.
I have a friend who had a great idea: she is going to let her kids read the books when they’re the same age as Harry. So when they’re 11, they can read the first. When 12, they can read the second. And so on. Kinda fun, right?
Just a word of warning – JK Rowling does not write linearly. Bub, who’s my very literal linear kid, really struggled with the 1st book. I had to read it to him and had to constantly tell him, “Just wait, you’ll find out what that means in a couple of paragraphs (or pages or chapters.)” He got the hang of her writing style and had no problem moving on from there.
Momma’s Recommendation: Start the first book or two as early as 2nd or 3rd grade. Let them take break between books, and don’t get into 5, 6, and 7 until Jr. High.