Tonight after school, I’m taking my son to see the Hunger Games movie. He’s read the first book and is looking forward to the next.
I’ve had a few conversations recently where people were surprised that I let my son read the book and that I was entertaining the idea of taking him to see the movie. “Isn’t he too young for that book?” “Isn’t there a lot of violence?”
How Young is Too Young for the Hunger Games?
So how old is he, you ask? My son is 8 years old (he’ll be 9 next month).
Is he too young to read the Hunger Games trilogy and see the Hunger Games movie? I don’t think so.
My son is precocious. He asks to drink Earl Gray tea and has been known to sit down and read the New Yorker for fun. He understands the basics of right and wrong.
He sent a letter to the editor of the local newspaper correcting a headline when he was just 7 years old. We’re talking about a kid that started reading chapter books at the end of first grade. When he was 6 years old, he wanted to read the Harry Potter series and see the movies. My husband and I insisted he read the books before seeing the movies.
We started reading the series to him, and he finished reading the last four books of the series last year, just in time to see the last movie in the theatre. We watched the movies with him and talked about them. He understands that they are make-believe, and while he enjoys them, he knows they aren’t real. He read the Measle Stubbs series in second grade and it was one of his favorite series. We let him read them even though they were geared for a slightly older audience (for readers 9 years and up) because he was interested in reading.
Talking to your kids about what they read and watch
We talk about the books he reads. This child prefers reading to just about any other activity (playing with Legos is about the only thing he might choose over reading). What parent wants to tarnish that shiny pebble called imagination and the desire to read by limiting the books he can have access to? It’s not as if I let him read erotica.
Hunger Games trilogy is geared for readers ages 13 and up. It explores the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Some of his classmates have read the books. He didn’t ask to read it because I read them and enjoyed them, he asked because his friends piqued his interest. And I believe it’s that interest that I have to continue to allow to grow. How else will he continue to be a good reader?
So I ask, how young is too young to see The Hunger Games and why?
*I should mention that I've already seen the movie, so I know what to expect.
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