Saturday, March 16, 2013

Harry Potter - the best series of books ever read!!

Harry Potter - I read the first Harry Potter book when I was teaching in a secondary school in Andover, England. I think it was out about 2 years at that time and while I enjoyed it, I decided deliberately that I'd wait until I had kids and could read it to them. I wasn't even pregnant at the time!

I bought the Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7) for my son 18 months ago for his 9th birthday and in August I started to read the first one to him and his sister (aged 7). I really wasn't sure whether they'd enjoy them, if we'd read any more than the first one, if they were going to be 'too dark'.

I started the first one in August and we finished the seventh just after Christmas - that was a lot of reading aloud. Reading 2 chapters aloud took about an hour and a half. The children loved it, at times they would almost be dancing around the room in suspense, wondering what words were going to come out my mouth next. I loved them. My husband is a dairy farmer and he would come in around 8:30 and say 'You're not reading Harry Potter again!'

I'd planned to take a break after the third book 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban', having heard the later books became increasingly scary. I remember the night I finished that book, I'd planned to get the children to bed early so I started reading at 6pm, planning to have them in bed for 8pm as I'd a good deal of work to do. They wouldn't let me finish!  I read it while we were having our tea, I read it as they put on their pyjamas and brushed their teeth. My husband was working late and came in at 9:45 as I was reading the last page! I'd hardly any voice left, having read for almost 4 hours. The kids were so wound up it took them ages to go to sleep - suffice to say, it was unputdownable.

They wouldn't hear of taking a break, we had to start the next book the following day and continued to finish all 7. I loved them and would sometimes sneak and read snippets ahead when they were in bed. We also bought the boxset DVD Harry Potter - The Complete 8-Film Collection [Blu-ray] [2011][Region Free] of the 8 Harry Potter movies (oh, I'd have loved to have seen the last one on the big screen) and watched each DVD after reading the book. Even now, if it's a cold and wintry afternoon or the children are home ill from school, they choose one of the Harry Potter films to watch.

Will was 10 last summer and he reread all 7 books in 8 weeks and 6 days!  He fully intends to read them all again this summer and beat his record!  Now, imagine being 10 or 11 and knowing that you can read Harry Potter every night when you go to bed or any wet afternoon - bliss or what?  Both children say that they are going to read Harry Potter to their kids.

Although the writing was scary and dark at times, the children could contain the danger within their own imaginations. Both my kids are fairly squeamish and I know they'd have been terrified of the films if they hadn't read the books first. After all too, the books are always better than the film!  I also liked that the writing of the characters as teenagers was fairly innocent, even old-fashioned in that although boys liked girls and vice versa, all that was mentioned was kissing so it's fine for the younger age group to read.

I couldn't put it down, the children didn't want me to put it down. My son is going to reread it for the third time, I want to reread them too. My husband even got to like it (from hearing me read it occasionally). Harry Potter is a huge hit in this house. I almost wish I'd been a fan when they were being published, I definitely would have queued outside a bookshop at midnight. When I told the children that other kids had had to wait a year or more for the next book rather than starting it straight away, they both said the wait would have been agony.

Enough said - we love Harry Potter and I really can't recommend it enough - buy the Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7) for a 7-10 year old. What my son loves about the box set too is that it is like an heirloom for him now!

Disclosure - the links above are Amazon affiliate links - but I assure you, the review is 100% genuine, if I don't like a book I say it. Every child should read Harry Potter (or even better, every child should have Harry Potter read to them and yes, the adult will love it too)

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