I honestly didn't have an intention of reading the first Harry Potter book right now. My kiddo will be 8 soon, and I thought, oh sometime when she's 8 or something, we might meander our way into reading it. Or maybe I'd just say nothing and she'd read them on her own at some point.
A bunch of her super close friends in 2nd grade had already read the book in the past few months, and they were all talking about it, and Julia really wanted to get in on the HP action. So we decided that she and Andrew (who has never read the series. WHUT??????????) would read this as their chapter book together.
(We take turns reading to her at night, I have a chapter book that I read to her, and Andrew will choose a different chapter book to read to her.)
She loves it, she loves it, she loves it! She loves the funny bits, she loves the exciting bits, and she was properly OUTRAGED at the terribleness of the Dursley's treatment of Harry.
"Mom, this is the best book I've ever heard."
"Mommy, is this your favorite book OF ALL TIME?" (actually, not quite, but it's way up there!)
"I don't think there are any better books better than Harry Potter."
Some kids she knows read it last year, in first grade, and I had to put her off, I was like NO NO NO, we have to wait until you're closer to eight! I really didn't see the point in reading something so great to her and and having to explain everything or have all the humor pass her by.
So far, the only thing she wasn't clear on was what a "friar" is. (remember the Fat Friar? That's his name.)
What I would like to start soon, which my friend Danzel has been doing with her kids, is embark onto the Oz series. What's nice about the Oz series is that there are 7 or so books, and they're all at the same level, unlike the Harry Potter books, which age in complexity as Harry ages. The Oz books remain at the 7-10 year old level and there's a ton of them to plow through. They were EASILY my favorite series of books as kid, closely followed by Narnia.
Harry Potter!!!! (which means, after we're done with Book 1, we can see the movie, which will stun her little mind. Movie #1 is still my favorite.)
(Oh ~ apparently the big game at school is for kids to yell the Harry Potter killing curses at each other. Yep.)