Introducing Harry Potter to the next generation

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 | Author: Marcel

As one grows older (almost 30, for Fawkes’ sake…), one cannot help thinking about the future and everything that goes with it. One such thing, naturally, is kids. Oh, they’re not on the way yet, there’s still a lot more I would like to achieve in my life before I want to focus on the whole concept of offspring. But there are many things I look forward to experiencing as a dad. One of them is taking my kid(s) on the wonderful journey to Hogwarts alongside Harry Potter. I want them to be able to enjoy discovering those amazing adventures like I did. 

I am already sort of planning a schedule on how to space out the various readings of the novels. Because as great as it might be to have all seven books at your disposal right from the get go, there is also an unfortunate downside to it. If I read the first book with my 11 year old, which I consider to be an appropriate age since it’s when Harry himself enters the wizarding world, and assuming he likes it (why wouldn’t he???), the temptation would be immense to just delve right into Chamber of Secrets, then Prisoner of Azkaban and so on… At this rate, we’d go through the whole series in under six months! Compared to the epic 10 years filled with delightful anticipation and speculation most of the current generation got to experience, that would just seem like a wet firecracker, fizzing out after a massive display of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes best fireworks. 

Not to mention the fact that, while the first 2 or 3 books might be perfect for an 11 year old, things get pretty heavy and complex starting with Goblet of Fire. Arguably, even Prisoner of Azkaban might get a bit intense, or maybe I’m just underestimating 11 year olds on a global scale. But I just don’t see such a young kid fully appreciating the many layers of GoF, the social commentaries sprinkled throughout OotP, the meaning of the death of a loved one, and so on. While we might have started reading at a young age ourselves, we had the big advantage of growing up with the characters, going through the hardships and joyful moments of life at more or less the same pace, therefore maturing enough in time to grasp the deeper meanings of the next book, and the next… 

Truth is, I’m a bit sad that the new youngsters won’t be able to experience the series the same way we did, but no matter what, I wouldn’t want them missing out on this fantastic story that is sure to remain a classic. To our kids, and many generations after them.

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  1. Heather says:

    I think you are underestimating 11 year olds. Adam and I were both younger than that when we read Goblet of Fire for the first time and we loved it. The beauty of reading at such a young age is that you can experience the wonder of a magical world when you’re more susceptible to it as a child and then you can return to it when you’re older, re-read, and understand the more intricate layers. The older your get and the more experiences you have, the more interesting reading a book becomes.