I'm picky about books. If I start one and it's not grabbing me within the first chapter or two, I don't bother to finish it. There are too many other good books out there for me to waste time on a dud.
I'm also somewhat picky about the books my children read. I don't censor them, but if see that Graceful is in a Nancy Drew rut, I make sure there are other good books available for her to choose from so that she can branch out a bit. And, when I take the girls to the library, I limit how many books they get from a series. Especially the Babysitters' Club. Blech.
There are some books I haven't allowed my children to read because I know they're not ready for them. Just because my third grader reads at a middle school level doesn't mean she's ready for middle school content.
Until recently, I have not allowed Graceful to read the Harry Potter books -- even though many of her classmates are working their way through the series with much enthusiasm and speed. My reasons for this ban were twofold: 1) I wanted Graceful to be mature enough to be able to handle the violence and the intense emotional upheaval and 2) I wanted her to be old enough to really and truly appreciate the literary magic.
Graceful started the first Harry Potter book yesterday and she is utterly enthralled, absolutely hooked already. I'm happy, because I know she's ready for this experience and will enjoy it thoroughly.
That said, once she finishes the first book, she will not be allowed to move on immediately to the second book. I know, that makes me cruel and unjust, but I believe that she'll better appreciate the books if she spaces them out a bit and has time to reflect on each one for a month or two. Or more. I probably will let her read #2 later in the winter and #3 this summer. Then, a longer break until #4, followed by a longer break for #5. And so on. She doesn't know this yet and is going to be unhappy when she finds out. But, I truly think this is the best way for her to approach this particular series.
How about you? What do you think?
Updated to add: Graceful finished the book this morning and is now re-reading bits and pieces. I'm now thinking I'll let her read the second book in a few weeks -- enough time to digest the first, but not so much that she goes crazy with anticipation. She also hasn't seen the movies, but I'm no hurry to expose her to those.