I know, I know, I’m the last person to read this. My daughter, 8, devoured the first three. I asked a librarian about #4 and was told there was a death in it. My daughter and I decided that I should read it first. And so I did. All 734 pages of it. (Was Rowling so popular at this time that the whole editing process was just abandoned?) It’s an entertaining tale, filled with memorable characters and moments. Rowling’s writing is engaging, if a bit too much like Chinese food for me (as in, you read 50 pages, and you are still hungry for something more).
I finally did arrive at the death and it, taken together with the scene around it, will prompt me to ask my daughter to wait. It is pretty grim. Even though I’d gotten to the point I needed to as a parent, I still pressed on. I was disappointed by Rowling’s reliance on the cliched expository monologue as a way to provide backstory. There are several examples of this in the latter stages of the book.
So, I know it’s pretty useless to recommend or not recommend this book. I can only say it’s not for at least one 8-year-old. I will also say that I’m not going to rush out to buy #5 until she’s well into this one. And, for that, I’m glad.