Lord of the Rings -- ok for a 10-year-old girl to read on her own? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 04-23-2014, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would you allow a 10-year-old girl to read Lord of the Rings trilogy on her own?  Some of the content seems scary, but I do not have time to read the trilogy. I cannot find the reading level online but am more concerned about it being too scary.  Please let me know if this is ok in your opinion. 

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#2 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 12:48 AM
 
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My daughter read it at 9 or 10 and wasn't bothered by any of it. She has a pretty high tolerence for scary stuff though, so your results may vary.
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#3 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 01:26 AM
 
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My DD is ten also. She has read the Hobbit and seen the LotR movies, but was bored by the slow pace of the LotR books. I tried reading them around that age as well, with similar results. They are really verbose and the pacing is odd. I would recommend that she read the Hobbit first, and move on to the LotR if she's interested. The potentially objectionable stuff is mostly magic or sword fighting, which I don't mind, but you may.

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#4 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 06:15 AM
 
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I was 8 going on 9 when I read it and in a way I wish I hadn't. I feel I just could not appreciate it properly at the time, too much went over my head and book 5 was just sloooow to wade through. And you never get a second chance for a first reading again of course. I was rather envious of DH who got to read it as an adult and kept pumping him for his impressions. (Oddly, he liked the pacing of the journey descriptions that tends to drive others nuts. Said he liked the way it built up the landscape in his mind and gave him a real life sense of travel. He loves the nigredo chapters of HP 7 for similar reasons.)
It is not really that scary though. I vividly remember the dragon and orc attacks in the Hobbit, supposedly a children's book, scaring me into sleepless nights at the age of 6. LOTR is, on the surface, very much a boys' adventure, no sex, no rape, no torture, no amazons in fur bikinis, all clean heroic deaths and steadfast loyalties and selfless friendships. The Catholic and philosophical undercurrents will
probably largely pass her by.
edited to ask whether you are really going to try to stop her from reading it if she is determined? My parents tried but it would not have ooccurred to them to stop us from going to the town library on our own. ..my brother who was 12 and just as determined as I was just got it for us himself.

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#5 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 06:47 AM
 
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Would you allow a 10-year-old girl to read Lord of the Rings trilogy on her own?  Some of the content seems scary, but I do not have time to read the trilogy. I cannot find the reading level online but am more concerned about it being too scary.  Please let me know if this is ok in your opinion. 

 

I guess I have to say yes, lol. DS (now 21 y.o.) independently read the LOTR books when he was 7 yrs. way back in 2000, He started with The Hobbit when he was 6 yrs. He moved on to LOTR, finishing the trilogy, before the first movie was released. Then he went to the film premiere in our city when he was 8. The scary content didn't bother him but he wasn't much bothered by that sort of thing (orcs, trolls, battle scenes etc.). 

 

As an aside, after reading books like LOTR, he did develop little tolerance for "rip off" works (his description) i.e. derivative books of lesser quality, like the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini that are written for that middle school age group and generally considered more appropriate for children. LOL, his scorn for Eragon knows no bounds. I'd say that's a potential risk of reading adult fiction - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is debatable, I suppose. 

 

I also don't see how you can keep a determined 10 y.o from reading what she wants but maybe she's more compliant. If so, and you think the scary stuff in LOTR is too much for her, perhaps you could distract her with some other suggestions of young adult fantasy books.   

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#6 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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I agree with hobbit first if it hasn't already been read. Lotr is very dry and can be hard to get through, even for adults. I don't believe the battle scenes were overly gory. How does she do with historical things about battles? I'd say lotr is roughly on that level of scary. More if the child is more easily scared by fantasy creatures.

It really depends on the child. I think most kids are more likely to be bored than scared by it, though, even gifted kids.

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#7 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 08:46 AM
 
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Oh, sure.  It's not really that scary.  I read the books to my DD when she was 9 and she loved them.  I was probably in 6th grade when I first read them.  She should definitely start with The Hobbit, because it's shorter and more entertaining for a kid, and if she likes that then she can move on to Lord of the Rings.

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#8 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 06:21 PM
 
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DD read The Hobbit last summer at camp when she was 7.5 and didn't find the content bothersome and she does tend to get bothered easily.  I was amazed she waded through it all at that age.  I love fantasy, but I never could get very far into those books.


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#9 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 09:40 PM
 
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Definitely ok in my opinion, but like some others here, I tried reading them at that age and was just very bored. My brother LOVED them at that age. I tried again as a teenager and "clicked" better with them.

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#10 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your consideration of my question, it's a relief to read your comments.   This morning I had an email note from amazon that the Hobbit had been purchased on kindle, so apparently she went forward with it without her mother's input. (we allow kindle purchases with a dollar limit).

 

She stopped with other books when too scary -- no Lion Witch and Wardrobe because of the Aslan death scene, and she would not read past book 4 in Harry Potter until she was in fourth grade because it was too scary.

 

I'm going to look for that scorned LOTR knock off for middle schoolers.  

 

Thank you for your help.

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#11 of 21 Old 04-26-2014, 10:37 AM
 
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If she is sensitive, I would wait. I allowed my DS (then 5) to read The Hobbit and he loved it, but we are waiting on LOTR. 


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#12 of 21 Old 05-01-2014, 08:49 PM
 
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You said she didn't read past Harry Potter 4 until she was in 4th grade? Has she read them all now? I think LOTR is less scary than HP. I can't interest my kids in it. I'm actually not that interested in it any more as an adult — maybe one of these days I'll manage to see all the movies — but I loved the books as a kid. I think I was probably 11 or so when I was reading them. I really don't remember, but I had a much older brother who had them so they were around.


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#13 of 21 Old 05-04-2014, 06:55 AM
 
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I'm reading out loud the whole series to my 10yo DS right now.  He loves it.  He couldn't read it on his own because the vocabulary is a bit over his head.  But when I say things out loud it makes more sense to him than seeing words that he can't figure out how to pronounce.  If your child can handle watching the LOTR movies, or other movies like Pirates of the Carribean, the books should be fine. 


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#14 of 21 Old 06-08-2014, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You said she didn't read past Harry Potter 4 until she was in 4th grade? Has she read them all now? I think LOTR is less scary than HP. I can't interest my kids in it. I'm actually not that interested in it any more as an adult — maybe one of these days I'll manage to see all the movies — but I loved the books as a kid. I think I was probably 11 or so when I was reading them. I really don't remember, but I had a much older brother who had them so they were around.
Yes, she read the volume in kindergarten, the next three later, but refused to read beyond volume 4 until she was nine. Now that I look at my threads past and present, I see that I do have to hunt for materials a lot. I had not really noticed that before. :
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#15 of 21 Old 06-09-2014, 08:29 PM
 
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Has she read the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage? Magyck is the first one. They're nice and thick and there are 7 of them and are great for a voracious 10 yr old fantasy fan.

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#16 of 21 Old 06-09-2014, 08:48 PM
 
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LOTR was fine for me when I read them at 8 or 9. I've never been one who liked violence or gore.

The things I read that haunted me were the true stories or historical fiction. I never could ignore printed material within my reach, which led to the reading of a lot of inappropriate stuff (including parenting books and Playboy). I remember reading about a massacre when I was about that age, and the mental image of how the little children were killed still troubles me if something prompts me to remember it.

It sounds like your daughter has a good self-regulator for this. Unless reading things that give her anxiety or nightmares has been a problem, I wouldn't worry.
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#17 of 21 Old 06-14-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has she read the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage? Magyck is the first one. They're nice and thick and there are 7 of them and are great for a voracious 10 yr old fantasy fan.
She has not read Magyck, but will look for that. Right now she is reading Percy Jackson.
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#18 of 21 Old 06-14-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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I think she might really like them if she likes fantasy. Very accessible for that age group. We listened on audio book and I enjoyed them too.

I spelled the first one wrong. It's Magyk (no C) or just ask for the Septimus Heap books.

Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1)
by Angie Sage

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#19 of 21 Old 06-14-2014, 10:47 PM
 
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I think if she can do Percy Jackson she can do pretty much anything. There is a lot of character development, action, death, etc... in that series. I mostly allow my dd to self regulate, she knows what she likes and stops reading when a book gets too deep.
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#20 of 21 Old 06-16-2014, 04:01 AM
 
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I'm going to look for that scorned LOTR knock off for middle schoolers.

.
Gosh, I'd never do that. If she is put off by the pace and poetry, let her wait, don't spoil what tension is left with a subpar edition!

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#21 of 21 Old 06-16-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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Gosh, I'd never do that. If she is put off by the pace and poetry, let her wait, don't spoil what tension is left with a subpar edition!
I agree! If the answer to "is she ready for this?" is no, even simply because of the pacing and language, I wouldn't impoverish her experience with the books by giving her a dumbed-down version ... I'd just let her grow up a little. There's no rush. The only time I would consider offering a condensed simplified version of a book is if the child is feeling left out of peer culture because of not being ready for the level that her friends are reading at.

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