Family Fridays – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I’m starting a new feature here on Lector’s Books: Family Fridays. This will showcase books appropriate for young readers or young to-be-read-to-ers. I’ll try to include a general age range for content/interest. It’s very hard to set a general guideline for what age will be interested in or able to handle the content of any given book (reading abilities and maturity levels vary so drastically between different kids), so I’ll give it a shot and you can use your best judgement.

For my first Family Friday, I’d like to not “feature” so much as “implore you to go out and buy immediately if you don’t have it”.

Book: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S.Lewis

Series: The Chronicles of Narnia

Genre: Children’s Fantasy

Ages: Online I saw an age range of “12-14 years” on one site, and “8 and up” on another. I would definitely lean more towards the younger end on this – it is a good, clean, fun read.

Review: Four children are sent to live in the country to escape the bombings of London during WWII. While there, they find a wardrobe that is a path to a different country, Narnia, where they must defeat the White Witch with the help of the talking animals and Aslan.

“Magical” is really the only word for this book. Lewis did an amazing job creating this fun world, and his children are very believable characters. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, bravery, and good vs. evil are woven deftly throughout.

There is an audiobook version read by Michael York, which is very well done, and a movie adaptation (the 2005 one) that is also quite good. Anyway you want to experience this, you will not regret it.

Other books in the series:  The series is ordered as follows: 1. The Magician’s Nephew, 2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 3. The Horse and His Boy, 4. Prince Caspian, 5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 6. The Silver Chair, and 7. The Last Battle.

The Magician’s Nephew was written several years after The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I do not like it. At all. If you read all the other books and like it, by all means go back and read it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite, followed by The Horse and His Boy, then The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The Silver Chair and The Last Battle are both quite a bit darker than the other books. If you enjoy The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, I’d recommend next reading Prince Caspian and then The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as these continue on with the Pevensie children. The Silver Chair has Eustace, who is introduced in Dawn Treader, and introduces Jill, but I’d recommend reading The Horse and His Boy first instead. Its characters are mostly outside the Pevensie story arc, so it can really be read at any time.  So, in short (too late), my recommendations would be to read the books in this order: 2, 4, 5, 3, 6, 7, and 1 (if you must.
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  1. #1 by Debi Morton on April 19, 2013 - 8:03 pm

    Janie, I think your lower age range of 8 is about right. Both of my sons have started the series with their 8-year-old daughters and they are thoroughly enjoying it. They are, however, going to wait awhile to let them see the movies as they feel they are a bit too intense.

  2. #2 by lectorsbooks on April 19, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    That’s great! I love hearing about families who read together. And probably a good call on the movies, as well – I think film tends to be a more intense medium than the printed word, so the same content can be much scarier when watched versus read.

  3. #3 by Children Fantasia on May 2, 2013 - 5:42 am

    Great indeed but I think I need to wait for this until my daughter come to the right age. She’s only four now so four more years to go before she can read it. But this book is very nice book for the young one who love fantasy.

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