Harry Potter is an amazing story of friendship, coming of age, redemption, and good versus evil; it’s an iconic childhood classic. And one I think ALL KIDS should read.
So why aren’t kids reading Harry Potter books anymore?
Okay, some kids are. Clearly. But not the hordes of children that were reading the books when they were first released.
In fact last year at my daughter’s 10th birthday party, only 2 of 6 friends had read any of the books. (Those two girls only had read a few books.)
My other daughter says it’s the same with her grade.
Parents might be concerned about the scary parts; some about the magic. To which I say: it’s been vetted by kids and parents already. It’s life-changing, not threatening. And you can read it when you feel you’re ready — there’s no hurry to read it at any certain age.
Perhaps maybe parents just forget to recommend THE BEST BOOK SERIES EVER?
I don’t know. And frankly, I’m puzzled.
Because Harry Potter transformed the reading lives of thousands, if not millions, of children worldwide. I witnessed this first hand with my fifth grade students year after year. Harry Potter transformed nonreaders into avid readers. Which it still does.
But that’s not all. There are more benefits to reading Harry Potter. Let me elaborate.
10 Reasons Why All Kids Should Read Harry Potter
- It’s brilliant storytelling with complex plot and world building that entertains readers so thoroughly that it’s easy to keep reading and reading and reading. Hence, the Harry Potter books develop a child’s LOVE of story and of reading.
- The writing is filled with rich word choice that will improve your child’s vocabulary.
- The fantastical, magical world of coming-of-age, adventure, and suspense ignites and improves a child’s imagination.
- Harry Potter teaches essential life lessons (that are sometimes easier to learn in a fantasy book than in a realistic one).
These lessons include:
– Friends stick together no matter what.
– We must think of others; be kind and accepting of those who are different.
– People aren’t all bad or all good but a mixture of both. Just like in our own lives.
– Bravery means standing up for what’s right and acting on it — even when it’s hard.
– Your family isn’t always your blood relations and that’s okay.
– Intelligence, loyalty, and courage are important.
– Love is stronger than evil. (why Harry was’t killed as a baby)
– Our choices determine who we are.
- The Harry Potter stories build empathy in readers. (See research here and here.)
- The books are appealing to both gender of readers. Boys and girls love these books.
- The strong female characters are fantastic role models for girls: Hermione, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, and Luna Lovegood, for example.
- The books are better and more complex than the movies.
- Harry Potter is an important part of our common mythology, the classic cannon of children’s literature, that we share with other readers. (Plus, the fandom (community) is AWESOME — check out Pottermore or MuggleNet to see for yourself.)
- Harry Potter’s story exemplifies the iconic hero’s journey which is an important literary device and will come up in almost all language arts and literature classes.
P.S. And fantasy, like fairy tales, allows for a depth of allegory and imagination that other genres cannot.
Read the Harry Potter books aloud to your kids. Talk about them. Enjoy the journey.
Listen to the audio books.
Read the books yourself.
If you’re concerned about when the books are appropriate, visit Common Sense Media to see their age recommendations for the books. I personally found it was important for my kids, once they started reading, to not stop for a year between books — and that they could handle the more dark sections in the later books because they read them first with my husband and I. (Both my kids have reread the series multiple times since the first reading.)
I want that for all kids — yours, too.