I’ve been called a mean mom. Well, which mom hasn’t? In this case, though, an another adult backed up my daughter’s case. My family are all huge Harry Potter fans, but I explained to this friend that I only let my daughter read one book a year with one or two exceptions. He agreed with her that this might be close to torture!
I have a lot of reasons for pacing her. Many of the other girls in her class have already finished the series without any emotional trauma or psychological damage. My primary reason for wanting her to wait is that I don’t think the profound themes and actions will translate to someone so young. Essentially, I don’t want her to miss out on the emotional resonance. I also want her to have to search for clues and think about what COULD happen next, like I did!
Common Sense Media has taken a look at the books and movies from the perspective of things being too scary or heavy. They correctly point out that the books and the movies might not be at the same “scary” level, with the visual representation sometimes hitting harder. According to the video, “Preteens can handle being scared for longer as long as there is a happy ending.”
While I definitely found the ages conservative and would suggest that you watch the movies to judge for yourself, they did a great job on the break-down of the books’ progression. If you don’t want to read all of the books yourself, you can rely on their groupings to let you know when the novels will kick it up a bit, as well as when the movie might be a bit more to handle. As an added bonus, the video stays away from any major spoilers by saying things like “a well-liked character dies.”