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November 14, 2013 9:35 AM   Subscribe

So I've been reading Harry Potter to the kiddo (7) at nighttime for a while and she's loving it. I'm enjoying it too to the point where I don't really want spoilers on anything. However as things get darker I have some concerns about the stories ahead...

So we just reacheded the point in Giblet of Fire where shit gets hardcore, with our reading last night being including the short chapter just after the third task which I was a little worried might give her nightmares. I'm wondering:

1) are things getting darker from here to the point where I might want to put Potter on hold or at least not make it the thing I read to her as she goes to bed?
2) if we keep going are there any broad spoiler free hints you can give me as to sections of the books where I might want to exercise caution?
posted by Artw to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It definitely gets more hardcore in the coming books, as a general matter. And I can say, with no shame, that I wept openly at the end of the sixth book, as a mid-thirties hardened corporate lawyer.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:38 AM on November 14, 2013 [16 favorites]

Yes, things get quite a bit darker, particularly starting in the next book. Some of this dark stuff is intertwined with the plot to such an extent that I don't think you could skip it.

The first couple of books seem fine to me for a 7-8 year old, but I'd hold off on 5-7 until she is ready, perhaps when she can read them on her own.
posted by skewed at 9:41 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yup. In my family and in those of my friends, kids of single digit ages could not handle things after Book 4. Both being read to, and in reading on their own.
They would usually say it was fine while they were reading in book 4 or 5 (I forget which). but a lot of terrors, bad dreams, etc. with obvious connections to the books proved that No.

They can pick it up again when they're around 12, or a bit earlier if you've got tough kiddos.
The good thing is that 7 and 8 year olds usually like reading books 1 to 3 a million times.
posted by third rail at 9:43 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Things absolutely get more hardcore and scary. More people die, people are harmed in pretty awful ways, and some pretty effed up stuff happens in book six involving dead bodies... I actually have had nightmares about the dead bodies, and I am 31. Hell, when I got to that scene when I was playing Lego Harry Potter I got freaked out. So yeah, scary stuff happens.

I also (like Admiral Haddock) cried my ever loving face off at the end of book six and frankly for MOST of book seven. I literally had salt stains on my bedsheets from where I wiped my tears. Literally. Some of the things that happen in later books are often very sad, very disturbing, or just plain awful.

Book 5 (Order of the Phoenix) has some scary parts and some bad stuff happens, but book six and seven are when things get REALLY EFFED UP. As the kids in the books got older, JKR increased the maturity of the content as well, I think assuming that the people reading the books would be older as well.

You should wait to read the final three until she is older.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:44 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

which I was a little worried might give her nightmares

Does she actually seem scared and upset by this or are you just worried?

I read a lot of stuff waaaaaay above a childhood-appropriate level when I was a kid and I was fine. Everybody is different, of course, and you know your own child obviously better than I do as just some schmuck on the internet. But I read a lot and sometimes I was scared and sometimes I cried but those things are ok. (I say this as someone who bawled uncontrollably while reading the later HP books when I was in my mid 20s.)

I guess what I'm getting at is that I wouldn't let your worries trip you up unless your kid is actually experiencing difficulties with the subject matter.
posted by phunniemee at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

Oh, and agree with above - the scary/dark/disturbing scenes are usually pretty important to the story and can't be skipped or glossed over. Plus, I really think you would be doing the books (and your daughter) a disservice by presenting an edited version of the story. Just wait until she is older and then let her experience the whole thing. Part of the awesome of the HP series is that JKR doesn't gloss over the bad parts of life. Not everything is candy and rainbows, people have bigger problems than failing a test or having a bad hair day. Properly bad things happen in this world, and JKR respected her readers enough to make it realistic in that way.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have no advice whether or not to continue reading them at this age BUT there are other related works you can pass the time with if you choose to put the regular series on hold, like the Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
posted by elizardbits at 9:55 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

There was just an article about this in the NYTimes parenting blog.

Yes, bad stuff happens, it gets dark, it gets a little sexual (well, there's lots of snogging). But 'bad' things happen in life - death, strained friendships, conflict with authority. Some parents find that it's fine to read to children your age, as it's a good way to start discussions on these icky life issues. Other prefer to not have those discussions, at least in this age group. It's up to you to make that call, keeping in mind that your kid might not pick up on a lot of the subtext that makes you have an emotional response.

FWIW, many fairy tales and nursery rhymes are much darker.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes, stop after this one. Book 5 -- which I liked -- is very much about teenagers, and there are major and very sad things happening from here on out (I also cried a lot in the sixth book especially). The books age up with Harry -- though you needn't be 17 to read the 7th book, 7 is going to be too young.

You can't skip over these things, either. It depends on your kid and the speed at which you read, too, but I'd maybe take a break for a bit before book 5 and then again after book 5, etc -- all you need to do is just slow down the reading a bit. (The last 3 books are each about as long as book 4, as far as timing goes.)
posted by jeather at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: We did this exact same thing! My wife and I read the series to our kids last year. They were aged 8 and 6 when we started and 9 and 7 when we finished. Neither of us had ever read the books or seen the movies before and had no idea how the stories ended. In our case, our kids did fine with it. (Maybe even better than their parents...)

Broadly speaking, some characters die. Here's the thing though. Kids are already curious/frightened about death whether their parents read them stories like Harry Potter or not. But reading the stories gives them a really good opportunity to ask parents about it safely and without fear of being the one to bring a taboo topic up. It gives them a chance to voice their fears to you in a way that lets you guide them through it.

All that said, you know your kid, and where she is developmentally, better than anyone else. Is she particularly sensitive? Does she have a lot of nightmares? Is she an anxious kid? Does she have a tough time separating out fiction and reality? And, finally, are you comfortable enough with mortality to want to talk with her about it?

For our family, it was a great experience and it opened up great conversations about friendship, right and wrong, the reality of unfairness in the world, and life and death.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 9:59 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I read the whole series last year to my two younger daughters (then 5th grade and 1st), and they did fine. Our 7yo tends to be unfazed by scary stuff though; I think it really depends on the kid.

The later books HP books weren't even really written for kids that young; the original audience aged up along with the books. Honestly, what we struggled with more than the content was the vocabulary and complex sentences. Rowling really makes no concessions in those areas to young readers.

I think it's tough, though... it's somewhat unusual in kids' literature to have a series that spans such a range in reader maturity. And once a kid gets started, of course, he or she is going to want to continue. (I ran into a similar problem in a different context with my older daughter, who started watching Buffy as a tween and was very upset when I cut her off.)

Regarding whether the books get darker... I think they do in the sense that the darkness is more sustained in the later books. The tone is bleaker (though the humor is still there). In terms of specific content and imagery, though, the things that might give a child nightmares, I wouldn't say it gets worse than the scenes at the end of Goblet of Fire.
posted by torticat at 9:59 AM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: Oops, wait, I just reread the question and am unclear on whether you've finished Goblet of Fire. The scene in the cemetery is the one I was referring to that is about as bad as it gets. If you are not there yet... then YES it gets darker.
posted by torticat at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hey hey hello! I read Goblet of Fire on my own when it first came out, so I was about six. It was okay (for me) then, but I was a preternaturally serious kid. How about cycling through the first four again, just like those of us who had to wait for the next book did (ad infinitum, it felt)?

At the same time, if you don't feel like she's yet ready - and that is a decision you are fully able to make, don't feel beholden to expose her to everything there is in the world just yet - you could diversify into other books (for which there are AskMes aplenty).

And yeah, if I'd read book 5 at 7, I'd likely have been quite turned off because meh, teenagers.
posted by undue influence at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: Editing is not really how we roll, I'd sooner wait for her to be better prepared, or in the case of things like the table scene in Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe where I knew it was going to be harsh going in be ready for what's coming and give her reassurances and context.

She's a pretty tough cookie, but the casual murder of Cedric and the whole creepy resurrection scene was a bit much for her without warning.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I wonder how much of this might be alleviated via your delivery when reading. You're Daddy and she trusts you and she should know it's not real and you're there to comfort or protect her when it gets a wee bit scary.

Maybe the occasional time out or pause during the rough parts would help as well.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 10:05 AM on November 14, 2013

Yea, I was about to say, no matter how unhelpful it may sound, all this really depends on the fortitude and inclinations of your daughter.

I mean I was devouring R.L. Stine in 2nd and 3rd grade and had graduated to Stephen King, up to and including writing reports on the unabridged (read: phonebook sized and very adult material) The Stand, by the 5th grade to no ill effect.

I say, with that in mind, give her the benefit of the doubt. But only you and your partner know what's really suitable for her of course.

Sounds like a cool kid and cool storytime. Rock on.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: the casual murder of Cedric and the whole creepy resurrection scene was a bit much for her without warning.

Yeah. Stop for a bit. Without going into specific spoilers, Cedric was a new character put in this book so he could be killed off; that stops being the case for later deaths, and you care much more.

(That said, if you decide to go on, let us know and someone here will be happy to warn you which chapters have horrible things happen in them.)
posted by jeather at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I read the whole series to my daughter around the time she turned 6, and she was fine with it. I read the books to my son when he was 7, and he was fine. My daughter actually found the first book the scariest. (All those scenes when people are creeping around the castle or the forest in the dark not knowing what might suddenly attack.) After that, she seemed to get used to the scariness, and also in the later books the scariness changes. They're a lot darker to an adult, but the threats are more abstract and not as scary to a kid. Book 5 features people in authority/government who are really on Voldemort's side. Not being able to trust the people who are running things is not as scary to a kid as the threat of monsters in the forest.

I did give my daughter some warning about certain bad things that were going to happen. You might want to read ahead and find out about what's going to happen in the later books, so you can decide whether it would be too much for your kid, and maybe prepare her for certain events.
posted by Redstart at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2013

She's a pretty tough cookie

She'll probably be fine, then. I know you don't want spoilers, but maybe you could just scan a chapter ahead so you know when something alarming is coming up?

I totally agree with phunniemee that sometimes we adults worry about this stuff more than kids do and feel it more deeply (YKid'sMMV of course). Regarding the deaths that jeather refers to, my daughters really weren't upset at all. Which made me worry, of course, that we are raising a couple of sociopaths.
posted by torticat at 10:11 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would wait, not because of the scariness--though you are the best judge of that--but because I think books 5-7 are just not going to be as interesting to a young kid. I read Book 6 in my 20s and I still referred to it as "the one with all the kissing." Your daughter might get more out of the next few books in a couple of years.
posted by chaiminda at 10:13 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If Cedric dying and Voldemort's resurrection freaked her out, definitely stop. Way WAY worse things happen with less warning. Seriously, the book six dead bodies.... that is one of the creepiest things I have ever read. It gave me nightmares for a long time.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:14 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I guess further with personal recollections, I always thought it was a major affront to have books/material denied me. I'm not talking about pornography or anything like that but this would go about twice as strongly for an author I had already picked up on as enjoying their work. Even more so for a series I had already started and was really enjoying, which I feel like Harry Potter is as decent an example of as any.

I was a voracious reader though. Way above the norm, and perhaps even the healthy level.

So, if you do stop the series and she really wants to go on... I'd be prepared for that resentment and potential to lose the flow, storyline, enjoyment wave that you're currently riding high on right now.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:18 AM on November 14, 2013

Reading as an adult I always thought the worst bit was the dead unicorn in the first book...

That said,and as others have said above, the books become significantly darker and more adult as they go on, going from children's books to basically young adult as the core readership at the time aged... there are deaths galore, including many secondary and a couple of major characters and actual torture at several points. Plus wounding, terror and spooky stuff. Plus lots of kissing/romance subplots (that the kiddo will probably think is yuck)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:21 AM on November 14, 2013

Just stopped in to say that "Giblet of Fire" is the best typo ever.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:32 AM on November 14, 2013 [32 favorites]

Best answer: You're right, the casual death of Cedric is really bad. Even if you don't continue reading, it might be worth it to mention that that act shows how truly evil the main bad guy really is; it's a strong motivation for the heroes and haunts them for a long time.

Just to demonstrate that it's not casual for everyone else in the book. That might have reassured me, if I'd encountered this when I was younger. Otherwise I might have started fearing that this sort of thing could happen any time.

If you stop reading now, this explanation/plot justification could come from you, now, rather than waiting for it to come from the author.
posted by amtho at 10:42 AM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: This is a slight spoiler but I think it is significant enough to mention it - in the novel after GoF HP basically spends large portions of the book being tortured both physically and psychologically by wizard-ed up versions of traditional school punishments. Gave me bloody flashbacks that did.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:48 AM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: I would wait for the next books. You're at a natural cliffhanger point, the big bad guy has come back and nobody knows what will happen next. After this things get bad and stay bad, people you care about will get tortured and killed, safe harbors will be unsafe, etc. I agree with fearfulsymmetry that the part of the whole series that I found most disturbing is the sustained torture of Harry in Book 5.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: If it were me, I would stop for a bit and do two things:

1. Start talking to her about what you've read thus far. Ask her to tell you what she thinks about Voldemort and his treatment of Muggles and people he thinks are expendable. Ask her to consider why someone like Voldemort would think that his way of life is okay, and talk to her about what the Wizarding world might start to go through now that he's back. Get her to start fleshing out the reality of what's being presented so she can reflect on it and dissect it in a way that may help her stomach the stuff that's about to happen next (all of which is heartwrenching and hard, even for adults)

2. Start pre-reading Order of the Phoenix and get a sense of Harry's attitude and troubles beforehand so you can talk to your daughter about them, too. OotP = angsty teen years for Harry, and that comes with him having an attitude and a lot of outbursts that you will need to discuss with your daughter so she understands what's happening to him... And so she can consider what alternate ways there are to deal with anger and frustration of that magnitude. There's also some major friction between Harry and a teacher, and that dynamic is one you should be prepared to address as well.

Basically these are teaching books, in my opinion, and they are incredible because of that. Your daughter is young enough, though, that some of the lessons to be learned will be scary and difficult to grasp. Talking to her about it is one thing that can really help her stay afloat and enjoy the story anyway.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:14 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Nitpick: Cedric was mentioned in Book 3. He was the captain and seeker of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.

On topic: Save books 5-7 for a few years. You can also watch the first 4 movies in the meantime. :)
posted by luckynerd at 11:17 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Reading the series as an adult (having started reading the series before books 5 thru 7 came out), I got the distinct impression that Rowling intended the earlier books in the series to be for younger children around your daughter's age, and later books in the series for older children. This may or may not have been her intent; it could just be that the stories get darker and more people die as just a consequence of the overarching story.

That said, every kid is different. She might be able to handle it and she might not. As one of her parents you have a far greater ability to judge this than any one of us here.

If I were in your shoes, having not read the series, I'd probably read the rest of the books by myself alone, and then make the judgement for myself as to whether she can handle books 5, 6, and 7. If you want to make a quick decision, watch the movies, but as with any movie adaptation of a book, creative license was certainly taken in the adaptation.
posted by tckma at 11:29 AM on November 14, 2013

You've gotten a lot of great advice here which I agree with, but I didn't see this particular point mentioned (forgive me if I missed it, I'm on a break from work so I had to skim through). As others have mentioned, there are bigger deaths coming up, and I recall that JK Rowling said a few years back that one of the deaths - in that it happens, and also how it happens - was something she wrote in because she felt it was important that kids (not sure what age range she had in mind here) understand that death can come without warning and be senseless. I'm paraphrasing and may be remembering incorrectly, but I think she said that because death in the real world often comes without a grand sense of purpose, sacrifice, or plot connection, that she felt it was a necessary truism for this particular character to have a death that seemingly came out of nowhere. This death absolutely slew me - I was in my mid-20s when I read it - and I think it was the hardest episode for me to read out of all of the books.

This is all to say that yes, as others have said, shit does get a lot more dark and serious in the upcoming books, but there may be lessons in there that you'd like to tackle with your child via these books. I'd advocate reading ahead, both so you get to know what happens (you seem to be enjoying the books, and it would suck if you get spoiled as you wait a year or more!) and when you feel it most appropriate to tackle some Big Life Lessons with your daughter.
posted by AthenaPolias at 11:52 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If Cedric bothered her a lot, then yes, you can be assured that things along those lines pretty much become the norm by book 7. The good guys do not win them all. Tough choices are made. But I'd also see how she feels about it--does she want to keep reading, now that she knows that pretty much no one in the book is safe? It might be time to take a breather and read Quidditch Through the Ages or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, short light texts written by Rowling, and see how she feels after those.

If you want to keep reading without doing too much reading ahead, these are the chapters I would preview. Based on what you said bothered her I'm basing it on "good guy" death/pain, intense creepiness, or intense sadness. There's also some stuff that I'd want to be prepared for a conversation on (one includes what an adult easily understands to be probable incest, and is certainly a Very Bad Family Situation, but without the laughs of the Dursleys. I'm not sure how a 7 year old would interpret that section but I'd want the parent to have a heads up).

Book 5: Chapter 13, 35, 36 (and the end, if the remainder of Goblet upsets her)
Book 6: Chapter 10, 12, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, (and the end, if the remainder of Goblet of Fire upsets her)
-Note the middle chapters involve a lot of teen romance. Nothing beyond the upthread-mentioned snogging, but she might get bored of it. Depends on how she felt about the dance in Goblet.
Book 7: Chapter 1, 4, 5, 9, 13, 14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 31-36.

I think that the length of those lists alone shows the direction the books are going pretty well. (I would only have flagged Chapter 32 from book 4 and maybe one or two bits of Chamber, of the other books.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:57 AM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: We've been going book, movie, book, movie. The movies are fun but truncated works that almost act like summaries.

I think whatever we do I'll be reading ahead with the next ones.
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Re:snogging - Hermoine discovering boys in GoF has largely gone over her head, and romance plots make her say yuck, so if that's a major factor going forwards we might want to pause on those grounds as well.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on November 14, 2013

The movies are fun but truncated works that almost act like summaries.

FYI, the 7th movie is confusing as balls if you haven't read the book.

I read the first 4 when I was younger, then lost interest because I had to wait for Rowling to churn out the rest. It wasn't until I saw the 7th movie and had no idea what was happening that I thought, gee, maybe I should actually go and read these things.

It doesn't sound like you'd be watching the movies with your kid in lieu of/before reading the books, but I just wanted to put that out there in case it crossed your mind. If you guys are actually interested in the story, either read the books and watch the movies later or don't watch the movies at all.
posted by phunniemee at 12:05 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

You are wise to read ahead, that way you can judge for yourself what your daughter is likely able to handle. We can all tell you what WE would have minded when we were your daughter's age, but as you have probably noticed, the answers vary greatly between each person. So read ahead. I would actually read the remaining 3 books yourself so that you know where the whole story is going and how it is all going to play out. You will be better equipped to frame things things for your daughter, be better able to anticipate questions and confusing bits, and basically just be ready.

The remaining 3 books are intense in a lot of grown up "life seriously sucks sometimes, bad people win, good people lose, you have to keep going anyway" sort of ways. I, as an adult, found it difficult sometimes. There were times in the books where I really just wanted Harry (or whoever) to catch a break and have things stop being so suffocatingly hard. So much of it seemed so unfair, and (weirdly) there were times when I was angry at JKR for making the characters suffer so much. The first few chapters of book 7 just seemed so hugely unfair and tragic... But you know, that's life. Life sucks sometimes, but the characters show that you can't give up. Its the old quote, "If you're going through hell, keep going". It is a good lesson to present, so best to give it when she is most able to understand that message.

also good for you to read them in advance so that when you get to the heart wrenching parts you can sob privately and then (hopefully) keep it together when you read it with your daughter....
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 12:27 PM on November 14, 2013

I was kind of stunned by the way the gathering darkness of the later books cast shadows back over the early ones and turned benign and even light-hearted, though perhaps puzzling, details of the plot of those books into outcroppings of the sinister and awful things that came later.
posted by jamjam at 12:27 PM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]

I also suggest that you read the books on your own and judge them yourself. Also, they're too good to have to wait a year or two before your girl can take them.

I would definetly not read book 5 to a kid that age, apart from stuff getting darker in general, Harry's just so damn angry all the time. Not a good bed-time vibe for a kid.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 4:17 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

My 8 year old is currently refusing to take showers by herself because of the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets. Oops.

The thing that changes at the end of Book 4 and then in the rest of the books isn't just that scary things (murder, torture) happen; it's that the themes mature. Some people who are supposed to be protecting Harry, turn out not only to be ineffective but in some cases to be "part of the problem" in one way or another. This of course casts an overlay of darkness, insecurity and loneliness over even the otherwise neutral parts of the books.

Some kids have no problem with this, or with the scary characters and events. Mine apparently is not one of the braver ones and I am holding off on the rest of the books for a good long while (and it's a sacrifice, because they ARE fantastic books. But my girl needs to be older before she reads them.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:14 PM on November 14, 2013

If you do take a time out, consider viewing "The Princess Bride" and then reading the book together.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:52 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was a precocious reader who would have been annoyed at being a denied a book for age/maturity reasons, so I say if you really think she can handle it and she really wants to continue, go for it. But as others have said, shit gets dark, some of it in rather more psychologically complex ways that she might not even get. There are going to be things that are going to sail clear over her head, and a lot of nuance that won't make sense to her until she gets older. I think it's part of the joy of the books to be able to re-read and see all those things, and to grow up with the books, so to speak. Like for me, over ten years since I first read the books, I find a lot of heartbreak and poignancy in Harry's parents' generation now, and understand them a lot better than I did as a preteen and teen.

That said, I read the fifth book when I was 14, and I was upset about it for a week. (I am still not over the character death that happens in the fifth book, and I WILL NEVER BE OVER IT.)

also good for you to read them in advance so that when you get to the heart wrenching parts you can sob privately and then (hopefully) keep it together when you read it with your daughter....

I will heartily second this because ahahaha I probably still couldn't get through reading, say, the end of the seventh book without copious weeping. I full on wretched sobbed my way through it the first time, and leak tears at all subsequent rereadings.
posted by yasaman at 8:18 PM on November 14, 2013

More time out suggestions: the Oz books, Edward Eager, Eleanor Estes' Witch Family, Anna Bennett's Little Witch....
posted by brujita at 10:57 PM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: We finished it last night, BTW. I'm glad Cedric was treated as a big deal within the context of the book, and it ends with a real Empire Strikes Back vibe. Probably we will be reading a few other things before we return to Potter and pick up.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on November 16, 2013

Response by poster: UPDATE: after a brief pause I've started reading Order of the Phoenix in order to prescreen it for reading - she's really pining for it and hopefully with foreknowledge I can avoid ending a night on Shit Going Down.

It kind of starts right off the bat with Shit Going Down, mind.
posted by Artw at 8:11 AM on November 26, 2013

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