I just finished the book (my 11 year old is already in Deathly Hallows). It is a bit dark..with death and Harry is put in difficult situations, etc., There is also a bit of snogging, nothing overtly sexual. I guess this the book where the kids are coming of age. However, a bit of preview for younger kids is not a bad thing all together. Obviously, the whole series should be read in the correct order, else it is not as interesting..So, the dark magic and interrelationships have been built over the series, thus less 'shocking' I guess.