I've read all four books and Ds, age nine read the first three. He started #4 and couldn't get into it, just as well, because I think it's very dark, probably better for11-13 year olds. #3 is pretty scary as well, with Harry remembering his mother's screams as she was being murdered. Puhleeese! Dd's teacher is reading the series out loud to her class (she's 8), but I may ask the teacher not to read books #3 & 4. I took my three oldest children to see the movie and I thought it was too scary for my 5 year old. I covered her eyes a few times. I enjoyed the movie and my 8 & 9 year olds LOVED it. I think J.K. Rowling is an excellent storyteller, but as literature, the books are lacking something. The character development is not great. Harry and his friends are one dimensional. The books are all about action and you feel shuttled from one event to the next. Compare the Harry character to Anne of Green Gables or Laura Ingalls. By the end of the Anne series or the Little House series you feel as if Anne and Laura are real people (well, Laura was a real person, of course) but at the end of a Harry Potter novel, you close the book and forget all about him. You just remember what happened to him.