Harry Potter Books, Movies, and Games and When to Try Them
Like so many families, we waited impatiently in line for every new release and fell asleep many nights with a dog-eared volume on our chests. My son once convinced me that a Hogwarts-style English trifle was what would complete our Christmas dinner. We've discussed, at length, the flavors of Earwax, Sausage, and Rotten Egg when we discovered Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans -- before trying them just once more. We laughed at Ron, we cried with Harry, and, dare I admit it, we even pretended to speak Parseltongue.
And then a new spell was cast. I'll never forget the look of disappointment and sadness on my husband's face when our son proudly boasted that he could read the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, all by himself. It was the end of an era. My son was maturing, but would he be able to handle the decidedly mature themes of the final book?
Thank goodness for the two-part movie finale, the first of which premieres Nov. 19, 2010. For families with older kids, this film will keep the magic alive a little longer. But by the looks of the trailer, this one will be intense -- and fully deserving of its PG-13 rating.
I think my kid is old enough to see it, but it's not for very young Harry Potter fans. One of the delights of discovering Harry Potter is that you see him grow up. But along with that, the subject matter of the books and movies get scarier, the villains viler, and beloved characters die.
If your family is just getting into this magical world, here's a quick age-by-age guide for enjoying Harry Potter with your kids. Keep in mind that all kids are different, so assess your child's ability to handle frights and peril before you see the movies or read the books.
7-8: Kids can start to read alone and enjoy the early movies and video games.
Read alone: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Watch: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Play: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
9-10: For the first time, the movies become really dark.
Read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Watch: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Play: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
10-11: Beloved characters die, and the movies get even scarier (you might wait until 12+).
Read: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Play: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
11-12: Your kids can handle everything J.K. Rowling sends their way.
Read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Watch: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Play: Harry Potter: Spells
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