The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia)

By C.S. Lewis

Published: 1950

AR level: 5.7

AR points: 6.0

Word count: 36,363

I suggest: 4th grade+

I always try to do a holiday post around this time of year. However, feeling a wave of nostalgia, I returned to a childhood favorite–The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The idea of walking through an enchanted wardrobe and entering another world is a concept for any reader bent on finding adventure in unassuming places.

I remember the first time I read this book. I was attending a small, private school at the time, and we had to read it aloud and highlight words for our vocabulary tests. Although that might have been a buzz kill for the series for most children, I’d already seen movies based on the book, and I didn’t let the vocabulary exercise injure my interest. In fact, one of the words that rolls through my mind from time to time is melancholy–the word Lucy used to define Tumnus the faun.

To be transparent here, my favorite book of the series is The Horse and His Boy (AR level: 5.8, AR Points: 8.0, and Word Count: 49, 425). I loved the relationships among the characters, and I loved how it was a spinoff from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

So, although some of the other books in the series may feel a little inaccessible (The Magician’s Nephew may be the toughest to take on), take a journey with your kids on these classics. There is magic, and there is triumph. And hey, at the end of the day, there’s always the movies to watch too.

Here’s a brief description:

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

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