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Flourish and Blotts (Books) For all discussion relating to the Harry Potter book series - with individual book forums, reviews, editorials, and romance shipping.

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Old 02-08-2017, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are the books too dark for a young audience?

I was thinking back to when i first read the harry potter books (and when i also saw the films), and was initially scared of Voldermort from the first book onwards. But i've always felt the first 2 books were quite 'light hearted' compared to the rest. They seem to progressively get 'scarier' and darker.

Whats your opinion? Do you think the later books are suitable for young kids?

Just curious
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes of course! I see nothing wrong with then! As long as the child knows that it's just pretend, and focuses on the awesome bits and the friendship and love part of it, they'll be fine

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Old 09-28-2017, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)

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I think they're fine for kids to read, as long as the kid can comprehend what's happening in the books. I started the books myself in fourth grade and grew up with stories, and I think it's great for kids to do the same. There are several things I missed the first time that I caught upon reading it as an older teen because I wasn't old enough yet to fully comprehend the gravity of the situation. Not to mention the book is not just about the dark themes that appear throughout but also about friendship, family relationships, bullying and, of course, magic.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I look back on HP years after I read the books... Yes, there are some dark elements already in PS/SS. Harry loses his parents as a baby, gets neglected and abused by his aunt and uncle and bullied in school (even by his own cousin), one of his teachers has the man who killed his parents stuck on his head, and said teacher later basically gets burned to death. And that is just what I come up with on the top of my head right now. Yes, I suppose that the average 11-year-old (which is Harry's age in this story) is able to handle all this. But I would never give the book to any child, who is much younger than that. And as for the later half of the series, that is for teenagers and not for children.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)

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I completely agree with the person above. I think the first few books are written in such a way that a younger audience wouldn't necessarily pick up on the darker aspects of the books but at the same time, those elements aren't for the feint of heart either. Whilst no child under the age of 11 should have an understanding of what Harry has and is about to go through, it still isn't necessarily a book I would allow my own child to pick up before they are of an age that they can understand and ask questions about those elements. Having said that, these books are still a literary masterpiece and I think everybody should have the chance to enjoy it. Where these books are concerned, it connotations will always be up for discussion for generations to come purely because of the darkness of the plot.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Deathly Hallows might have been too dark because of all of the deaths that occurred during the Battle of Hogwarts, lol.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think there's anything wrong with the books. If a child gets upset by one of them for some reason, his or her parents should calmly explain that the books are just make believe, that Voldemort isn't real. As long as a child understands that, they should be fine.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No one said that there was anything wrong with the books. But that doesn't mean that I would ever give them to younger kids, who are less than say ten years old.

And honestly, I was more disturbed by the Dursleys (when they were at their worst in the first three books) and by Umbridge than by Voldemort. Maybe because I feel that abusive foster parents and sadist teachers are more realistic characters than an evil supervillain.

Last edited by Furienna; 04-05-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It really depends on a) the child and b) the book - I remember reading the scene where Arthur Weasley was attacked in OOTP and it really scared me, but I enjoyed the book anyway and it became my favorite Harry Potter book
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:02 PM   #10 (permalink)

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I completely agree that the books get progressively darker as the series goes on. However, it was intended for the reader to grow along with the series. I think it's reasonable that the stories to get more complex and sinister in nature as the reader ages. When I first read the series as a child, a lot of the darker themes went over my head. I picked up on them more when I re-read the books in my teenage years. I don't think anything in the books is necessarily inappropriate for younger readers, but they just might have trouble comprehending them fully.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If it is that much of a concern, then parents should read the books with their kids and address any concerns that may arise.
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