What Is The Appropriate Harry Potter Reading Level and What Age Is Harry Potter For?

Harry Potter Reading Level

Reading is an extremely important and rewarding activity for all ages, but plays an essential role in our children’s development.

While getting a child to love reading may turn out to be a challenge sometimes, books like the ones in the Harry Potter series are believed to work wonders in this area.

But what age is Harry Potter for and what is the Harry Potter reading level? We’ll find out together.

What is Harry Potter?

Harry Potter is a series of 7 books written by J.K. Rowling between 1997 and 2007. After being rejected by 12 different publishing houses, the series was finally accepted by Bloomsbury and ended up breaking several records and making J.K. Rowling one of the richest people in the world, who is even richer than the queen of England. 

Here is the list of all the titles in the series:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)

What genre is Harry Potter?

The Harry Potter series is part of the Fantasy Fiction genre, being a tale of a young boy with magical powers and his adventures in an imaginary world full of magic.

What reading level is Harry Potter?

Whenever we push our children to read, we always need to make sure that they read books that are appropriate for their age and reading level. Understanding this is key to ensuring that the kid has a pleasurable and moderately challenging reading experience. 

An important factor to take into account when choosing books for our children is the Lexile Level, which is a popular method used to determine a child’s reading ability and a scale by which books are categorized according to their difficulty. The Lexile Level (or Lexile Measure) matches the expected reading ability of children grade by grade and ranges from 0L and can go up to 2000L, which is the maximum level.

The Harry Potter books reading level varies from one title to another, as follows:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

The first book in the series requires a reading level of 880L, which makes it an appropriate read for most 5th and 6th graders. With a total of 223 pages and an acceptable story complexity, it should not be too challenging. Moreover, the way the story is built and the twists in the action make it a page-turner, which is a huge advantage.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

My personal favorite, the second book in the series, is just a little bit more difficult than the first one when it comes to the  Harry Potter reading level. Sitting at 940L on the Lexical Scale, it is an equally adequate read for any 5th and 6th grader and with 251 pages of action packed adventures in the magical world, it is a book that’s clearly hard to put down.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

The third book brings the reading level back to 880L, making it a bit easier to read than the second volume. It is a bit longer though, and the story is expanded on 317 pages. But that shouldn’t be a problem for any 5th and 6th graders who read at the average level for their age group.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

The fourth book in the series comes with a similar score on the Lexical Scale, still at 880L. The story is more complex though and the number of pages is 636, which makes the book a bit more challenging, but still appropriate for any 5th and 6th graders. Luckily though, despite its size, the volume is a real page turner, which will make it almost impossible for any kid to give up on reading it. The characters and the story develop more than in the previous books and some pretty big questions are being answered. 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

This is where things start to get a little more complicated in the series. The fifth album comes with a reading level requirement of 950L and a complex action timeline spread over 766 pages, making it the longest one in the series. The grade range of the reading level is expanded between the 5th and 7th grade. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 

The most complex book of the series, the sixth one, comes with 607 action-packed pages and a reading level requirement of 1050L. It is therefore recommended for any 6th-8th graders who reached this level. As you can see, the books grow in complexity towards the end of the series, but that is actually a great thing, because your child’s reading level is likely to have increased by the time he gets to read the last two books of the series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The last book of the series is a bit of a lighter read than the previous one, but still complex enough to require a reading level of 980L, making it appropriate for 6th and 7th graders. The last 607 pages of the series are an amazing conclusion of Harry Potter’s adventures. 

As you can see, from the point of view of the reading complexity, the books are rather similar and can be enjoyed by children throughout the 5th and 8th grade, according to their reading level. Let’s have a look at a breakdown of the books graded by how appropriate they are for certain age groups.

What age group is Harry Potter for?

As a whole, the series is generally considered to be an appropriate read for children from the ages of 9-12 and above. The Harry Potter age rating depends however both on the kid and the parents. While some children may be ready to understand and enjoy Harry’s adventures (which can get rather dark at certain points in the books) from an even younger age, there’s a chance for others to need a little more time to mentally develop before the series becomes an appropriate read.

It’s worth noting that Harry Potter is 11 years old in the first book and is presented as 17 year old in the last one. Considering that it is a well known fact that children enjoy reading about heroes close to their own age, it’s probably good to take this into account when you’re organizing your child’s reading lists.

The generation of children who enjoyed the books one by one as they were being released between 1997 and 2007 have actually managed to enjoy the story and relatively stay in the same age group as Harry throughout the timeframe in which the books were released. 

Being one of the lucky ones who caught the series developing, I can confirm that reading the books one year or more apart has been an amazing experience. Each book presents Harry Potter at a different age and being relatively the same age as the hero has been great. I was able to relate to all the changes in Harry’s relationships, the way he thought and even understand his friendships and rivalries better. 

So, what age is Harry Potter for? While the official Harry Potter age range is between the ages of 9 and 12, my personal experience has taught me that the series is a lot more enjoyable if the books are read 1 year apart, starting with the age of 10 or 11.

Why should you read Harry Potter with Basmo?

Before getting your child to read the Harry Potter books, it’s probably a good idea for you to read them first if you haven’t already. Not only is that very useful because you will be able to decide for yourself when your kid should read them and you will be able to discuss with him or her about the story, the books are also extremely enjoyable regardless of the reader’s age. I remember when I was a kid that I would have loved it if my parents would have read the books as well so I could share the experience with them. 

If you want to read the Harry Potter series before your child does, it’s probably a good idea to do so while using a reading app. This comes with a series of advantages which will benefit you and your child at the same time.

Here’s how reading the Harry Potter with Basmo can improve the experience:

Creating reading list to include all Harry Potter books

First off, keeping track of seven books in a series is not exactly an easy task, especially if this is your first contact with the Harry Potter franchise. Luckily, Basmo can help you ensure that you read all the books in the correct order without having to check online every time you finish a book to see which one is next.

You can simply create a reading list within the Basmo app and include all the volumes in the correct order.

Here’s how easy it is to create your Harry Potter reading list with Basmo:

  1. Open the app on your preferred device (smartphone or tablet).
  2. At the bottom of the home screen you will find your Book Collections
  3. Tap on View all collections.
  4. Tap on the + sign in the upper right corner.
  5. Name your reading list and tap on Create Book Collection to get it added to your collections.
  6. Start populating the list with each Harry Potter title in order by tapping on it on the screen of book collections.
  7. Tap on each relevant title and it will be automatically added to your reading list.

Taking notes

Despite it being a series of books for children and teens, Harry Potter is a surprisingly complex story with a relatively large number of important characters. It wouldn’t hurt to take some notes while reading to make sure you remember all the important information. Reading apps like Basmo can help tremendously with this process. 

Here’s how to take notes with Basmo:

  1. Access the app.
  2. Choose the book you are currently reading from the list. 
  3. Start a reading session.
  4. As you read and your reading session is active, you can simply pick up your phone whenever you feel a note is necessary and start typing it.

It really doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Saving relevant Harry Potter quotes

Again a bit surprisingly for a children’s fantasy fiction series, there’s a lot of wisdom in the Harry Potter books. Both Harry and other characters like Dumbledore or Professor Snape have a pretty good number of lines that are worth remembering.

Saving your favorite quotes is an extremely easy and enjoyable task if you’re using a reading app like Basmo.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Start a reading session. 
  2. If you find a line or a quote you want to remember or share on social media, you have two options: you can either add a note manually while reading or you can use the app’s scanning feature, which allows you to can scan whole pages of a book or just paragraphs, extract the text and then format it as you see fit.
  3. You can even save the quote as an image and share it on any social media platform

Bonus features

On top of the things described above, Basmo comes with many other features which go way beyond improving your Harry Potter reading experience.

You can enjoy relevant statistics about your reading habits, based on your recorded reading sessions, you can use the app to set daily or yearly reading goals and even set reminders to get notified every time  you are about to miss out on a day of reading.

Ready to take your reading game to the next level?
Try Basmo book tracker today!

It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?

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Final thoughts

In conclusion, the Harry Potter books can be enjoyed by children in a pretty wide range of age and reading level. While the official recommendations above do apply in most cases, it is up to each child and his or her parents to find out if they are at the right age or reading level to enjoy this series. 

What’s important is that there is a reason why it was (and still is) such a huge success and  while preferences do differ from one reader to another, it’s not every day that we hear about a series which made such a wide range of readers happy.

Use Basmo to make the best of your reading experience and whether you read it for your own enjoyment or to make sure your kid should read it too, we truly hope you will love Harry Potter as much as we do.

Vintage vector created by upklyak – www.freepik.com

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