Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Parent reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Common Sense says

Powerful penultimate book mines Voldemort's past.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 157 reviews
Adult Written bytournhtid July 18, 2009


This is a good book, does involve a bit of drinking and a few sexuall ineuendos in the book and movie. Lots of kissing and sexual tension/relationship tension between ron and hermione. As well as harry and ginny. Lavendar brown is protrayed as love obsessed, but in the end was poked fun at and deemed unhealthy which was good. The books are growing more intense and violent as they go. They are getting quite dark.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008

Ties up some loose ends.

For me this book didn't have the same tone and fun that the others have. Harry seems to be a bit short with people that he never has been before. He also seems to be a bit single minded in the is book, especially toward Malfoy and Snape. I didn't like all the death in this one even though I understand why. It does tie up alot of the unanswered questions of the past books but leaves just as many still to be answered.
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
Adult Written bynadnerb April 9, 2008

Best yet!

Outstanding. I love these books as much if not more than my children do. This one moves much quicker at the beginning than #4-5 did. However, in keeping with the development of the now-16-year-old main characters, the "snogging" scenes will be awkward to explain to my 10-year-old...
Adult Written byJediQueen April 9, 2008

Great but not for the younger kids.

I loved this book it was excellent, but unlike the first 4 this one was deffinitely not for kids. I think the plot and content would be way over any kid under 12's head anyway. Too much random make out sessions for kids, and it taught many 8 year olds the word slut. Not to mention the book is too depressing for the kiddies. Great book but not for yougsters.
Adult Written byBrij1234 March 13, 2015

Didn't like Ginny

I really didn't like that Ginny tells Ron off for being mad that she's passionately kissing her boyfriend in public. The author gives Ginny a few pages devoted to defending kissing. And she makes fun of Ron for never having kissed anyone before. She called him a 12 year old because of it and recommends he go kiss someone. Later in the book Ron gets a girlfriend and kisses and hugs her in public. I don't think kids should be encouraged to make out with people.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byaecdoglover April 9, 2008

Good Book

Interesting, best book in series. It is well-written and good for kids over the age of 10.
Adult Written bykitode April 9, 2008

COMING OF AGE BOOK! - be careful

Rowlings is really amazing to me as she creates a fantasy world that feels very safe to identify with. At the end of Book 4, there's the intellectual understanding that it's not so safe. By the end of Book 5, there's an emotional understanding that it's not so safe. But in Book 6, the kids really come of age. If your child feels that Harry is like an adult, this book might be okay (though I don't think they'd understand a lot of it). If your child feels like Harry is HIM, you might want to pre-screen. The book hurts.
Adult Written bypooreme April 9, 2008

disturbingly sad!

I think this book is disturbingly sad, because one of the main characters is killed. There is alot of violence. Alot of pre-occupation with boyfriends/girlsfriend, kissing etc. The only reason I like the book is because I want to know how the series ends!
Parent of a 13 year old Written byohya August 17, 2010

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 8 and 12 year old Written byElizabeth H. June 9, 2015

I Love The Harry Potter Series!

I have absolutely no idea why the people who rated this book said there was sex and drinking, because there really isn't. My daughter read this book when she was in fourth grade, and fell in love with it. There is lots of spying, laughing, and new spells to learn. I hope you read it soon, because it is amazing.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written bysarah_from_yale April 9, 2008


J.K. Rowling creates magic again with the second to last Harry Potter novel. Although much darker and more violent, the book benefits from the shift towards maturity as the characters age. However, it's hard to follow if you haven't recently reread at least the 5th book. Enjoyable (again) for adults and kids alike, it's definitely worth reading.
Adult Written bySmarie5488 April 9, 2008


This book not only opens your mind to imagine, it feels like you are actually there. I would recommend this book to anyone over 10 years old. Before 10, I think it is risky because their imagination might make them think it is real.
Adult Written byFayth07 April 9, 2008


I liked this book because of the background information that was given on dear Professor Snape...he's a tricky character, and I can't wait to see what goes down between Potter and Snape in the last book because JK hinted at we'd have to keep an eye on dear Snape. However, the death in this book was disturbing to me. But even the best fall down sometimes.
Adult Written byBL April 9, 2008


I can't believe it -- JKR has done it again! I just finished reading "HP and the Half-Blood Prince" and it was absolutely brilliant. The characters, the story, the ENDING, I cannot express how wonderful this book was to read. My only concern is how I am going to wait for Book 7...I hope she does not take a year to write it and finish this magical story. JKR is absolutely the best!
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

One of the bestest books ever!!!

This book is a great one! I suggfest it to 8+. The kissing, or "snogging", as they call it, does not bother me in the slightest. In fact, I've been waiting for these realtionships to come up (not saying who - you'll ahve to read it to find out)! The violence doesn't bother me, either, but younger kids might be scared. The reason it is 8+ and not 4+ is solely because of the violence. I finished this book in 1 1/2 days (I'm a bookworm) and I started reading the first book in kindergarden!!
Adult Written byaustinbond April 9, 2008

A delightful sequel to the world acclaimed series...

I can't wait for book 7!
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bymathmom April 9, 2008

more dark and emotional than others in the series

This was an exceptional read for my husband and I (and we're reading it to our 7 year old). I have to say that it was so much sadder than the others and the reality of Harry's future fate is thrown right in your face. It's on the verge of depressing (emotionally), but the story keeps you interested and just dying for the next book. Not the action/adventure book that the others were, but a much more mature storyline leading us to the next book.
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
Parent of a 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, and 15 year old Written byNerdy_Mamma January 3, 2010

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models