Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i'm *thinking* about getting these for my daugter to read (at her request). the thing is, i've seen all of the movies, and although my husband and I absolutely love them, they're too much for gracie (a little too scary). do you think the books would be alright for her if the first movie was too much? should i wait on the them? i've never read them, so i really have no idea. i'd hate to get them & let her just "try" it, only to make her feel afraid. i guess i could sit and have her read it aloud to me, so we can enjoy it together. any thoughts? TIA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
I did not think that the first two books were particularly scary. After that, they get more so, but I also think that they get more mature in a few ways and are better for slightly older kids. Even the parts that were scary in the movie come across more as plucky kids using their gumption and brain power to outwit the enemy, than as *cue scary music meant to build up lots of tension* WILL THE CHILDREN MAKE IT?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
My dsd read them starting at about 8 or 8-1/2 maybe? She did enjoy the first couple movies, but found the next one too scary. She is re-reading the books (again!) right now at almost 9. Maybe you could read them outloud together at first so she could talk through any scary parts with you?<br>
(Dsd is not homeschool btw, but I am planning on homeschooling dd and ds!)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,701 Posts
My dd loved found the first book too scary last year when her daycare was reading it, but she loved it this year. She is definitely not ready for the movie form of it though. I am letting her read one book each year because I think some of the teenager feelings and aspects are better for children a little older than seven. If she can read the books on her own next year or the year after then I may reconsider this though just because I will be thrilled if she advances that much in reading in a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
If the first movie is too much for your DD, the books may be too much also, but it really depends on what kinds of things scare her. In some ways, I think the books are scarier than the movies. In the movies, you actually <i>see</i> the troll or dragon, and that can be scary for some kids, but the movies go so quickly there isn't time to build up much tension. And some things just weren't filmed in a scary way, even though they could have been. The end of Goblet of Fire, for instance. That was pretty intense in the book, but not so much in the movie. The movie Voldemort is much less scary than the book one. Ralph Fiennes in a stocking mask? Come on! They didn't even give him red eyes.<br><br>
Interestingly, my DD found the first book (read to her when she was almost 6) the scariest. There are a lot of scenes with kids nervously sneaking around in the dark, not knowing what scary thing or person might suddenly appear. That one seemed to be just about at the scariness limit for her. But she loved it, and really wanted me to keep reading, and to read the next one. The second one was less scary for her. I think she had gotten used to that world, and to a certain level of tension, and had more of an expectation that things would turn out all right, after they did in the first book. By the third book, she wasn't scared any more. She said she <i>liked</i> the scene with Voldemort at the end of Goblet of Fire. Partly I think it was just that she got used to it all, and partly I think it was that a lot of the bad things in the later books are more abstract. (She has also seen all the movies - after we read the books - and didn't find them too scary.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
I think for an 8/9 yo it is probably fine<br><br>
That said, they vary so much in what they find scary. If you are worried, tbh I'd just get the book and pre-read it-it is very good and not an arduous read!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
I think the first 2 are probably fine. Maybe the 3rd as well. The 4th was scarier and a little more grown-up with the content.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
I think it depends. My kids have seen the movies or heard/read the books since age 2, and only the movies have ever scared them (like at premiers before I can screen them). In those cases, we leave the room and come back after the scary part. The movies are far scarier, IMO than the books, but as the books go on they get more adult and scarier. Not inappropriate adult stuff, just more to think about. I would read it together or get the books on tape which my kids love of the series.<br><br>
Was your daughter scared recently by the movie? She's a little younger than my oldest and she's been reading them for a few years with no problems with being scared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,681 Posts
I think the vast majority of kids would be fine with at least the first three books in the series at that age, though every child is different of course. My kids aren't particularly sensitive to the emotional impact of written text and have read them all at age 6-7. Perhaps you could just offer to jump in a read aloud to her, cozying up on the couch, if she gets uptight about things at any point. I doubt that will happen, but it wouldn't hurt to offer.<br><br>
Miranda
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
I think that the movies are scarier than the books, just because they have all of the scary music, etc. added in. DD read the first book at 6, but the second was too scary for her at that age (she stopped in the middle when it got to bet too much). She tried again at 7, and made it through all of the books at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thanks everyone. the reason my daughter wants the books isn't so much because they're Harry Potter, but more-so she is excited that she can read them all by herself<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">. she does enjoy reading outloud to me though, so perhaps this is the avenue we could consider. she'll be 9 in 5 months, and she still gets spooked by movies... (i.e. punky brewster halloween episode, lol). she's never been afraid during a book though, and we have read some mystery-type things... so i thought i should ask here first for feedback. i'll get the first book from the library & proofread it. if nothing stands out, i'll let her have a go at it with me enjoying it by her side. thanks again! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittywitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15408655"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Was your daughter scared recently by the movie? She's a little younger than my oldest and she's been reading them for a few years with no problems with being scared.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
yes, it was only months ago. my 6 year old watched it on dvd with my dh while she was at a spend-the-night party. when she found out, she really wanted to watch it as well, but it was too much (this was in the middle of the day on a TV). i turned it off. now she really wants to read the book, so i felt conflicted. after thinking about it though, gracie is a really smart little girl. i mean, the movie was too much & she stopped watching it. if the book bothers her at all, she'll simply not read it. i'll let it be her call. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,294 Posts
I think that if a kid is old enough to read something by herself, she's old enough to decide whether to keep reading it or not if it gets scary.<br><br>
That said, although I am NOT a fan of HP, and I refused to read them to ds, I didn't think the first two books were particularly scary at all. And when ds learned to read at 8, the HP series was the first thing he read. He liked them a lot.<br><br>
ETA: we haven't seen the movies.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
Why aren't you a fan? Not trying to start an argument, I've just never met anyone whose read any of them and disliked them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,294 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittywitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15409307"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why aren't you a fan? Not trying to start an argument, I've just never met anyone whose read any of them and disliked them.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
All fiction is derivative to a certain extent, but I thought HP was especially so, particularly of the British boarding school novel. I didn't like the world portrayed, where instead of creating something unique, she simply "magicized" contemporary institutions. Wizard banks, sports, etc. struck me as ridiculous and rather sad, rather than imaginative. For a fantasy book, I felt it lacked entirely a sense of the numinous, and of the truly creative. And frankly, after you've read about the school for wizards in Ursula le Guin's <i>Earthsea</i> trilogy, HP is annoyingly juvenile. To me, anyway. (Although I do give Rowling credit for linguistically clever spell names.)<br><br>
I don't want to argue, either. I fully realize that I'm in the minority here! I'm sure I would have enjoyed these books very much as a child. But they didn't do it for me as an adult reader.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
My oldest was very sensitive to movies for a long time (she was 6 before she could make it through Cinderella), and was able make it through the HP movies only because she had read the books, and knew it turned out ok. She has since explained to me that books don't scare her, because she knows the author is in charge of what happens-- I guess movies feel less predetermined to her, and are therefore scarier?<br><br>
I know that some other people find books to be scarier than movies, so it's hard to say how it will work out with your dd, but I don't think the first HP is all that scary, and I'd be inclined to let her try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,134 Posts
I wouldn't hesitate to give the child the book, provided she knew that finishing wasn't a requirement. Most kids will put a book down that they aren't ready for. I trust my children to do that (and they have). They often come back to it when they are older.<br><br>
Movies, unfortunately, don't give the child the opportunity to opt out (as easily). The kids get engrossed in the imagery and the scary stuff happens quickly. Also, they see the director's interpretation of a scene--which is often more horrible than they would have imagined. (Esp. regarding monsters--a child's brain will make the monster only has scary as they can handle.)<br><br>
Amy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,311 Posts
My kids are very sensitive to scary/freaky things, and they absolutely inhaled the Harry Potter books.<br><br>
No scary dreams, nuthin'.<br><br>
The movies occasionally caused problems, but not the books.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zinemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15409141"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that if a kid is old enough to read something by herself, she's old enough to decide whether to keep reading it or not if it gets scary.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I like this thought, although I realize that not everyone shares it. My oldest dd loves reading and was able to read books that some parents would not consider developmentally appropriate at times b/c she read well fairly early. I have pretty much always taken this approach, though b/c she has shown me that she will self censor and has stopped reading certain series of books when the content no longer felt good to her. I wouldn't give her pornography, of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">, but she has chosen to stop reading some series of books that had somewhat sketchy content such as Pier Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality books last year. She did love HP when she was younger, too, and I would feel that they are appropriate for an 8-9 y/o child who expresses an interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
thanks everyone for your feedback. i agree that it should be her call to make. i realized that earlier this morning & stated that above. she's a smart kid & i trust she will either enjoy the book or put it down. i've never read the books, so i'm excited as well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top