It always depends on the individuals personal preferences but I would say that by 11 a person has been educated enough through history and the news that they won't be shocked by anything in this series. I believe they will be able to benefit from reading these books. I don't think they are any less appropriate than Harry Potter. If you are still concerned I would recommend reading them to help you make a decision on whether or not they are ready to read it yet. I hope this helps :)
No, it is not for 18 and up. The intended demographic is 13-18 year olds. It appeals to a far larger range of people though. My 9 year old has been trying to read it. It's a little above her range at this point though. She did enjoy the movie.
I've never believed in censoring literature from my children. Something controversial, as this series has turned out to be, I would make sure I read it first. If the subject matter is beyond their maturity, comprehension and interest, they usually won't read it. Preteens and teenagers have way too many "important" things to do, they aren't going to spend time on a book they aren't really enjoying. If the subject matter concerns you, after your child finishes reading the book hold a little club meeting to discuss it. Get your child's thoughts on the book and express your views. Make it fun and use it as some very good, productive bonding time with your child. This is the sort of book that could open the door to many of those conversations that can often be difficult to start.
My 11-year-old daughter wants to read them. I will not let her read them for at least a couple of years. There is a lot of evil, graphic violence including psychological torture and the series as a whole is very depressing. I can't even say there's a happy ending, really. The author has created a depressing, troubled world and though changes begin an environment like that doesn't just heal in a few hundred pages. I was left pretty depressed and I just don't want my 11 year old to have to deal with that right now.
Well said, M. Dies. I agree with you. The entire premise is too dark for young children. They are so impressionable; images and ideas shape their psyches, especially if they read a lot of that kind of literature. Frankly, I'm worried about kids who are excited by kids killing one another. That is not a healthy personality. Of course, there is plenty of other excitement in the story too which might be what is turning them on. My fifth grade student (I tutor) said it was "jacked up." He said that meant it was too far out, too extreme. "Why," he asked, "do they have to have kids killing eachother? That's not real." I was glad he could see that and that he found it distasteful.