The Magician's Nephew
Publication Date: March 5, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperbound
Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.
"This classic journey of destiny, discovery, and imagination is a great family read-aloud for elementary or middle school kids."--Brightly
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.
This little action-packed novel gave such joy and excitement as its old-timey language, use of visuals, and its themes really left a wonderous impression on me. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is technically written after the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it was meant as the beginning or prelude to the Chronicles of Narnia. As the story itself is pretty much a children's tale of adventuring to different worlds, causing chaos, and the subsequent creation and inhabitation of the lands we know as Narnia. Its cast of characters introduces faces that will become central throughout the series. It also has other characters that are quite delightful (like the housemaid who was having the best day, read the story and this will become apparent). The other aspect is C.S. Lewis's inclusion of Christian themes that will make themselves known in a natural and organic storytelling manner. While it was written in a different time about an even different time, I found it to be manageable and even enjoyable to follow along, especially with the inclusion of drawings throughout. It does entice those with creative minds more easily and they will have a blast reading this work. And it'll feel like the 220 odd pages aren't enough, but I think it suffices quite nicely. Overall, as a novel it really stands out for those who enjoy such simple and comical moments in life, like children and even young adults. 5 stars does not do this book its due justice.
Only ever really reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, this book was great as a standalone let alone the prelude to it all. Even if one had no knowledge of the Chronicles of Narnia series, this book does a great job introducing us without relying on the main series for support. Besides it has some humorous moments and memorable quotes like on pg. 150 and 203. Plus the side characters and how the language is used put a smile on my face. Along with this and the drawings which were quite delightful, makes me excited to explore the world of Narnia and its lore. What a read and highly recommend to everyone, especially those with imaginations as it will enchant them delightfully.
My kids (5, 7, and 10) are really getting into this story, Would highly recommend for family story time.
"The Magicians Nephew" is a book I will always recommend whenever someone asks me for the names of good children's books. Chronologically, this is the second book C.S. Lewis wrote in The Chronicles of Narnia series, but spiritually it is the first book in the series; a prequel to "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." "The Magicians Nephew" answers the question of "how did Narnia come to be," "why was there a lamppost there," "where did the white witch come from," and "where did the titular wardrobe from 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe' come from. The story contains -- in my opinion -- more elements of Christianity than, and is easy for any child to understand and follow. (Recommended age range: 8 years old, or older.)