Thursday, June 20, 2013

Miriam and Harry Potter

Miriam has started reading the Harry Potter books, which means half the time I walk into the living room these days, I am greeted by this sight:

And it is marvelous in my eyes. I love that she is reading independently and enjoying it. I taught her to read three years ago and it was sometimes (often?) a very difficult struggle involving tears, not necessarily all from her. Moments like this - and I'm not saying this to be trite - make it all worthwhile. Really.

One observation and one issue:

Observation. Some of the vocabulary in the HP books is beyond her level, and every once in a while when she's telling me about what she's reading, I find out that she is pronouncing things incorrectly in her head as she reads. I totally remember this happening to me when I was a kid (or, um, an adult - see here and here). For example, she said "Hermione" as "HER-mee-own," (didn't we all?). "Dementors" was something like "DE-mentators." She got all the way to the last chapter of HP2 before she finally asked what "Slytherin's HEAR" was - Slytherin's "heir," that is. So adorable.

Issue. She is reading these faster than I anticipated when I suggested she start. Right now, she's about halfway through HP3. If she holds her same pace as HP1 and HP2, she will finish it in two or three more days. Then I'll have to decide if I want to let her read HP4 (and 5 and 6 and 7) on her own. In my opinion, those books are where the series gets darker and more mature. She's 7 years old and I know that's old enough for some kids, but Miriam is sensitive to scary media so she's not as used to it as some kids might be. Thoughts?

16 comments:

Crys said...

That is a hard one. As someone who gets really into books...if I had to stop mid series I would be seriously upset. You should have heard me banging cabinets after I found Hunger Games, finished the book all excited to read the next one and found out that there wasn't a next one for another year! That being said as a mom of a sensitive child myself, it is our job to protect them from themselves and if you know she's going to end up with nightmares that are going to be a problem for her...maybe you should cut her off. That being said, my kids have watched all eight Harry Potter Movies (even the sensitive one who got up and walked out during Arthur and the Invisibles...which was not scary). That being said, books were always more scary for me than movies. I remember when Jurassic Park came out my parents wouldn't let me see the movie because I wasn't 13. So I read the book instead and couldn't sleep with the light off for a month. Two years later I saw the movie at a slumber party and fell asleep midway. The one exception was the movie Arachnophobia. That movie creeped me out! That being said...GOOD LUCK WITH THIS DECISION ;-) Why does being a parent have to be so difficult.

Crys said...

PS Speaking of books did you see these wedding pictures posted on NH's friend The Book Guardian. They are worth a look. As a book lover myself they definitely made me smile :) http://thebookguardian.blogspot.com/2013/06/im-in-love-with-wonderful-guy.html

Amanda Ball said...

I have no idea. My friend Emily's daughter, also 7, has read all the Harry potter books, but that doesn't make them appropriate for Miriam. That is great that she loves reading! Lillian is kind of in this phase where she thinks she can't do it, which is annoying. I'm hoping she'll grow out of it.

Bridget said...

I'm going to tell you this story because I know you're familiar with MLP. Miriam used to say she was "just like" Twilight Sparkle, except that Twilight Sparkle liked to read and she (Miriam) didn't. It made me so sad to hear her say that. Since then (a year ago?), she's pretty much done a 180. Of course I encouraged her but I think the credit goes to the My Secret Unicorn books.

Susanne said...

Looks like a little Bridget reading there. So cute. :)

Sarah Familia said...

That's exactly why I haven't let my daughter start on Harry Potter yet. I know it would kill her not to read the whole series if she started it, and getting through the entire series would likely be a matter of a few months, if not weeks. She's eight. How long would you ideally like Miriam to wait before reading the rest?

Kathy Haynie said...

Have you talked about this dilemma with Miriam?

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

I don't often follow your blog, but clicked over from my mom's blog when I saw the mention of Harry Potter. We're huge Harry Potter fans at our house. Our daughter was 7 when she started reading them and we had exactly the same debate. Our daughter also gets scared easily watching even fairly innocent movies that our 5 year old has no problems with, so we had planned to have her stop after book 4. That lasted...about 3 days. We had the books on the shelf and she wanted to read them. We gave in...because who really wants to tell their kid they can't read a book they love that we love ourselves. (You know they're hooked when a 7 year-old is willing to read a book as thick as any of the Harry Potter books.) She has now read all of the books and as re-read a couple of them. It turned out they haven't been to scary for her. Reading it in a book is not as intense as watching the movie. Katie has only seen the first couple movies. We haven't let her watch the later ones. Just because Katie's been okay with them, doesn't guarantee your daughter will be, but I think there's a good chance she's up to the challenge.

Liz Johnson said...

This is so timely! I downloaded the first HP audio book for our upcoming drive to Utah. I'm curious to see if the kids are interested, both in the subject matter and in the audiobook format. We'll see how it goes. I'm worried about them wanting the second book, too, but we'll see how it goes. Sheesh.

(it would help if I had already read the books or seen the movies, so that I had any idea of what was happening. parenting/human FAIL.)

Bridget said...

I just never imagined she would read them this fast. She read #1 in four days. I guess I just thought I'd have more time! In my opinion, there's nothing inherently inappropriate in the later HP books, they're just AGE inappropriate, at least for this little 7-year-old. I see now I should have thought this through better.

Bridget said...

Not yet. I might end up just encouraging her to take a break and read some other books for a while. She did that with the LHOP books and it worked out fine.

Bridget said...

My mom suggested I read them with her. I don't know if I would be able to read at the pace she would want, but it might be good to check in every few chapters. That could curb some of the scariness. And maybe I'm totally underestimating her!

Bridget said...

We've had mixed results with road trip audiobooks, but if any one will work, it would be HP. The reader does such a good job with lots of cool voices and accents. I hope it goes well!

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

We didn't exactly read them with her, but she often asked us to read 1/2 a chapter to a chapter to to her for a bedtime story, so that was a good way to check in with her and for her to ask questions.

Kitty Crazy! said...

I remembered that Cedric Diggory dies in book 4, that may/may not be hard for M?

Susanne said...

Did she end up reading more in the series? Did she do OK with that?

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