I just realized that I’ve been writing book reviews for nearly three years and have not written anything about one of my favorite series of all time – The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.
Perhaps it goes without saying, except it’s worth saying again, how delightful these books are. Originally, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book in the series. In it, readers meet Lucy, Edmond, Susan and Peter, siblings who must evacuate London during World War II and find themselves in a country manor with an absentee-professor-type as a guardian. While playing hide and seek one day, Lucy discovers a hidden world inside a wardrobe. A land called Narnia.
I won’t give you a plot summary for a couple of reasons. One, it would take too long and two, you’re probably familiar with it from the movies relatively recently released. I will say, if you’ve only seen the movies, you are missing out. And if you haven’t read the entire series, you are missing out.
Lewis told great stories – and although each of the stories is about Narnia, each are so different as to keep your attention and wonder what is going to happen next. Lewis introduces new characters in the context of previous stories, so it’s good to read the books in order. Die-hards read them in published order (The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, The Horse & His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle.) If you buy a recent edition of the series, the publisher has put the books in chronological order, with The Magician’s Nephew first because it explains the origins of Narnia.
The Chronicles of Narnia are also available as unabridged audiobooks, which are great for a family road trip. We’ve listened to the audiobooks at least three times as a family.
Highly recommended for ages 6 (as a read-aloud) to adult.