The Chronicles of Narnia series has two camps to the reading order, publication or chronological. I have chosen to go with publication order in my reading of the series, I know I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in childhood, but honestly can't recall reading the rest of the series.
Publication order: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle.
Chronological order: The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle.
As one of the more popular series in existence, I can't say that I would have anything new and groundbreaking to add to the discussions and wealth of information that exist for this series.
Lewis felt that "a book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then", which seems like solid advice. We should still find something of value in a book we loved in childhood, children's minds don't need to be filled with complete drivel, and they are smart.
I will say that the latest Disney movie sets the opening of the story up a little better, with the children needing to be relocated to the professor's home because of the air-raids during the war. While it is stated in the first few sentences I think you lose some of the understanding emotionally that the four are going through from the journey they took just from fleeing their home. It isn't a joyful vacation to visit a relative, but a dangerous time filled with uncertainty.
Now I have a hankering to try true Turkish Delight, just what is this treat that can tantalize Edmund? I hear it resembles Aplets & Cotlets, which I have to admit I do like as a treat every once in a while, they remind me of childhood. So maybe Lewis was onto something here.
A few readers I know have been pondering the meaning behind the repeated cautionary advice regarding wardrobe doors always being left open. One source says this emphasis came about because Lewis was afraid children would start playing Narnia and feared they would lock themselves in wardrobes all across the country. I don't know if that is the true meaning, I thought it might be used as always being able to find your way home by following the light.
The book can certainly be read simply as story or with a more spiritual meaning of the struggle between good and evil forces.
[Notice: Original posting 2014-01-10 at Plethora of Books Blog: http://bookchallenges.weebly.com]
Tags: 2014, Children's, Classics