Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Waiting for Harry

First - before I get to Harry - I must report a couple of funny Beaver stories:

Beaver wanted me to play chess with him the other day, so I sat down, set up the chess board, and tried explaining to him how to move some of the pieces.  "No, Mommy.  I know how to play.  If I get your king, then I win, and if you get my king, then you win."  He proceeded to take one of his pawns and bonk my king on the crown with it.   "Ha ha!  I got your king!"  From there, the game became some kind of mash-up of Pokemon battling with chess pieces.  "Mommy, you get your guards in the air and use sandstorm attack." Beaver instructed me.  So, I lifted my knights up and shouted, "Sandstorm attack!  Go!"  Beaver: "Ha ha!  You can't stop us because we have eyelashes to get through your sandstorm!"  Thank you, Diego.

Today was a holiday, so the neighborhood kids were all home from school.  The boys and I were walking to a neighbor's house to return something and we passed several of Bear's schoolmates, along with one of Beaver's, playing in a friend's driveway.  Bear immediately asked to go play, and I willingly let him go.  There were no parents in sight, but he is old enough to play with minimal supervision.  As Beaver and I continued on our way, Beaver asked, "Mommy, please can I go play, too?" And then, in a tone of dejected resignation he responded to his own question, "Or not.  Because I am too little."  Well, if he wanted to yank my heart strings, he sure did it.  I would have done anything to let him play after that.  I got a camping chair and the ipad and sat at the end of my neighbor's driveway so that my sweet Beaver could play with the kids, too.

Now, on to Harry.

Bear loves Harry Potter.  At least, he loves the first three books.  That is all he has read so far.  Not because he doesn't want to read further, but because I have told him he is not allowed to read any further at this point.  I haven't read past book 3 myself, but I know the books get darker as the series progresses.  I don't think the books are bad.  I just don't feel like I want to expose him to the death and violence that I know occur in the later books - not just yet.  What I would really like to do is just have him read one each year from this point on, but I don't know if it will really be possible to hold him to that.  One of the problems is that he has a good friend here - one year younger than him - who has read all of the books.  That friend's mother tells me that she let her son read the books, but not watch the movies, because she feels that at his age, his imagination can only take the reading so far - it isn't the same as seeing it in a movie.  I can see her point and I respect it, but I am still not convinced that I want to let Bear read more.

Tonight, Bear was once again pushing to be allowed to read book 4.  I didn't give in, but I can't deny that I am second guessing myself.  I came downstairs after getting him in bed and googled "Should I let my 9-year-old read Harry Potter?"  As I was perusing the results, Bear called to me from the top of the stairs.  "Mom, I can't fall asleep because I keep thinking about dementors."  Hmmmm......maybe that is my answer right there.

Seriously, though.  Does anyone out there have an opinion about this?  I have kind of been thinking that when we go back to the US this summer, I will buy the set and read them myself and then decide.  I don't really want to, though.  I lost interest after the 3rd book.  Probably because they do get darker, and dark books don't interest me.  If anyone has read the series, let me know what you think about a 9-year-old reading it.  Or give me some ideas for other books for him to read.  The poor kid is so desperate, he checked out the 2nd and 3rd books from the school library and re-read them this week.  We have the first one, and he has probably read it five times.  It is times like this that I dearly miss having access to a public library.


christy said...

Well my kids don't like to read thick books so they have not read them all but I have and we have all seen all of the movies and the kids have listened to them on cd from the library. I don't mind the good vs evil in the books though. I think it's good in the end to see good triumph. I think scripture stories are sometimes violent and such but they teach a good lesson and I don't make them wait until they are older to read the scriptures. Harry potter has some scary things the scriptures don't however and if you think it will cause him bad dreams then maybe he shouldn't. You know best. If he knows about dementors though, that is the scariest part of all of it to me and he has surely heard from his friend all that happens anyway. Most of it is not so dark and scary and if you finish the series you can feel happy inside that good won and the evil is gone and move on to a different story.

Benjipups said...

Two reasons I can't help.

1) I read them too long ago to remember.
2) Even if I did remember, it turns out I don't know how to gauge a book anyway. Remember when you were asking about book recommendations and I suggested The Book of Three? Well I re-read it a few weeks ago to figure out if it was appropriate for Luke's age and still didn't know right after I finished the book.

So ultimately this is me leaving a comment about having nothing to say.

Mrs. Mike said...

Well, Benjipups, I appreciate you saying something, even if it is nothing.

J said...

Your answer lies in the books. Many wizards chose to shy away from teaching the dark arts for fear that students would turn to it and follow Voldemort. Harry, on the other hand, thought it was essential to learn the dark arts to better understand his enemy in preparation to defeat him.

Darkness need not be feared for light and truth will always prevail, unless men of light and truth allow their courage to fail them.

Samantha said...

Daaaang J.
I have no idea as far as advice b/c I'm not there yet with my kids' ages and I think each kid is different. But may I say, I can't believe Luke is 9. W?!?!

kelsey said...

Nice, Jay.

I don't have an opinion because I haven't read any of them, but I talked to two friends tonight who are reading the series to their 5 and 7 year old boys and who would both let a 9 year old read the 4th book.

Angela said...

My kids have both read the books, but only seen the movies up to book 5. I read them all before I let the oldest start reading them (he was 10 before he started), but my second child started much earlier (8 or 9, can't remember) she has read all but the last one. (They're in the house and she started before I realized she was reading them!) I think the movies trigger nightmares more so than the books. But my daughter is less susceptible to feeling afraid by made-up stories than my older son at the same age. I do keep reminding them that they are made up and not real. We talk about the author and why she wrote the books.